When I was told that I would be doing my work experience at Belleview nursing home, working with old, sick people, I found it a very daunting prospect. After my first day there, that had all changed. I made my way to work on Monday 6th of June by the service bus at 8.30 am to be at my workplace by 9.00 am. The thought of meeting new people and trying to act mature in an environment I was not sure of scared me. I got to Belleview nursing home and suddenly felt all my worries diminish within ten minutes of meeting my newfound work colleagues.
The matron, Myra Symes, welcomed me with a smile and made me feel part of the team immediately. I was informed of my duties and what was expected of me. I was introduced to the rest of the team and hoped to be an asset to them and not a hindrance. At the start of the day, the patients were given breakfast; each of them was helped to the toilet and made comfortable for the rest of the day. At all times, the patients were with a qualified member of staff to help them. The patients had the opportunity to spend time in their bed or the day room, depending on how mobile they were.
Prices start at $12
Prices start at $11
Prices start at $14
Prices start at $12
As I met the patients and the day progressed, I learned of some of their illnesses and there disabilities, including their personalities. Senile dementia was something I had never heard of. Mrs. Jeffrey, a care worker, informed me that some people, as they get older, deteriorate the brain, which causes them to be unpredictable and act irrationally. I found some dementia patients quite funny, but I wasn’t laughing at them; I was laughing with them. But, of course, some of the dementia patients were quite frightening as their illness can cause them to be quite aggressive, which in turn means you have to be aware at all times that they can be violent and could hurt you.
One particular patient, Lizzie, who was 97 and looked very sad and confused due to her dementia, thought she was still at home during the war and thought she was a sixteen-year-old girl. I thought of how she must have felt, having the mind of a sixteen-year-old but the body of a ninety-seven-year-old. She made me feel sad for her but feeling sorry for the patients doesn’t help in the caring profession. Therefore I had to focus on the job I was there to do. As my week progressed at the nursing home, so did my capabilities I grew more confident in the tasks I was being asked to perform. I was beginning to feel part of the team.
Getting to know my workmates on a daily basis made me feel that any problems I would be facing with the patients would be quickly diminished by simply asking for help on anything I wasn’t sure of. I began helping with the bathing, dressing, feeding and aiding them with their toilet needs. Although the patients were old not all of them were ill, therefore they needed exercise and showing them exercise videos where we all joined in. This made it a fun time for them, thus making their day much more bearable. My days here were passing quickly in the workplace as the patients kept me busy.
They all had different and special needs. Some just wanted someone to talk to and some needed constant care as they were bedridden and couldn’t be left alone for very long, due to their medication needs and respiratory problems. In my week at Belleview Nursing Home, I have learned that old people are not just those invisible people that you don’t see in the streets or on public transport because I never paid attention to them. I always saw them as moaning lecturing people who were a nuisance.
It just took a week for me to get to know these people and realize that they were once teenagers like me and probably never expected to be in a nursing home because, like me, thought they would always be healthy in body and mind. We never know what life is going to deal with us and we should always be aware that what we do in our lives today and tomorrow will have its consequences in later life. The people I came to know in the nursing home should be looked after to the best of everyone’s ability, as they were once a great contribution to society. Being made comfortable in their twilight years should reward them.