Archive | June, 2013

Speak Your Mind Monday

17 Jun

There have been many cringe-worthy moments in my career.  Working with residents with dementia is an honor, but it also presents many opportunities for wishing I could pull an Alex Mack and turn into silver slime in three seconds flat.  I remember a woman from my senior internship, my very first experience working with the elderly, who had absolutely no shame in speaking her mind.  She might tell you that a particular hairstyle didn’t work for you, that she wasn’t crazy about the banana cream pie, or that she would rather not participate in exercise because she was old and wasn’t looking for a man.  Or she might pull something like this…

There were over 200 residents from the Assisted Living, Independent Living, and Health Care units gathered for a concert in the theater (this place was very upscale) and I brought a few residents from the memory care unit to enjoy the show.  This was always a treat for them, and whether or not they remembered they had attended it once returning to their room wasn’t important… for an hour or two, they were just ordinary people attending a show.  On this particular occasion, I remember the show ending and getting my residents ready to leave.  Men and women from the other units were making their way down the aisle, and before I could stop the thought that I should have known was forming from hitting her tongue, I heard, “THAT MAN IS BOWLEGGED!”  Oh,  and just in case you weren’t able to hear her yelling across the theater, she was also pointing at him.  Cringe.

It’s a Hard Rock Life

5 Jun

I found an old notebook from my first couple years as an activity director, where I would jot down one-liners, memorable moments, or reflections from my work experience.  Let’s just say that I was laughing for the majority of the evening after finding this gem, especially as I read one-liners from my most favorite male resident of all time.  His name was Tony, and he was a dirty old New Yorker with a heart of gold.  Imagine his delight when a 23-year old girl took over as the activity coordinator for his nursing care unit.  His wife lived one floor down in assisted living, but this didn’t stop him from offering me a ride on his lap every time we walked down the hall together.  Luckily, his wife had a bit of dementia and found it quite amusing as well.  Just to be clear, as tired as I was some days, I never accepted.

One of my favorite Tony-isms occurred during a game of bingo.  He was always making the ladies blush with his compliments and winks, but he really outdid himself on this particular occasion.  A daughter of a resident was visiting and standing beside her mom to assist her with bingo.  I noticed that Tony kept looking at the daughter’s Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt and then back at me with raised eyebrows.  He then proceeded to put his hands in the air toward the woman, while turning them like doorknobs, and said, “Hard as Rocks, eh? Prove it to me.”

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It reminded me a lot of the “Tune in Tokyo” scene from Girls Just Want to Have Fun.

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