Volunteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeering…it all helps with OT indirectly!

But wait! I realized I forgot to mention my 2 hours at the Alzheimer's center, chillin' with my elderly peeps!

Two of my favorites had died 🙁

But a surprising number of them – and staff – were still around, which was great.

Various scenarios:

1) Lady showing me her fake dog that she carries around with her at all times, she can press a button to make it bark and walk. Adorable. But it was clear the way she talked about it that she thought it was real, just “really easy to take care of”….awww. Glad she had the little doggie though.  We were folding cloth aprons/bibs together and I put one of the aprons around her dog's head to make it a babushka and she liked that, lol.

2) Lady, talking to a staff member about when her daughter was coming:
Lady to staff member: “If she isn't here soon I'm going to cut your throat!”
Me, standing next to lady: “Yikes, is my throat safe?”
Lady, looking at me, considering. “Yes, your throat is safe.”

3) Two ladies (one black, one white) sitting on either side of me, hanging out. Black lady asks me if I'm married and I say no. Handsome black man (activities director) walks by and I say, “Ooh, how about him? Can I marry him?” Black lady grins, white lady pats my hand and says politely “He needs to be your own color, dear.”
Luckily the black lady didn't hear her, so I just nodded and let it go because elderly ladies with dementia won't gain anything from a lecture on racism, I don't think!

I think that's it for specific stories. I just hung out with various people, distracting them away from the door or reassuring them their loved one was coming soon, or just sitting and holding hands. Sometimes people do random things and you are like huh? And then if you know their history it all makes sense.

Like one lady is always smoothing down my sleeves, feeling my fabrics, looking distressed at any loose threads…..turns out she was a seamstress. Another lady is always writing down notes (but it's more like her signature), and she used to be a doctor's secretary.

Today I went to the pediatric cancer hospital to do some shadowing for about four hours. Very fun. Seems like they all have huge scars running down the back of their heads. I've been volunteering there over 4 years now, and you really do learn the lingo. Osteosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, gliomas, medulloblastomas, you just get used to it. The kids are so cute. I love it there. I need to read up/practice on the Peabody, the Batelle, the Oregon Project, the VMI, HELP, and a few other assessments!!

Anyway. Tomorrow I'm going to another pediatric hospital to hold babies (I might go on easter too, I like to hold the babies on holidays), and hopefully next week I'll hit the Assisted Living facility to chill with my elderly peeps there too. So within 7 days I will have hit all four of my volunteer haunts for the first time in a long time because of fieldwork, so that makes me happy to get to be with my babies and my old people! Two pediatric hospitals, an AL facility, and an Alzheimer's facility. No middle ground….lol I guess I'm not too big of a fan of teens/adults!!

Apr 11, 2009 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2