When is the best time to electively retire to a nursing home? Answer: the summer months. If it is time for you to go to a nursing home, the summer months are the best. Why: pleasant weather for moving, the younger family members are out of school for helping and visiting, and here is one of the most important parts. By admitting into a nursing home in the summer months, it gives the resident time to adjust, make friends with staff and other residents, all before the busy holidays start in the fall and winter months. Also it is easier to sell a property before school starts.
Over the years I have seen many selfless acts performed by those that have so little to give. This post is in honor of the noble certified nurse aide, CNA.
I normally work 2pm-10pm on call C
I am pulling an extra shift on the 6am-2pm shift and on a different hall. I am unfamiliar with the CNA staff and residents. It’s going to be a stressful day; in general, we are running short on staff. I have looked everywhere for Mrs. Smith to give her allergy eye drops. Standing outside the shower room door, I can hear water running. I knock; wait for an answer, and then I pop my head in. I ask the CNA if she has seen Mrs. Smith.
Here is what I see in the shower room.
The water is running in an empty stall on full hot to warm up the room, in the sink is bottles of shampoo, conditioner, hair mouse, body powder, a couple of bottles of body sprays, and scented lotions (all purchased with the CNA’s personal money and purchased on her own time from Wal-Mart) The resident in the shower room is smiling, and her face and body language appear relaxed. I introduce myself, (I am the guest here) and I ask her how she is doing. She replies that she is doing “alright” with a gently nod of yes and a broad smile.
This is just example of the generosity I see daily in a traditional nursing home from CNA staff. It is a common site at shift change to see the CNA staff walk through the front doors carrying 2 bags of Wal-Mart products for the residents they are assigned to.
Income In 2008, the average hourly earnings of Texas CNAs was $10.07. This is before they pay taxes and social security, and health insurance
Texas CNAs earn an average of $20,940 per year.
I am always blown away when I see them carting in gifts for their residents, I have seen clothes, blankets, shoes, hats, and beauty products all purchased from the CNA to give to their residents. This is on a daily basis, the gifts increase around birthdays and holidays.
My job as a floor nurse would be impossible it wasn't for the generosity and help of the noble CNA.
The extra touch the CNA gives daily
Some of the following are state regulations but it is still up to the CNA to make it a pleasant experience
Gently wakes the resident and allows them time to wake up before pushing them out of their room for breakfast.
Gives choices on what the resident wants to wear based on the activities of the day and weather. Sometimes this takes half an hour. The CNA will have to speed walk from room to room and have their supplies beyond organized to make up for this lost time.
The CNA knows which resident needs extra care in order to feel respectable in public such as room 109 likes to wear cosmetics, room 113 likes her hair braided, and room 121 needs extra help with his morning shave.
I have seen CNAs who knew which residents are early risers and ensure they are up and dressed for their first cup of coffee.
A CNA is more than an assistant to the nurse, they are the personal assistant to the residents, the care they give is compared to a modern Upstairs Downstairs and work staff on Downton Abbey.
The CNA organize the room, give baths, assist with dressing and undressing, and lend a hand with bedtime routines. They spoon feed the resident who needs support with dinning.
While the nurse is monitoring medication application, answer the phones, calling the doctors, faxing lab results, pushing a heavy med cart, and answering questions from family members, the CNA is the hands on interpersonal touch to the resident. The CNA is the one who makes sure your loved one is made aware of parties and activities, gives a hand with transportation, and ensures that no one is left out of the activity.
The next time you’re in a traditional nursing home, learn the name of the CNA caring for your loved one, and when you are lucky enough to have aged a long time, and are ready for a nursing home lifestyle, adopt your CNA staff as family and treat them with love and care and you will get triple the love back from the noble CNA.
Till next month, Nurse Kimmy
How many of us use the Repair Serum from Estée Lauder ?
|by the way, this night repair serum dried my faced to the point of never using it again|
As we move backwards from the mind set of being in a nursing home to our present age, enjoy the creams and potions you apply to your face. Purchase the very best you can personally afford that you believe benefits your personal skin. Look your best at all ages. As a way to live your best life and know that for the short time you have a body, you treated it the very best you could. Unless you can afford to purchase your own face creams in the nursing home, I am guessing I will be able to afford at least a Wal-Mart knock off of Neutrogena.
There really isn’t a face cream standard in nursing homes, usually any moisturizing comes in one of two ways.
One, with a shower and the standard “useless” watered down paraben heavy cream for the body is applied, well, everywhere.
Two, if there is a skin condition such as redness, dry patchiness, or itching. A prescription cream will be ordered and paid for by the government and applied by a nurse only, not you, not a nurse aide (CNA), but a nurse and only when it is prescribed, not when you want it.
I am doing my best to enjoy being middle aged. I have seen many people pass away and the best deaths that I have witnessed are when the person said they lived their best life.
I am not going to lie to you; you are going to die…someday. For the most part, you will get to decide if your death will be emotionally painful or emotionally easy. I have seen people pass away peacefully after their family and loved ones have whispered releasing phrases.
“It is okay to go”
“I give you permission to let go and stop being in pain”
“We love you and we want you to go to heaven when you are
ready, we will be alright”
I have asked people who were on Hospice and middle aged why they seemed at peace with the concept of death. For the most part the answer is something like this.
I know that I was a good person and did my best. I didn’t always make the right decision, but the decisions that I did make, I made with my best intention and with the resources and knowledge that I had at the time. No one is perfect, but we all have a responsibility to do our best.
It appears that it is the “knowing we did our best” that seems to bring them the most stillness.
There is another personality trait that I have also noticed that brought about tranquility with the concept of death. Living their best life, this concept will mean 100% something different for 100% of the individual reading this. Only you can decide have you lived your best life. Did you live in the moment, take vacations that meant something to you personally, did you love, laugh, and have buckets and buckets of gratitude for your life?
Living your best life has zero to do with money. Most people would trade in all the gifts and fancy homes, devices, and cars for quality time with the people they find important.
Are you living your best life?
Today, is a good day to start.