My Visits with my 92 Year-Old Client

United States
July 25, 2007 7:58pm CST
I have the pleasure of having lunch 3 days a week with a wonderful 92 year-old lady. Because she doesn't always eat regular meals and when she does they aren't healthy, part of her care plan is for me to have lunch with her. She enjoys having someone to talk to while she is having her meal. I find that she does eat more when she has someone having lunch with her. I usually pack my own lunch and bring it with me. She enjoys sharing too. One day I was preparing to make her a grilled cheese sandwich and she asked me to have one with her. More often than not we have our lunch in her living room while the local 12:00 news plays on the television. I try to encourage her to eat more than what she does. Her idea of a meal is a dish of ice-cream. "I need the milk and I don't drink it so I guess it is good.", is the response I get from her. Because her mind is slipping a bit, our conversations can be one that is repeated more than once. She talks of her family quite often and you can see her beam with pride when she speaks of those she favors. I smile and respond to her as if it was the first time I heard the story. During my visits with her she will receive a phone call or two from a family member. She calls one that she receives a "duty call". How sad is that. Even with her mind slipping a bit, she knows. Her family members drop in only occasionally. She tells me that she plays the television just to hear some noise as she rarely gets visitors. In between our conversations I will go about my duties and make sure her home is cleaned. I fear that I made her a bit frantic the other day when I cleaned out her cupboards. She stood watch as I filled 4 kitchen trash bags with outdated food. There is much more to do, but I will pace myself. As I was doing this task she asked me at least 30 times about something about tea she heard on the television. Something so little can set a dementia patient's mind into a tailspin. My main reason for writing this is to encourage you to visit a friend or family member that lives alone. They will enjoy your visit so much. It may be the only visitor they receive other than those they receive services from.
7 people like this
17 responses
@Feona1962 (7529)
• United States
26 Jul 07
You are such an inspiration to others. I love the elderly and they are so giving. We all need to be loved and we all need someone to talk to. The people that do not take this opportunity are really missing out and regret will soon set in. I feel they can teach us so much, and we should be grateful for their experiences as well as our own. I did in home care and found that all they want is to be loved and listened too..Even if they have told me something already, I let them tell me again and again..I am a better person each time I would go home. I would think about my day with these people and thank them for having me in their home..If it wasn't for our elderly their family members would not even exist, and I believe these people need to be thanked for bringing their family into the world. Lonliness is a horrible thing.
• United States
26 Jul 07
I know so many of these wonderful elderly people who would love to have a visit from someone, be it a family member or other person. They just love the company.
2 people like this
@jennybianca (12918)
• Australia
26 Jul 07
I agree that it is company some of the elderly most need. Although herlping with their physical needs is important. We take my MIL out of trips, as she can't leave her own home by herself.
1 person likes this
@Feona1962 (7529)
• United States
26 Jul 07
I took mine to the grocery store, the beauty salon, the doctor's office, the mall, the pharmacy, the library, the park, and wherever else they wanted or needed to go. The physical part is extremely important to their well being. One of my consumers always had something for me to bake, like cookies or a pie, and we had tea in actual tea cups with our snack..
1 person likes this
@Polly1 (12650)
• United States
26 Jul 07
You truly have a wonderful job. I had a lady I helped, I enjoyed visiting and helping her out so much. it enriched both of our lives. I would also have lunch with her. One of our favorites was grilled cheese and soup. We both really liked Cambells chunky chicken corn chowder. I would even sometimes take stuff that I made at home to have for lunch with her. My lady was 96 yrs. young, I miss her so much.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Jul 07
I enjoy listening to her tales of her youth. She is delightful.
1 person likes this
@Polly1 (12650)
• United States
26 Jul 07
I loved to listen to my ladies stories too. She told me when she was a little girl, her mamma told her. Whenever a baby was born, God gave the baby a gaurdian angel to watch over them. She said that would often keep her out of touble, whenever she wanted to do something naughty, she would get a picture in her head of this little angel sitting on her shoulder watching what she was doing. That was such a cute story, I have told that to my grandchildren. I adore older people, they truly are delightful.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Jul 07
How sweet.
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12918)
• Australia
26 Jul 07
You are so right. There are lot of elderly living like this, & the more outside attention & care they receive, the better off they are emotionally, if not physically. Your sory is almost exactly like my Mother in Law. She is nearly 82 years, very disabled, & half blind. She does not have dementia, although is obsesed with talking about ilnesses & medical conditions. As she has 6 children, she does receive a lot of phone calls & some visits. She lives in a small housing trust flat. There is almost nothing, physically she can do now. She receives the care package. After receiving Meals on Wheels for 2 weeks, she cancelled it. Now she reallies on food cooked by one daughter who lives near me, which is frozen. I make her a home cooked meal every time we visit, & we eat with her, & I agree that she eats better then. Most;ly wants she really loves is to talk to me. Hubby will sit on the lounge chair & fall asleep, while we have long chats. I have to admit loosing track of some of her stories. It is going to get more difficult, probably this year. I foresee all sorts of dramas when she needs to go into a nursing hgome. My parents situation is a bit of a concern too. Thank goodness for the Csare Package, like you do.
• United States
26 Jul 07
Sounds like a wonderful job! I know you must get a lot of satifaction knowing that you are making her life more enjoyable.
2 people like this
@lexus54 (3577)
• Singapore
26 Jul 07
You are indeed an inspiration to everyone who reads this account of how you reach out to those who are lonely and just need some companionship. I know that God is smiling down on you, and He will surely bless your life and reward you for the kindness you show. One day we will all grow old, and when that day comes, we too will wish someone will come by occasionally to say hello to us, have a little conversation with us over a meal and share some laughter. In our old age, we will treasure such friendships more than anything else in the world. God bless you.
1 person likes this
@brendalee (6086)
• United States
26 Jul 07
Its great that you can make a person's life so much better just by being there and listening to them. The elderly have so many great stories to tell, even if they do get repeated. My mom is the same way. She tells me the same things over and over and usually I just pretend that I hadn't heard it before.
1 person likes this
@biwasaki (1745)
• United States
26 Jul 07
Thank you for the wonderful reminder of how we should treasure our elders. I think it's sad that families often get so caught up in their own lives that they forget to spend time with their elders. Personally, I love going and spending time with my grandparents. They have so much knowledge and so many wonderful stories to share. I know that the time they have may be limited, so I try to make the most out of the time we have together now.
@JoyfulOne (6243)
• United States
26 Jul 07
That's really wonderful of you elusive! That woman probably enjoys your visits far more than any 'duty call' her family does for her. What a shame her family doesn't realise what a wonderful time they can still have with her despite her dementia. Your visits are surely looked forwards to by her, especially since you aren't judgemental when she repeats so much. I'm sure her family just has the opinion that they're tired of hearing it over and over again, but, they should always remember: there but for the grace of God go I... Blessings to you, you are an A+ caregiver, and you make a positive difference in peoples lives!!
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
27 Jul 07
Elusive that is so sad why do Families do this and specially why do Children do this to their Mum she has dedicated her Life to them and given them so much Love and this is how they repay her I have heard this a few times now and it makes me sad that Families can do that to one of their own that poor Woman if it was not for you going there she would not see anyone as such
@Thoroughrob (11771)
• United States
27 Jul 07
You can really make their day by stopping by. The only thing is my Grandma don't want me to leave after I get there. She will almost beg for you to stay, even when you go everyday. It does make their days alot better.
@KrisNY (7609)
• United States
26 Jul 07
I want to thank you for this- This really hits home for me- My grandma turned 86 on last Saturday- I don’t get there to visit as often as I should- My dad is there every day helping her out- She is pretty healthy for her age- the problem I have is when I go to visit she constantly talks about the other grandchildren and great grandchildren- the ones she has always favored over my brother and I growing up- long story- My parents worked hard to give us what we needed- and my aunt didn’t so my grandparents always bought them extras and treated them special- It hurts still. Anyways I digress—I need to let it go and go visit her more often while I still have the chance- My daughter also isn’t that thrilled with visiting- I have to change that- thanks for the reminder about the elderly- I love my grandma- I guess it’s time I show it!
• United States
26 Jul 07
Bless your thoughtful heart sugar. I am sure you both are going to get a lot of enjoyment from this.
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
26 Jul 07
Nice to see that you add to the ladies life. Except that some outdated foods are still good so the daughter and I cringed when we read that. Those are suggested dates. We four enjoying going to grandma's house. They do like to see us and they are doing well. Fortunately her and dad are still together and have each other. Mom admitted that they enjoy us but are still glad to see us go. They like having their house to themselves. Thanks for sharing your day with us. Makes us see a part of life that we might not normally be a part of.
• China
26 Jul 07
I am a Chinese. Old man are used to live with there family in traditional. But for some reason, espcially for the living, the youth move to the city or other place. I stay with my parents at home right now, for there is no job outside for me at the moment, and I really enjoy stay home with parents. They are getting old, how could they do if there is a mergency. I am so keen to be with them all the time. Besides, there is an old lady in my village who has three daughters, but they can't live with her for some traditional reasons or other. So, she just lives alone, doing all things by herself. It's no good. Worse than that, she have got sick lately and have to get an operate, and her daughters even have no time to take care of her, though they are rich.
@webeishere (36377)
• United States
26 Jul 07
My Father - being his usual lazy self. Hahahaha!!
Before my father moved in with me to take care of him he was alone at his farm. he was lucky to get a visitor once a month from family or friends. When he had his 2nd stroke he fell outside right by the door & he lay there for 18 hours before someone found him. After the last stroke he knew he couldn't live alone anymore so he moved in with me. Anyhow I know all too well about the dementia as I hear the same old timer stories day in and day out & also act like I've never heard them before. he is starting to forget the great grandsons names now also. Soon he'll forget me. I doubt that. So I also encourage others to visit the elderly that live alone. Hey even go out to a seniors home and play some cards or read to them there as they also need visitors. Thanks. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB!!~
@vanities (11351)
• Davao, Philippines
26 Jul 07
well yeah its true..the olds need some familiar faces during this time or phase of their life..and later we will too be the same like her but hope it wont happen to us or to me...
@lilaclady (28270)
• Australia
26 Jul 07
I love the company of the elderly, I spent 6 years volunteering in a Nursing Home just keeping them company I loved it, then I looked after an Aunt of a friend until she passed away and now I am helping an elderly neighbour out as her family don't visit very often, it is very sad to see them left alone like this, they deserve a lot better...