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A pillow’s antics cause a panic

December 16, 2013
by Kathleen Mears
| Reprints

After breakfast the other morning, it took the aides longer to finish their duties and take the residents who smoke outdoors. I needed to go to the bathroom and went to my room to wait patiently. To fill the time, I chatted with my nurse for a while and then I rolled around the hallways trying to find a diversion.

As I passed through the hallway, I noticed that the aides’ faces looked strained. I learned the hospitality aide called off. Hospitality aides pass ice, make beds and do other "non-hands-on" duties for the residents. When hospitality is not here things can run slower.

When the aides put me in the shower chair and rolled me over the commode, they hurriedly folded my pillow and stuffed it behind me as usual. They were hardly out the door when the pillow popped up from behind my back, opened and landed against the back of my head.

It startled me and it moved me a bit toward the wall. My arm fell toward me and it was a strain to reach the call light and turn it on.

I waited a while quietly. But for some reason, the pillow pushing hard on the back of my head unsettled me. My pillow has flipped out from behind me before but it always fallen to the floor.

I was alone and feeling stressed so I called to the female residents next door but got no response.

Several minutes later my aide walked in. She said, "Why are you yelling?" I said, "The pillow is pushing on my head!" While she moved the pillow, I told her it flipped and wedged against my head and I panicked.

I was rather upset and tearful. I knew the other aides wondered why I panicked. I do not understand it myself and it was scary.

Despite being shaken by the incident, my aide completed my care. Then she set me up at the computer and left. I wondered if would ever understand my reaction to the pushy pillow.


Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...