Today one of my patients was looking gorgeous & bright so I told her.
She smiled & replied with a shy but charming “I am“.
She has severe dementia. Usually absent from the world as we see it; wandering around, lost in her thoughts.
And tomorrow she will go to live with her sister at home after being at a nursery home for several years. Her dementia es quite deep and she’s also quite young for it.
Today, as she was glowing, I could tell that she knew. She knew that tomorrow a new life begins for her, with her beloved ones. No matter what her mind suffers at times and no matter her age, today she was present and happy.
Ah, life’s mysteries can be really amazing…
I work currently with elderly people at a nursery home in Barcelona.
The lessons I’ve gained through them and with them has no measurable value in the world. I’ve grown every single day thanks to them, to my duty, to the commitment and the beauty of a job like this.
It makes you think and open up your mind to possibilities. To think about getting old and actually see what it really means. To accept that it will happen to us all…if we are lucky enough to grow old. Yes, I believe that growing old is a lucky opportunity. It means that we didn’t die young – say an accident or a disease.
One way or another, growing old means that we have the amazing opportunity of learning more, observing the world, experience things, big or small.
Growing old, to me, means that we have the chance to become a better version of ourselves every single day. Cliché or not, it’s a simple truth.
Like my patient today. Her mind is usually in places we ignore. What she sees, listens and thinks is far from our understanding. It’s difficult to be with them whether as health staff or as family.
Acceptance is what it takes. And acceptance can be very hard.
But I’m convinced and have learned that acceptance can come through conversation, communication, words and gestures.
After all, what we all want deep down and in the very end is just one thing:
Whatever kind of love we get to experience, it will always be good and nurturing. No matter our age, condition, beliefs and beyond.