Testimony: the daily life of a student in a care home

Photo de l'article : deux grands mères se font un câlin

« Elders believe everything, adults doubt everything, and youngsters know everything. » Writer Oscar Wilde on the confusion of generations. Age, this word that knows everything and wipes it away. I think we are all scared of aging. I wonder if one day we come to think that we have had our day… What always surprised me when meeting elders that have already lived through so much, it is that recklessness that is often found in children.

I am living real human adventure

This year I decided to work in a hospital for the summer break. I was assigned in a care home as a hotel agent. I was in charge of breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as the cleaning. Right away we get to communicate with every resident. In my job there is a lot of things to remember: everyone’s food restrictions, beverage preferences, people with diabetes… But all this crucial information was easier to integrate than I thought, because everyone had their own way of interacting with me which made it simpler.

The most striking in a care home are the people trying to make this place their own. Every room had its own atmosphere. It was like every resident brought a piece of themselves here. The usual blank white rooms were full of pictures, books, cookie boxes and stuffed animals.

By choosing to work in this field I felt really useful, necessary, it affected my values. I am going to start my second month in a care home, and this job already made me gain so much on a human

level. I now have a lot of respect for these men and women that choose this path, not because they have to but because they want to. They are the true heroes, exchanging the action movie suit for a white blouse. They do not seem to have superpowers. They cannot make webs or lift cars. But they do have one strong power: in this individualist world, they decided to use their time to improve the time of others.

I learnt that it is important to show our elders they are not alone

I admit that it is not a job I would do my whole life. As a law major my future will not be in a care home. But I am indeed very proud to have discovered this world full of altruism and kindness

I learnt that it is important to show our elders they are not alone, that we understand them and listen to them. Thank to hospital services, nurses and doctors, I could see that age does not rhyme with oblivion. I could see the compassion in the care of residents.

I have so many anecdotes; I laughed so much with our grand-fathers and grand-mothers… Because what I have not been told is that I am not only the hotel agent, but also « the little girl », « the hairdresser », « the good friend ». I will end this article with what one of my patients always say in the evening: « Kisses Madame. »

Laurine Chanel

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