I’m not a nurse, doctor, or someone in a good medical position. But I am in an important position. I’m a CNA. Yeah yeah ya. I’ve heard it all before. Certified A** wipers etc. But honestly, that’s the smallest part of my job. I feel like the CNA should be changed to “I’m There”.
I’m there when your loved one comes in. I help them get settled in the transitioning phase. Honestly, anyone entering a facility whether they have perfect health or dementia they are going to have to adjust. Their life has completely changed.
Lots of elderly (even those not elderly) lose the ability to feed themselves due to health conditions and physical disabilities. But they have to eat, and I’m here to feed them. I’ve always been the one to take the time with my residents to encourage them to eat. To give them bites at their own pace (not mine!). To wipe their faces if food gets on them. Help them to take a drink. It’s important for people to get proper nutrition to keep their bodies from breaking down.
Yes, we get lucky and have some residents who can take themselves to the bathroom. Or are what we call a stand-by assist. Which is where you are standing with them walking to the bathroom because they can be a little unstable. But we do have the honor of caring for people in need of complete help. And frankly, that’s just part of the job. And honestly not the worst. I remember when I first became a CNA thinking how could I ever get used to the smell of BM. Now it’s like I can change someone, go wash my hands, and “Hey y’all I’m going to lunch”.
Residents in long-term care facilities are required to be given the chance to shower at least twice a week. I can already hear a million questions coming from that one sentence. Okay, so why twice a week? Because the elderly’s skin is thinner,and their level of activity is less and honestly washing more than that (like we do every day) could cause more harm than good. Then you have my favorites where it’s a struggle to get them in and clean. But after the ordeal is over they are thankful and ready for bed.
Your loved ones getting tired now, I’m there to help your loved one get ready for bed at night. I’ve had quite a few of these fun residents that either have a whole long routine they do before bed. There are also the ones that are more of a challenge to get in bed. Getting sleep is important for all the residents. Sometimes you get one or two going and they rile up everyone else around them. Can make for a long night for the residents and an even longer day the next day.
“I don’t feel good”
When your loved ones are sick I am there. “Can you help me put lotion on my feet?” an elderly woman asked, “Of course I can!”. When they want help picking out their clothes, guess what I’m there! Need your trash emptied? It’s my honor. When they are having trouble sleeping at night and just want some company, don’t worry I’ll be there.
Time To Get Everyone Up
Before you know it we made it through the night. It’s time to get up. Grandma Louise’s(names are made up) call light turns on. I hurry up to take Grandma Louise to the bathroom, and I help her put on her favorite outfit. “Did you know my daughters are coming today?” she asks me and I smile. It’s all she’s been talking about for the last week.
Now it’s time for Grandpa Pete (again names are made up) to get up. He is going to attend a catholic church service. I think as I grab the hoyer lift and head to his room. I knock on his door “Good Morning Grandpa Pete” I say upon entering his room. Momma as she has everyone calls her, wants help with her makeup. She starts her day off with the ladies for breakfast.
I’m not there on some of the major holidays. I kiss my family goodbye and tell them I love them and head to work. Which is really like a second home, and a second family. I spend my holidays with your family members.
So the next time you see a CNA remember there is much more that they do than wipe A**es!