“Once a man, twice a child,” is a well-known phrase used by people from many parts of the world. It speaks to the fact that we as humans move through 3 distinct phases of life on our journey from the cradle to the grave. We move from a state of total dependence on others for our care, and then we reach a point where we are independent and able to care for ourselves completely. The third phase is the phase that is often not thought of as often. You see, inevitably, we reach a point where we are again having to depend upon others for our care. Just as the parent/guardian role of caring for a child is lauded and appreciated, the caretakers in this third phase deserve much respect and recognition as well, thus, at this time we chose to focus a certain particular group of those caretakers. This week, as we launch our new series, Caring for our Elderly, we recognize the staff of the Pines Retirement Home as they are truly Forgotten Heroes.
In an ideal world, when people reach this third stage, the adult children would be the ones providing the care for their parents. However, we are not in an ideal world, and oftentimes, the elderly require more attention and care than their children can provide. In these cases, on this island, there is another option. The Pines Retirement Home has been around for decades, and has been providing excellent care for the elderly in our community the entire time.
As one sets foot through the front door, you are greeted by a sense of warmth in the smiles and demeanor of the staff members. You can also see that the residents feel the same way. As you walk through the halls and pop your head into each of the wards and rooms, a calm serenity envelops you like a blanket on a cold night. This all points to the fact that the care provided here is second-to-none.
The staff members consisting of nurses, nursing assistants and other caretakers, go through their daily routine; one that can be tough at times. After all, feeding, bathing, changing another adult can be physically tiring. Then there are the residents that are non-ambulatory (basically unable to walk, or are confined to a bed) and they must be turned periodically to ensure that bedsores do not develop. Incidentally, the occurrence of bedsores is quite common and normal in such cases, but The Pines Manager, Lynda Mitchell, was proud to announce that absolutely none of the residents had bed sores; in itself, a truly admirable feat that points to the quality of care the residents receive at this facility.
“Quality of care is what’s important in this business,” stated Ms. Mitchell. “Our residents get the best care possible.” After touring the facility and speaking with staff and residents, one would definitely agree with those sentiments.
In addition to the tasks mentioned above, the staff members, in different capacities are also responsible for the caretaking of the residents in other ways. There are activities to be organized, and socialization accommodated. A lot of time each day is spent in positive interactions, as the staff really seek to cater to the emotional and social needs of the residents and not just the physical. We are all more than just our physical beings, and the staff ensure that the multiple facets of the residents are fostered and attended to.
When this publication started doing this series of articles, Forbidden Heroes, it was with the intention of highlighting the members of our society whose contributions make a real difference in the lives of others, and who are often not given the recognition that they deserve.
The staff of The Pines are real Heroes for all that they do. The lives of the residents are so much enriched because of the staff’s efforts. Thus, this week, we salute them and shine the spotlight on the Staff of The Pines Retirement Home as they care for our elderly.