Unheard Requests

How easy it is to become invisible when we are elderly and no longer “useful.” Visiting mom this week, I saw one of the residents looking distressed and mumbling.  It would have been so easy to stay focused on my mom’s visit so I could then get back to work. My gut said to stop and walk across the room to listen.

When I got closer, I heard, ”If you needed help, I would help you.” The desperation, the aloneness, the hopelessness of her words stung. I asked her what she needed. She said she was freezing in the air conditioning and needed a sweater. I went over to the aide and advised him that she needed  assistance.

 He went to her room, got her a warm robe, and when I looked next she was walking to the couch in new comfort. Once more I am reminded: keep my eyes open, keep my ears open, pay attention, and act! Such simple acts, so easy to do and what an impact for someone feeling so alone!

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