"Can someone help me? Please, can someone help me find my glasses, I can't see the clock."
The ongoing call of the elderly, the broken, and the patients who can't help themselves.
The halls are filled with machines and nurses walking back and forth, checking on every patient, every need, and every call button. Their shoes, worn out with miles of heartache and compassion for those they care for. The elderly who are locked in a nursing home, because their families cannot care for their needs at home or those who need rehab for various reasons, all needing these heath care workers to assist their every need. The doctors who patiently listen to the same complaints day in and out, trying their best to 'entertain' the patient and make sure they know, they are listening. After all, the doctors can only do their jobs, they can't fix all the problems, personal and such that the patients are speaking of. The walls, decorated with paintings from local establishments, the lighting bright and yet, somewhat dull when it gets later in the day. The overall atmosphere is busy, filled with the cries of the patients and the shoes, of the nurses, assistants, doctors, janitors, techs and families of the patients. Everyone walking, rushing, trying to take care of everyone and everything. The clock, ticking and ticking towards another long day.
What then do we do, when the clock is ticking and we watch these healthcare workers do their best, yet leaving feeling they haven't fully been able to carry the load? How do we emphasize to them that their compassion for our loved one, their caring hearts and most of all, their dedication and time to taking care of our loved ones is real and apparent? As the clock ticks away, they are feeding, changing, giving medicine, listening to stories, taking temps, etc as their 8 hour shift comes and goes. I've watched them feel like they 'left something undone' when they are exhausted and doing their best to not cry....the nurses, not the patients running back in to do 'one last thing' before they leave to go home to their own family and do it all again.
I have been inside a rehab center for a few days now and have witnessed so much compassion, dedication. Hospitals, Rehabs and Nursing homes are filled with helpless individuals who count on anyone who walks into the room to help them. The patient doesn't understand always that nurses are human, doctors are human and overall, everyone does care and they are doing their best. Patients are not always able to express themselves and sometimes, they think that things are different that what they really are when they have Alzheimer's or Dementia. It's heartbreaking to watch them suffer and imagine, how it must feel to those nurses who do this day in and day out. Their hearts must be the size of the sun and God surely, surely has called them to be his healing nature. God bless them, each and every healthcare worker.
I met an older veteran who has no family and no one to help him. He is alone and trying to get stronger so he can leave. Leaving for him also means, not having a home because of a divorce. He is in his early 70's. Leaving for him means no shelter and worse, no one to help care for him once he is released. Of course, we stepped in and we are taking care of him too, making sure we do what we can to remind him of what God does, and how he works while he is in this season of his life. The social worker will attempt to help him, but it's a sad day to see his face, filled with worry and frustration yet trying, to do the work required to rehab and get stronger. A simple goodie bag, and minor items that no one has bothered to bring him, due to family problems brought a big smile to his face. Shaving cream and a couple razors so he can shave, a coke from the local store, simply things to us yet items to him that were so desperately needed and no way of getting them. Don't even get me started on all the other patients who are there, I can't even....
Healthcare workers in rehabs and nursing homes get a bad rap and a bad reputation because of perception. Now, I fully understand that some of these places don't take care of their patients and leave them with bed sores, bad experiences and overall lack of care. Likely, understaffed and underpaid. I can't even imagine and therefore, I won't judge. I will say however, giving these workers the benefit of the doubt is imperative. They have lives, they have problems and they still get up everyday to take care of your loved ones. Perhaps a simple thank you, breakfast goodies or even a smile would make their day and remind them of why they do what they do. A random delivery to any hospital, nursing home or rehab center would make a difference to those workers, and help give them the strength to go on and take care of our loved ones.
I would surely like to point out the overall industry is burdened, overworked and likely underpaid. Seeing things first hand while our family member recovers has been eye opening, and heart warming. These humans, caregivers, nurses, assistants, doctors, janitors, office workers etc. They are all doing what they are called to do. Let's remember this and lift them up, in prayer and in words and actions. It only takes a minute to thank one of them if you happen to see them in the store, with their scrubs on and their hair a mess. They likely ask themselves why they do what they do, same as teachers of course. It's not for the money or the fame. It's because they care for the overall good of the people they are taking care of, the overall good of the person, and we will forever be indebted to everyone of them who have taken this oath to take care of our loved ones.
Thank a healthcare worker today. Send breakfast, perhaps even drop off some coffee and tea. Maybe a bag of bagels, muffins etc? If we all pitch in, we can make a difference in the lives of others in some way. I pray that their hearts are moved and that they can feel the love. I pray that your hearts are moved also, and that you reach out today and thank someone for their dedication to this industry.