Last night I was reminded about how much can go RIGHT with caregiving.
Today marks the one-week anniversary of my stay at the Phoebe Ministries Skilled Nursing Facility for rehabilitation, following a bout of pneumonia.
Last night, my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Rosie, introduced herself and prepared to transfer me from my wheelchair into my bed and begin my PM Care . . .a unique opportunity to communicate with another human being as they wash your testicles.
We pay our CNAs a buck above minimum wage and expect them to fill the roles of friend, caregiver, transportation assistant, nurse, and psychiatrist. And we’re disappointed when they fall short. More often than not they are women of color, and in my experience, not unfamiliar with their own challenges.
Rosie has been a CNA for 11 years, the same stretch of time I’ve lived as a resident in assisted living facilities; yet she appears to have escaped the trauma of ambient despair — the desperate melancholy that follows a population steeped in depression, disability, dementia and death. She is a daily example of the power of kindness. (see http://DynamicKindness.com); a poster child for turning the stream of compassion within.
In this world of ISIS, Ebola, and NFL superstars who beat their wives, there is Rosie — clear, cool water in a desert of antipathy and cruelty.