Thursday, November 11, 2010

Connect soulfully with nursing home residents

A woman who blogs about her mother’s dementia and life in an institution posts The butterfly that lands on your shoulder at the beginning of November. She mentions Thomas Moore’s recent book, Care of the Soul in Medicine and his descriptions of "service":
"Moore describes what he terms the psychological side to service; when you truly serve people, instead of merely doing a job for them, you connect with them. You meet them at a common level or interest.

It is easy to observe which employees and which visitors make the effort to connect with patients of the ward."
The anonymous writer describes interactions with a resident she nicknames Feisty Lady: "In the 60 hours I have spent in the dining room near this woman so far, I have seen one person connect with her in a personal way for 5 minutes, twice. The man who sometimes gives the showers and baths, is taken by Feisty Lady as well. I have seen him come and pull up a stool beside her, and affectionately ask her how she is doing. She sparkles softly." Our nursing homes are catchment ponds for soul.