wings and things


on April 22, 2015

Attraction is a weird thing because, even though this ‘pull’ is usually to do with the romantic urges of the young, it still has a very powerful influence on the confused emotions of the aged.

Many of the ten women in the dementia house ‘see’ staff and/or other residents as men, possibly because most of us have short hair. So there are often small cries or salutations to ‘Joe’ or ‘Fred’ or ‘Henry’ and we (staff) have to loom close to cover the invisibility of those absent presences. There is no strict rule about how to answer the question of ‘where is Richard?’ but most of us go with the flow and say that he will be back soon.

The doll thing used to give me the horrors because it seemed so totally odd, even patronizing, but I have changed my mind now due to the need many of these beautiful women have – just to hold a baby again.

Attraction: a weird and wonderful experience of opposites, failings, clumsy sentences, beautiful, unusual, extraordinary human beings but mostly a desire to know that interesting person better.

19 responses to “Attraction

  1. susanpoozan says:

    As always, so worth reading.

  2. Terry says:

    I know the doll to us represents so little, but to the patient, it can be an adult pacifier so to speak

  3. Yvonne says:

    Are there any pets allowed in parts of the residence?

  4. I am learning so much about kindness and life in your stories about the lodge. ❤
    Diana xo

  5. So what do you mean by the ‘doll’ thing?

  6. Judy says:

    You’re so insightful! Instead of seeing these women as “stuck” – I love attraction as another way of looking at it. You “pulled” me right in. I once named a story “The Dance of Dementia.” It really is a dance, isn’t it? It so much easier to glide along than to question and spoil the magic. You’ve taken a sad subject and turned it into a beautiful dance.

  7. I remember when my Mother was in the nursing home, the residents would perk up immensely whenever a child visited…. Smiles and just wanting to watch them… I guess remembering their own…. Diane

    • jmgoyder says:

      Same at this place – oh how I wish people would bring their kids in!

      • When you just said that … I had a thought… Is there any newsletter or bulletin board that relatives or other visitors ever see? If so, I thought that would be an excellent article to write… about once in awhile bringing younger kids in. I think some worry that the young person might be afraid or shocked, but I think they don’t give enough credit… I think they maybe should be advised a bit on what to expect but that’s all. Our kids didn’t go all the time to see their ‘Nana’ but sometimes they did, and I believe they learned how to be compassionate to older people because of that… Sorry for the long winded comment… Diane

  8. someday that may be us — I hope we have someone as compassionate as you taking care of us

  9. bulldog says:

    What an interesting share… and what a helpless feeling one must have when they ask for people they remember…
    My Dad would keep telling me he visited with my uncle Bert, which was impossible as he was killed in the second world war… he seemed to remember long conversations he had.. I wondered if they were not conversations they’d had back then…

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