The Common Thread

Was thinking about my little 1 and 2 year olds  at work that I am eager to see again. Love how their eyes brighten up when I walk in the room and they come running on their little legs to be swept up into a hug and a kiss. Love how they have such energy and the littlest thing can totally excite them!  My co-workers and I can come to work tired and the little ones are just running circles around us and soon it becomes contagious! I mean did you ever try to doze off in a room of yelling, excited 1 and 2 year olds. Trust me, its not possible!! Now when they are sleeping like little angels in a dark room, then it can be more difficult not to drift off to  La La land.

While thinking of seeing them again, my mind drifted back to when I worked with the elderly. I loved working with them as well! I only stopped because being in my 20’s and  helping to lift residents and support their weight was not a problem. When my hip started bothering me as I got older the Dr kindly suggested I may want to think about getting a job easier on my hip. So hey, I can swing the 2 year olds around no problem!

No the elderly didn’t quite run to me when I walked into the room, but their smiles did light up their faces and I did get hugs. They could make your day with their compliments. “You look so beautiful”, when you knew that you really weren’t looking your best. “Aww sweetie, you are so kind, some man is going to be lucky to have you!, Oh you should have heard the ladies ooh and ahh over my engagement ring when I got it! And the men say,  “Well now if he don’t treat you right…you know there is always me, as they would try to straighten themselves up looking all proud and astute.

Yes, just like the Terrible 2’s , we did have the elderly temper tantrums also. There was the 1 room where you knew you would probably be yelled at for the majority of time that you were in there. The trick was to be as speedy as you could be without forgetting anything, because you really didn’t want to walk back in there after leaving!  There was the resident who pulled their call bell constantly and no it was NOT an emergency!   The resident who when getting a bath would say, water too hot, water too cold, too hot again and yeah I got sprayed a couple times by him getting hold of the sprayer. After me getting a little shower he would smile and the water temp would be just fine. Yes, it was the men you had to watch , they were the most sneaky!

What I learned the most tho was how was no matter what the situation, the resident was dealing with; it  was not what determined their personality. We could have residents who were in very bad physical shape BUT be the most cheerful people you could talk to. I still remember a woman confiding in me about her bad childhood and marriage and I sat there stunned, for she was such a sweet lady! Not a bitter one like you may think would come out of that. Sitting in their rooms and chatting with them was the best thing to do. They loved the company and I loved listening to their wisdom and stories from their heart.

I haven’t worked there for 5 years now, but there are residents that I will never forget. Ones that have emblazoned my heart with their wisdom, love and humor. There were residents there that proved how humor doesn’t have to go away with age! One man especially, (remember I said they were the sneaky ones!) He was spry and witty for his age and usually could pull one over on me. Especially when I worked day shift which started at 6am!

Being blessed with working with the elderly and the wee ones I learned that there is something very important that they both have in common. They want your time! The wee one wants to cuddle on your lap with a book or just to be held and rocked for a little. The elderly want to talk with someone. They don’t only  want you to help them with the daily tasks that they can’t manage anymore, they want you to get to know them.They want to relate to you!  Its a human need, we want relationship and whether we are 2 or nearing 100 we will always desire it!

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9 thoughts on “The Common Thread

  1. Well said!
    So often children are just “annoyances” to be dumped at the sitters at every opportunity. So often the elderly are “inconveniences” to put in a home at the earliest opportunity.
    Living a self-centered life simply means wasting time chasing things that are perceived (wrongly) to be important, and walking away from the people who can teach you so much.
    If you want to learn how to play again… go and watch your children. They are the experts!
    If you want to know what life was like before your time, or if you want to know what trauma they have experienced, or if you simply want a reality check with your own life…. listen to the elderly. It suddenly becomes difficult to make a big deal over a lost love, when you listen to somebody who lost their complete family in war! It is difficult to complain about the level of some government service when you realize that they had no tangible government services. It is difficult to complain about the cost of fashionable clothing, when you have listened to somebody who remembers a time when they could barely afford food let alone clothing… of any sort!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true! Thanks for your comments! Yes, sadly we have the kids at the daycare that you can tell don’t get much attention at home. And I well remember the days at the retirement home of some residents looking out the window longing to have someone pull up in a car to visit them! That would break my heart.
      Definitely true about the reality check, we have so little to complain about when it comes down to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You, my dear, have been blessed with many cherished moments! Working with the young, and working with the elderly. And all of them have been blessed by you too! You get it. Keep on keepin’ on 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So very true. The elderly have much wisdom to share and even though, life is physically and sometimes mentally hard on them, they need to have visitors and people to talk and relate with, as you share. Great piece 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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