Nursing Home Staff

Dad, me and Lewy Eyes, 2011

Nursing Home Staff

We liked and appreciated most of the staff in the second nursing home.

Many nursing home Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA or “aid”) are from other countries, and English is not their first language.  But the vast majority of the CNAs both from the U.S. and other countries joyfully served the residents.   This story isn’t about an aid because she was from another country, this story is about and aid and me, and how God works.

I didn’t care for Ada

There was one nursing assistant I didn’t care for, I’ll call her Ada. She was clearly unhappy, and at times harsh.   (Before you judge me too harshly, remember that having a loved one in a nursing home is similar to having a child in daycare.  You are not there all the time, you are protective and may feel guilty.  It is your job to defend and guard the care of your loved one.)

One day Dad indicated he had to go to the bathroom before mealtime.  Ada was clearly frustrated as she had a schedule to keep.  Plus, they didn’t really like taking Dad to the bathroom because he was slow and obstinate, and still had a super-strong hand grip.

For this reason, there were supposed to be two aides with him in the restroom.

Ada wheeled him into his bathroom, I waited in the hall.  Ada looked very cross.  She stood outside the door and hollered, “Someone help me – Lee has to go to the bathroom.”  I was horrified.   Another aide came to assist.

I later complained to the head nurse, who had already heard of the incident.  She coached Ada to not yell in the hallway.  I was protective of my Dad and didn’t like Ada.

More Heart Work

Fast-forward four months.  I had not seen Ada around for a while.   She reappeared at work one afternoon and took my sister and I aside.

Ada said, “I went home to Kenya to take care of my dad before he died.   Now I understand what it is like to have a sick parent.”  Ada had tears in her eyes, and so did we.    This was a lesson in understanding and compassion for all of us.

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