We don’t get much down time during the shift on the dementia unit I work at as a per diem RN. The LNAs I work with play a critical role in the care and comfort of our residents and are relentlessly called upon to reposition folks in bed, get them in bed, or out of bed, help them to the toilet, shower them, feed them, clean up after incontinence, answer call bells and alarms which are going off all the time, literally all the time! It is backbreaking work.
The other night the two LNAs who were working with me, Mike and Victoria finally had a chance to sit down and do their paperwork when one of the residents, (we’ll call her Clara) came wandering out. I watched out out of the corner of my eye while Mike made her a cup of tea and got her a cookie and Victoria went to get her dentures. The three of them sat at the table for about 15 minutes. The TV was on and a kitten was on the screen. Clara has a stuffed kitten who sleeps with her. I couldn’t hear everything, but could see she was engaged in talking with them. Mike asked if she liked dogs too. She talked a bit about loving dogs and enjoyed her tea and cookies. Mike was careful to make sure the water wasn’t too hot or cup too full.
That Clara, who doesn’t know where she is, or the names of the LNAs, or have the ability to make a cup of tea, or know that her shoes were on the wrong feet or that her housecoat was on inside out, was sitting with friends and enjoying a little television, conversation, and bite to eat. She looked happy! THAT was the miracle moment!