Tom was one of the first residents I interacted with when I was a "rookie" activity director. Already at our facility for two years, he was stiff from rheumatoid arthritis, had multiple heart issues, dry scalp, a catheter and red circles under his eyes. On several occasions, he threatened me that he was going to throw himself off his bed.
The general public could never understand the emotional bonding that we have with our residents. Granted, not every resident pulls at our heartstrings. I enjoy watching how one particular resident will connect with a specific employee. For example, I might find a resident "challenging" while my co-worker will find her endearing.
Fellow co-workers in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living and elderly care settings, take note: We have lives, too!
It must be my optimistic nature that makes me think, "Why use a pair of boxing gloves when a feather will do?" Those of you in social services know what I mean when I say, "Why go for the jugular?" You are just trying to help (schedule/resolve/plan/assess), right?
Have you been fortunate enough to meet a hero? I adopted Uncle Bill because he was the uncle of my two of my activity assistants. He simply looked like a cuddly "Uncle Bill" to me. Parkinson's disease had taken away his independence but not his sense of humor.