Residents’ Cries

A couple of residents on this unit are unsettlingly vocal. They cry, yell, pound, or moan for hours. Medicine does not consistently quiet them down. Those of us residents who stay in or near our rooms are affected most by the noise. It is nerve-racking to hear it day after day after day. To calm the resident, the staff will take them out of their room. That diversion usually quiets them, but only for a little while. Sometimes family members hover trying to fix things. But some request their resident not be given additional narcotics, which makes the staff’s calming task more difficult.

One-on-one care will sometimes help these very vocal residents. But we can only wonder what is upsetting them. All we hear is them saying they are cut off from everyone. We know that one-on-one care is very difficult to give continuously. Most of us residents can only listen and wonder what could be done to assist a resident who is feeling so disrupted to feel better. I do not think residents should be drugged unnecessarily. But the rest of us do have the right to have a peaceful day.

Most of us residents do not know very much about what goes on with other residents. We do not know their diagnoses nor do we have the right to ask. All we can do is report the unceasing noise to the staff and hope that they will discover why a particular resident is so disruptive. Occasional outbursts as well as continuous yelling are upsetting not only to fellow residents but to visitors as well. However, staff that work on and off the hall may not notice the residents’ cries.

On some days residents’ cries are more noticeable. There is no white noise or music in the hallway to blot out human sounds. Each day we all deal with sounds we would rather not hear. But as fellow residents all we can do to avoid the noise is to close our doors or change locations to get a respite.

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