All in a Days Work!

January 6, 2012

Today, January 5, 2012 started at 3:45 am with a phone call about one of our residents who needed her caregiver to assist her.  After checking on her and letting her caregiver in the building back to bed for another hour and a half or so and the phone rings again around 6:00 am.  Another lovely lady had fallen in her bathroom and due to knee replacement could not get up on her own.  She scooted herself to her phone and decided that since it was only 5 am she was going to wait to call for assistance.  (Yes she sat on the floor for an hour because she didn’t want to disturb anyone’s sleep).  Husband calls EMS for a lift assist and I go up to stay with her till they get there.  She is fine except for a few bruises and being a little stiff from sitting on the floor for an hour, needless to say I explained to her that the reason we live on site is so we can assist or be with them when they are in need.  Of course her response was I didn’t want to bother you that early in the morning. Now the day has officially started and breakfast service is going well and everyone is in good spirits.  Oops spoke to soon, someone gets angry because they didn’t get a breakfast tray (Oh he is the grandson of a resident who lives with his grandfather.  He as all young men do overslept and didn’t have time to come down for breakfast so when the order was not ready he storms out.  Well after discovering the issue and addressing it with the staff the plan is to discuss it with the younger resident later in the day.  Well on with the day,  after breakfast we try to get going on the daily task at hand but seem to have a steady stream of residents, staff and professional resources strolling in to discuss a number of topics.  Well it is now almost 11:00 am and I still have not gotten done the things that I had on my “to do” list for the morning.  Let’s see how many we can take care of before lunch service at 12:30. Well I manage to get a couple of things done before I hear from the Kitchen staff that someone has not come in for there shift and the Executive Chef is out.  Staff pulls together and get done what needs to be accomplished for the meal service.  About fifteen minutes before service we are notified by a resident that they think another resident is intoxicated and needs assistance getting back to his apartment.  Well while the hubby does this I go about taking care of the dining room and the task at hand there to  make sure our residents are taken care of.  Oh we have guests that have come in  o see the community and have lunch, let get them seated and up to service, now I can sit down for a few minutes to start my meal.  Oops, the phone is ringing,  take care of the call and sit down,  there goes the phone again……. this goes on for about another 10 minutes and it is now time for round two of coffee and the hubby is finally free to assist with the meal service.  We finally get to sit down at 1:20 and eat our meal.  Well half way through the day and back in the office to get back to the task that need our attention.  The husband takes care of our guests after lunch and does 2 tours, as he come in another professional resource walks in and says I would like information on your community for my mother.  The hubby talks with him and tours while I am working with  one of our staff on our calendar for the following month.  Well it is now 3:15 and we have to leave for a personal appointment and our co managers come in to cover the office and to help with the daily task that still have not been accomplished.  After being gone for about an hour we return and the young man and his grandfather from the morning issue are standing at the office door wanting to discuss the morning adventures in temper.  We finally resolve the issue with the understanding that when there is a service issue the resident needs to notify management that is working that day so it can be resolved in a timely and efficient manner that will accommodate all involved.  It is now 5:00 pm and our emergency call system goes off, I run up the stairs to the apartment to  assist  while  one of the other managers calls EMS after speaking with the resident over the intercom system.  On my way up I am told that our evening cook is in the bathroom sick and throwing up……… oops she can’t be serving food this evening and service is in a half hour.  After dealing with the resident and getting EMS on their way I go to see about our sick employee and send her home for the day (or possibly two) depending on how she is feeling.  Someone has to step in and handle the kitchen duty (of course my husband who by the way is a Chef as well takes the task at hand in the kitchen to see that service goes well).  That leaves me to handle the dining room.  Evening service goes well and as I sit down to eat…. Oh their goes the phone ringing again!  Take care of the call and we finally get to sit down and eat our supper.  After supper it is back to the office to finish the day’s task at hand.  Well all in all it was a good day even with all the excitement staring so early this morning.  Well time to close the office at 8:00 pm but still trying to get just a few more things done…. finally leave the office at 9:30.  All in a days work!

This was not a typical day, but one that was definitely filled with a little excitement, but you know still a good day!

The Change Effect

January 4, 2012

I find myself sitting here trying to decide the title of this post and felt it necessary to just start writing to see where it goes.  I have often thought of writing about where life has taken me and never taken the time to do so.  As we begin a new year I have decided it is time to take note of the accomplishments, hurdles and curve balls that life brings our way.  I am going to start with the adventure my husband and I embarked on almost a year ago and how it has changed my outlook on society.

Last January we left our life in Corporate America to pursue a new career that would be our mission field in life.  Little did we know that that would be an understatement!  As we grow older we all start looking at what we think our accomplishments in life have been and use that as a measure of our success in life.  In most cases this is titles we hold, the monetary rewards that we receive for working, and the recognition we receive on a job well done. However we have discovered in this last year that none of these things truly measure the success in our lives, but it is the little things that we do out of compassion, caring, and love that are the true measures.   It is the simple thank you you receive from someone and you don’t know what you have done to be thanked for.  It’s holding the hand of  a dear lady who does not want medical attention when she is in sever pain from a heart attach and knowing that you made the difference in her choosing life or choosing death.  It’s hearing that same lady tell you afterwards that she is ready to come home where she is loved and hearing the joy in her voice.  It’s seeing  a man who when you first met them could not stand on his own and now walks with no aides and exercises, and is thriving because he knows someone cares.  It seeing the smile on a face of a person for the first time, that  when you met them months earlier never smiled, or said a nice thing to anyone because they felt abandoned by their family. It’s seeing the changes in a community that was once silent, cold and unwelcoming  to one that is vibrant and full of life again.   I knew that serving others would bring about change in our lives, however I am overwhelmed at times on how blessed we feel to be serving those who have served others for so many years. We have had the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and faith and are blessed daily by each of them.  It is not always easy but when you hear the simple thank you’s  or get a good morning your day is instantly transformed.  I am sure there are those who are wondering what we do.  We manage a senior independent living community, we live and work within this community and find that we now have a very large extended family that bring joy to our life daily.

The mission field we embarked on a year ago has changed us for the good, it has been challenging and rewarding in ways that you cannot express in words.

With all of this said, I stated early on that this has changed our view on society.  We have to be careful how we treat our elders in life, it is easy for them to feel put away, abandoned and unloved by their own families, when in most cases their families only want what they think is best for them, and will keep them safe and healthy.  We have to remember that we need to make our parents, and grandparents feel they are wanted and loved no matter where they live.  We have to listen to their needs.  As my husband says if we satisfy their needs their wants go away.  So take this for what it is worth, remember to tell your family you love them, make them feel apart of any decisions in life even if they are no longer capable of making those decision.  You will be blessed with the outcome.