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You're going to be okay

by Tina Y. Gerber - McCurley

We need to remember, everything is temporary in this life! The battle is our attitude and how we react.

You remember the saying, "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it!" Much of the ability to handle things lies in your reaction, whether you are the one implementing events or the one receiving it's effects.

As a Personal Worker in Long Term Care and Home Support, I encountered a diverse array of people, each with unique stories, varied capacities to respond well, and different needs and experiences; this includes workers as well as residents and their families.

My role was providing compassionate care, fostering connections, and ensuring the residents'/patients' well-being. I loved all my people, even the ones who constantly caused chaos and trouble.

We don’t know how the next few moments, weeks or months of our life will unfold but the reality is, the world has always been cyclical.

However, you who can make a significant difference in what you go through, by how and what you choose to respond to. It's important to recognize, we have the opportunity to seize the day, and make the most of every moment here on earth whether we live at home, live in a nursing home, or in a less desirable location. The best isn’t behind you, you can still create wonderful moments, no matter how old or how sick you are.

A pessimistic person’s attitude typically discourages them, leaving them feeling helpless, so they don’t take any action.

When you’ve got a long battle ahead of you, you need to switch to an optimistic attitude to help ensure that you handle that or any situation. Even though it does take time while you look for solutions, you should continue to try to live your best, no matter what.

When working at the Nursing Home, I met the most amazing residents, as well as some residents who would exhibit behaviors  disruptive to the living and working environment. Behaviours, such as hitting, pinching, being verbally aggressive, screaming, pacing, wandering, and repeated and repetitive requests (exceeding 100 times a shift, especially from those who had dementia!).

As a Personal Support Worker, we rotated our list of patients every 6 weeks. I loved my work. God placed me in the most incredible position/environment of trust and love. Regardless, it still had its difficulties and challenges. Often, other staff would ask me to care for someone on their lists.

One gentleman in particular hated his shower days, and it didn't matter who was scheduled to complete his shower, staff would ask me! I was blessed to complete his showers most times, as he would eventually settle down for me and allow me to shower him without his screaming, kicking, and swearing. His behaviour taught me a lot. For the record, he did not have dementia but was afraid of water.

I've come to understand, when we experience hardship, we unintentionally take it out on the wrong people.

The lessons I have learnt, over my twenty years in Long Term Care, I continue to carry with me. I have had the privilege and honour of meeting some very special people, who will remain in my heart. One such person was a journalist, he had a gentle way about him, and was an influential person when in the work force, and within the Home. Another was a sweet soul, who had taught High School, who had MS but was still so kind, thoughtful and loving to all staff and residents. This, despite this horrible illness which left her depending on staff to manage every aspect of her life. She continued to enjoyed life to the fullest. I don't know if I could be that brave?

The good news is, everything is going to be okay! The good news, a.k.a. the gospel, actually means – the good word. That gospel centers around the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ which is a gift held out for a total new way of responding in life. The journey you travel may still go into a thousand different directions but remember how you react, who you react to, or more importantly look to, is up to you. On those dark days, when you feel alone, just remember through all the chaos and noise in the world, Jesus can still hear the whispered prayers of all who call on Him.

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