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Turning a bad day around

February 17, 2014
by Kathleen Mears
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A few days ago, my aide was getting me ready for the day. She asked my roommate Janeen (pseudonym) if she would like to take a shower. At the time, Janeen was with a nurse who was giving her a foot treatment. After that, Janeen asked the nurse to help her change her bed linens and the nurse was assisting with that.

When I came out of the bathroom, Janeen was about to get into her clean bed. I said to her, "Please do not get into that clean bed before you take a shower!" She gave me a look and told me that she was too tired to take a shower. But my aide and I worked on Janeen, telling her she would a shower would make her feel much better. My aide told her that after her shower she would lotion her so she would feel relaxed.

It worked! Janeen got off the bed and headed towards the shower room. I asked my aide to give her one of my scrubbing puffs to use. I said, "Every now and then you have to feel like you are at a spa—even if it is only pretend."

A econd aide helped my aide get the shower room ready. Teamwork helped in this effort. Residents respond much better when they are encouraged instead of told.

A little while later Janeen returned from the shower. She said, "I took a shower because of you. I was depressed and did not want to move and clean myself up. But you motivated me to do it. Thank you."

Success with residents is all about the approach. My aide saying she loves to lotion residents after they shower was a plus.


Kathleen Mears

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