Thursday, September 22, 2011

soap box

Disclaimer: this is my blog, and only my opinions are being expressed
Other Disclaimer: nobody's perfect

Okay, so here's the thing. I've been at a social work conference this week, and it's been wonderful. I'm learning so much, and it's right up my alley with my background in psychology and my passion for the elderly.

To start this soap box thingamajig (wow that wasn't even underlined as a misspelling...), there's a quote by someone about age does not determine the level of disappointment experienced when ice cream falls from the cone. I've quoted it on a blog post before, but it's so awesome. It's on my fridge, but I don't remember it verbatim. Oh wait... I'm on the internet! Hold on a minute.

Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone.

Jim Fiebig

There we go. The internet is so smart. 

Moving along, this conference has been teaching the person-centered approach to the long-term care side of things, as it involves social workers. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT THE ENTIRE TIME THAT I'VE BEEN WORKING IN LONG-TERM CARE. It's about time that people caught on!!!!! OLD PEOPLE ARE STILL PEOPLE!!!!!!!!! Gaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh

Can you tell I feel strongly about this subject?! I won't get into detail (right now) about the specific things that I've been thinking about, but here are a few bullet points:

- If you aren't passionate about your job, leave it. Someone else will come along that will be passionate.
- If you have to have a job, and this is all that you can do, act like you need the dang job!
- If you don't even like the population you're working with... surely there's something else out there.
- If you abuse an elder in ANY way, I will punch you. I won't regret it, either.

I've been recently debating what my future educational endeavors will involve. I've been thinking about recreational therapy and social work, in particular. I haven't gotten any training on recreational therapy, but I have had experience/training with social work, and I MAY have just decided on social work, now that the conference is almost over. 

I care too much about people to not have some say in their care. I need to be heard, but I need the proper training in order to become an "expert" (ha) in the field. I can do a lot of good; I know that! Social work may be the medium for which I can accomplish that good. Hmmm. 

Okay, well if you aren't super stoked about long-term care and what that involves, this was probably super boring, but I had to get this out before I exploded. 

Argh. I'm filtering. I have so much more to say, but... I won't. Just love on the oldies! Please! Oh, and be ethical about it. 

Now I'm rambling and being vague. 

Point of the soap box: I love learning about things I care about! I love old people! I will shun you if you're a jerk!

Hehe ;)


Lillian said...

I love your passion for the elderly! You will make a great social advocate for them!

I've said it before, because of people like you I was able to sleep at night, knowing that for the most part my mother was in good hands when we had to place her in a nursing home. We visited sooooo many of them and in some we were immediately turned off. One in particular looked like a bad B movie about an asylum. It stank, the clearly delusional elderly were wandering the hall ways, the medicine cart was in the hallway, unlocked....I could go on. We (Lydia and I) literally walked down one hallway and said to the person helping us, "We need to go." I reported it to the Office on Aging. I think it's closed now.

When we found the place we took my mother to, I was put to ease when I met the social worker and nurses. It wasn't perfect and I made sure I went to see my mom everyday, two or three times and different times. But for the most part I was at peace because someone like you cared!

I have so much respect for you and for your love for the elderly. Thank you for that love!

la petite lydia said...

Thank. You. Seriously, thank you for posting this.

Gwiddle said...

God bless the people like you, seriously. My grandmother spent the last few years of her life in a long term care facility. Unable to feed, clothe, or use the bathroom by herself. She could not even speak.. Sometimes random words would come out, but nothing concrete. One day while my grandfather was visiting her he noticed that when a male worker came in my grandmothers demeneur (ps I cant for the life of me think how to spell the word at the moment) changed to that of fear. He had noticed in past weeks strange bruising etc. but had just chalked it up to her having to be lifted all the time. I know that, that man was abusing my grandmother and that thought makes me sick. How in the hell could someone do that???? I personally could never work with the elderly, sickness and death don't sit well at all with me. I am not emotionally strong enough to work with people destined to die in just a short while. I get too attached, I love people (and animals) too easily.. Not to say it's a bad thing, just an annoying thing. I really really look up to you I wish that someone like you would have worked with my grandmother, painted her nails, or dressed up crazy for her. I hope you have a great week dear!

Janette said...

Oh Liz! You have a beautiful heart and a respect for life and people that's truly commendable! God given, I tell ya! It breaks my heart that ANYONE would hurt an elderly person.. In the Old Testament, I believe the penalty for striking an elderly person was death... And also you were supposed to rise before them to show respect... And rightly so... As I get older, however, I'm realizing that the elderly are people even more so than anyone else... (That probably makes no sense..) Some are sweet...some are but they deserve respect...And people with your heart to care for them..
God bless you Lizzy!

Janette, the Jongleur

Amylou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amylou said...

Liz!!!! You are so wonderful!
I don't particularly have a passion for the elderly, but I have a passion for my grandmother and it hurts my heart to hear that she is being mistreated by someone at her assisted living facility. (AND yes I do want to punch their face in!)
I think it is so important that you have a passion for being in the field if you are going to work there. I love when I meet an employ there who obviously has a heart for the residents there. Makes my day to see how amazing they are at their job and that my grandmother doesn't see them as another employee but as one of her friends! So amazing!!!
Thanks for sharing this and I hope that passion stays with you forever! You are so awesome!!!

Fin Ryder said...

I have always had a soft spot for the elderlies. My mom worked as an activity coordinator at an old folks home and I loved volunteering there.

Your Passion automatically qualifies you for a position high up in the say so department :) So glad you are finding some things that resonate in this conference :)