Sunday, May 15, 2011

Old Friends

My volunteer gig today was really interesting.  The first hour always finds me assisting a delightful woman named, Jennifer, as she leads the seniors in exercise.  This woman is so incredibly remarkable to me.  She just oozes kindness and patience.  Anyway, after the exercise hour, I head down to the dining room to enjoy lunch with the residents.  I usually enter the dining room, then walk over to several of the tables to greet the residents who didn't exercise with us.  After that, I find an empty spot at a table and proceed to enjoy a yummy lunch with whomever is seated at the table.  I ask questions and answer questions.  I get up and get water for them, or coffee.  After lunch, I head up to the floor with the dementia and Alzheimer's residents.  It is there that I feel the most challenged.  I intended to lead them in Bingo today, but that got sidetracked when I realized nobody was interested.  Instead, most of us watched the movie, Jersey Girl.  While watching the movie, I also chatted up one of the residents.  On that floor, I have to do a lot of talking because those residents really want to talk.  One of them, in particular, a lovely woman named, Lillian, often has outbursts where she'll scream--at the top of her lungs--"I wanna go home!"  I now know how to stop her from doing that.  I simply sit next to her and softly ask her questions about her parents.  I mean, those questions quiet her immediately.  And she tells me all about them.  During those exchanges, I feel sooooo close to her.  Honestly, I hope & pray that my mind doesn't deteriorate to dementia or Alzheimer's.  But, if it does, I wonder if I'd know.  'Cause I'm thinkin' Lillian must know SOMETHING!  Or why else would she keep screaming that she wants to go home?  From time to time, she MUST know where she ISN'T. 

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