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Respecting our elders

This past semester I had the honor of taking a required nursing class about the chronically ill, disabled, and aged adult. I say this was an honor because it opened my eyes to the elderly in a very different way.

Too many times I hear other students say things like; “Ugh, I hate old people”, or “I never want to get old. Old people are gross!” What people don’t realize is that this is going to be us one day. These older adults are someones mother, father, friend, and loved one. I have come to know the appreciation that the older adult can bring to one’s life. The wisdom they have acquired from living a rich and full life is priceless and much can be learned if listening. The stories of their glory days of younger years are amazing to hear because times were so different then. Their generations and generations before theirs worked harder and seemed to appreciate things as they were. Children were not awarded cars for good grades and a person’s word was as good as a written contract.

Working with the elderly and older adult has taught me many things as a student. Among these things is the very important virtue of patience. As we age our bodies slow down and our minds need a bit more time to process information. Sometimes the elderly may feel confused and scared and just having someone by their side for a little bit offers comfort. Perhaps an Alzheimer’s patient needs to have something explained over and over to them. Although sometimes as nurses, time is of the essence and spending more time with our patients is not an option. Peeking our heads in every so often to check in can give the idea that someone cares and hasn’t forgotten about them!

When I find myself getting frustrated with an older patient, I tell myself; they were young once and I too will be older someday. How will someone treat my mother when she is older? How will someone treat me when I am older? Thoughts to ponder upon!

In the class noted in the first paragraph, my professor had shown us a very touching video that I would like to share with the Scrubs readers. Here it is!

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Megan Gilbert

My name is Megan Gilbert. I am a 29-year-old third year nursing student at Purdue University Calumet. I have been married to my wonderful husband Scott for eight years and we have two beautiful boys; Reece and Mason. We currently reside in Northwest Indiana in the town of Schererville, which is about 40 minutes outside of Chicago. I love spending quality time with my family and l also enjoy singing with my local church. In addition, one of my favorite things to do in my down-time is blog and read blogs.

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One Response to Respecting our elders

  1. shirley

    On Respecting our Elders I can identify, my mom is 91 lives alone & refuses any help. She’s very fiesty for her age but she comes from a generatiion where longevity was expected & families were more involved. I’ve always tried to be respectful of any one I took care of & would hope my family would get the same care. unfortunately these days this is all about me philosophy & elder people are considered a nusiance instead of a treasure