Introduction

By Dr. Mary Ann Massey

Welcome, healthcare professionals. Here, we are devoted to you and your needs for respite, self-care, and renewal when the work you do takes its toll. We realize that you get paid for what you do, that this is your job or profession, and that you go home at night, leaving your patients to the care of others. Still, the amount of love that you give out during the day can take its toll. The loss of life that you experience regularly after tending to good people who are now in the presence of God, needs an outlet. Many of you put your hearts and souls into your work and are weary. Come, let”s share the journey, focus on you for a while, and help you shed some weariness.

A long time ago, I chauffeured a friend to her chemo session. Years later, I did the same for my mother. In both settings, the nurses were different from others I”d met. They each had a special love for their patients and talent for making them feel special. It showed in their eyes, their touches, and their voices. I felt the warmth in both settings. What a gift these people were to those who were sick, perhaps scared, some not far from death.How do they remain so cheery gambling problems and warm, I wondered?

A few years ago, I met other caregivers in nursing homes and assisted living centers where my dad spent time before his death. Some took their jobs seriously. Their work as aides was a vocation to them, no matter how low their salaries. Others did the minimum required. Yet, both groups spent eight hours a day in the company of the elderly, who all aged differently. Some were kind and easy with patients. Others required little – at least they were not inclined to ask or make a fuss. Still others would dominate their environment by clicking their call buttons often and making demands. The caregivers would sigh and do what they could. Nothing they did was right enough for their patient. The job could be frustrating, tiring, sometimes heart wrenching.They had families to go home to and frustrations to contend with there as well.

We want to provide you a forum for sharing your experiences with each other. How do you get through a day? How do you manage cranky or consuming patients? How do you leave the weariness at the nursing home or Center – or do you? What does burnout look on you, and how do you overcome it? These and other topics will emerge here as you share your stories. You may do so anonymously if you choose. When I profile one of the stories in my monthly video, I”ll be sure to place you in somewhere, USA”, in a different setting far from your actual home. I”ll honor your privacy or seek your permission first.

We are growing into the aging of America. The numbers of elderly will grow exponentially in the next 20 years. Do share with us an anecdote from your life, why you do what you do and what solace, support, or understanding you may need along the way – as you do your job. If you need support, we are confident that others do, too.

Please note that we have a new poll question set up each month for your comments. We collate these responses and share them in a monthly video for the benefit of many. The success of this venture depends on how much you decide to share.

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Dr. Mary Ann Massey

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