Something WAS bothering him
Frank* is one of the few older residents and frequently yells for help. Sometimes he needs it and sometimes he does not. I assume he hollers because of dementia, but it may be because he has lived in facilities for so long. As a resident, I know sometimes waiting seems like forever and I really believe some residents yell before they even need help, because they know they will need it soon.
Frank was getting really loud in the dining room. Aides were constantly telling him that he was okay and that he did not need to yell for help. But he continued to do it.
One morning, while I was getting ready for breakfast Frank was yelling as usual for help. Then, all of a sudden Frank got quiet and he did not make another sound during breakfast.
When I turned to leave the dining room, I noticed Frank had been moved one table away from his usual spot at the table right beside the window. Usually the vertical blinds are in the wrong position in the morning. Since some of the slats are broken, they need to be moved about strategically to keep the sun from pouring through the window.
I noticed the sun was glaring on the top of Frank's table. Moving him a few feet to the left made a big difference. He could now see without having the sun in his eyes.
A few days later I could not exit through the back dining room because a resident in a wheelchair was blocking the doorway. So, I decided to detour and go past Frank's table to leave the dining room. As I turned by Frank's table to go up the aisle, the bright sunlight blinded me. I moved to my left but I still ran my power chair right into a table. An aide helped me straighten up my chair, and I realized how uncomfortable Frank had been sitting by the window with the sun in his face while he was trying to eat breakfast.
Sometimes it is just a little thing that is upsetting a resident. They do not need medicine, food or a talking to. They just need a little adjustment in their environment which will allow them to be more comfortable.
Kathleen Mears is a long-time blogger who has been a nursing home resident for 21 years. She is an incomplete quadriplegic and uses a power wheelchair to get around. Her computer is her “window on the world.” This blog shares her thoughts and view of life as a nursing home resident as well as ideas of how it might be improved in the future.