I Find This Really Sad

@irishmist (3820)
United States
March 25, 2008 3:21pm CST
I just started a new job in a nursing home in addition to my job in the retirement home. I'm working as a diet aide, each unit has their own diningroom, and the first unit I'm being trained on is the Dementia Unit, I will be floating to every unit to start with, but anyway this one lady caught my eye. She has Down Syndrome and has Dementia, I felt so sad for her. People that are born with Down Syndrome have enough other problems to deal with, such as heart defects, Leukemia, infectious diseases, and many more. Life spans have increased dramatically for people with Down syndrome. In 1929, a baby born with Down syndrome often didn't live to age 10. Today, someone with Down syndrome can expect to live to 50 and beyond, depending on the severity of his or her health problems. This age continues to rise because of early interventions and better care. Dementia. Later in life, people with Down syndrome have a greatly increased risk of dementia. Signs and symptoms of dementia often appear before age 40 in people with Down syndrome. I feel sad and don't understand why these poor people have to have Dementia added to the list of heath problems they already have. They have had to struggle all their lives, and to lose their mind especially starting before the age 40 is really sad. I feel they have been doubly cheated out of a good long life. I do feel bad for all the people who have Dementia, it is a horrible disease to suffer through, but most of them have led a good, happy and productive life. I hate to say it, but I feel God is being unfair to those that were born into this world, to have to bear any more than they need to. Well that's my thought anyway. I guess I just wanted to get that out of my system.
2 people like this
3 responses
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
25 Mar 08
First of all a real kudos to you irishmist for working with such people...you must have one strong constitution to have to deal with people like this..I mean I don't think I could without getting really depressed about it..or maybe you are, I don't know. Yes, it does seems tragically unfair, that a person is first born with Down syndrome and then faces something like dementia as well..like a double whammy. Thing is the person who suffers such problems probably aren't even aware that they have a problem, which maybe is a good thing?? My mother certainly didn't have Down Syndrome but she very much most likely had dementia in her later years of her life...it's unfortunate that her therapist did diddly squat for her, being that she was such a great actress and only saw him every few months, rather than weekly, he never got a full picture of what was going on...only I saw the reality of what was going on...and yes, a person with dementia changes so drastically that it's like not the same person anymore...not the person you remembered.
@irishmist (3820)
• United States
22 Apr 08
Well it is a little sad and depressing at times, at the moment I am a floater. I have seen all the residents on all 6 units, we have like 240 residents or so. That is really sad that your mom had dementia, I've seen how it makes people act and it is so sad.
@Courtom (288)
• Canada
25 Mar 08
My mother worked in a nursing home. I often would visit her, and my grandparents. She would often come home in tears, watching some of her favorite residents slowly deteriorating, some with no family, others with family, that would never visit. My mom is a compassionate woman, and it was very hard for her. I feel that the conditions of the nursing homes are disgusting. My mother was a PCW and often only 3 of them would work on a floor of 30-40 patients. Bathing, feeding, and general interaction and care giving is at a minimum.
@irishmist (3820)
• United States
25 Mar 08
My daughter is a CNA in a nursing home, She worked in a county nursing home for 6 years, and now in a basically private nursing home, which is where I just started working, and yes nursing homes are not without their problems, luckily the state comes in on a regular basis for days on end to do there check- ups. The state doesn't play games around here. I understand how your mom came home in tears a lot, my daughter is the same way. She really hates losing one of her favorite residents. Being short staffed in a nursing home is hard, not just on the aides , but the residents as well.
@saundyl (9690)
• Canada
25 Mar 08
That is really sad. Its like being double or even triple cursed with things that can go wrong. It must be terribly confusing for them. It'd be confusing and hard even without Down's Syndrome.