Friday, December 18, 2009

Walking for Memories

I work every day, with people who spent their lives as independent people.

These people have families, friends, co-workers and loved-ones but through twists of fate and biological events, dementia has stolen their memories, their sense of time and place, their awareness of loved ones and their own personhood.

Every day, I witness the power of memory to bind people together. I see how reminiscing with residents who have dementias and Alzheimer's disease, can help bond both family members and residents together as well as bond staff to residents.

The act of remembering is an act of love. Remembering for someone who has forgotten is an act of selflessness.

I decided to register a team from the LTC facility I work in, to help raise money for Alzheimer's and related dementias research.

Please visit the link attached to this post, to support my team in our goal to raise $1000.00 by the time we walk together in support of all of our residents and our loved ones who experience dementias.

Many thanks.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who is Caring for Whom?

I am privileged to have found work in my community and within the long term care industry.

The LTC facility I work in is filled with some of the most caring RN's, LPN's and Care Aides one could have the privilege to meet.

The facility is also filled with some of the most wonderful residents, who call the facility their home and with whom I am grateful to share time.

Every single day, from the day I began work in mid-October, I have had a moment of learning or a moment of gratitude. Every single day, the residents feed my soul and show care and concern for me and my own well-being.

I have been showered with kindness and generosity from residents whom I now feel are part of my extended family.

I have been told I am beautiful and lovely, I have been called a sweetheart and a darling, a sweetie and a pretty girl. I have been asked for my hand in marriage and I have been "adopted" by new grandmas.

I am reminded every single day why I chose to study aging and the aging process and my choice is reinforced every day.

I am proud to be in this industry, I am proud of my education, I am grateful that I can use it every day in a home filled with complex dementias and constellations of differing needs.

I am honoured to be surrounded by residents who welcome me into their home and their hearts.

I feel very cared for, by the very people I am there to help care for.

A Rite of Passage

It feels so odd to be done.

Writing and studying took three years of my life in graduate studies, but I've been in post-secondary education since 1997.

I have steadily been learning for 12 years.

Now, I'm done.

So much stress, so much money, so much time and pressure, so many details, so many questions and now...nothing.

Sweet, sweet nothing.

I don't have any deadlines, no approvals, so meetings with committee members...I'm free.

So is my brain.

I'm taking fiction back :)

I have earned my M.A. and now, I can read anything I want for fun, for entertainment, for amusement, for pure joy.

Taking fiction back is a rite of passage.