Friday, August 8, 2008

I Need to Have a Job to Do

Part 6 of "These Are My Needs As A Resident"

I need to feel that I am contributing in some way. It is difficult sometimes to accept help, to need to have someone doing everything for me that I used to be able to do for myself. It can be demeaning, and I may come across as ungrateful. I don’t mean to, it’s just that I feel so useless at times, and I get frustrated. Let me help. Find something for me to do. It doesn’t have to be something big. I can fold towels, or sew on a button, or lick envelopes, or read the newspaper to other residents, or write a letter for someone. Just ask. I never get asked. And, please don’t assume I need help pushing my wheelchair. Let me try to do it. It may be one of the few things I am still able to do.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Need to Feel a Sense of Ownership

Part 5 of "These Are My Needs As A Resident"

I need to feel that Isabella is my home, even though it may be taking me a while. I need to feel that this is my room, that these are my personal belongings, my family photos, my clothes, my TV and radio, my flowers that my family brought me, my cookies and fruit, and my mail. It may not look like much to you, but all of these things are important to me, so please respect them and me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Need to Have My Spiritual Needs Met

Part 4 of "These Are My Needs As A Resident"

I need to be able to attend Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah’s Witness, or other religious services as I so choose. I need to be able to receive communion, celebrate religious holidays, and to observe holy days according to my customs. Or, if I am neither religious nor observant, I need to feel free to make choices that will bring me personal satisfaction and fulfillment.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I Need to Feel a Sense of Belonging

Part 3 of "These Are My Needs As A Resident"

I need to feel that I belong here, that I am known here, and that I am comfortable here. I need to feel that the staff knows who I am, and knows my likes, dislikes and preferences, and tries to meet my needs. I need to know who the people are who are caring for me. I need to find ways to get to know who the other residents are, to see if maybe we have something in common. I need to feel that I have made some new friends here, because so many of my friends are gone now.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I Need to be Treated with Dignity and Respect

Part 2 of "These Are My Needs As A Resident"

I need to be taken seriously. I need to know that what I say matters. I need to be treated courteously, not to be talked down to, as if I am a child. I need privacy sometimes, to be left alone when I feel like it. I’ve lived alone for years, being responsible for myself, and I am not used to your schedules, which have now become my own. I need you to treat me like I am important to you, not a burden, and that I have value-even if I am old and seem helpless at times. I need to see it in your eyes and smile, so I can remember to believe it myself.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Need to Have My Physical Needs Met:

Part 1 of "These Are My Needs As A Resident"

I need to have food that I like to eat. I need to feel that I have choices, and that my preferences will be honored. I need to get a shower or bath regularly. I need to be toileted when necessary, and not have to wait too long. I need you to know that it is humiliating to me when I know I smell, and can’t do anything about it. Or, if I am cognitively impaired or unable to speak, I need you to be able to make decisions that are best for me regarding food consistency, my swallowing difficulty, and to know when it is time to change my pamper. And, please be patient with me if I put up a fight during shower time, because I don’t always know who you are, and it frightens me.