Gem joins us for Good News Story to discuss the issue of the loneliness and isolation that can often be felt by residents of aged care, and how she recognised these signs and helped bring one resident back to life through her care. Watch the video or read the transcript below.
Gem: Thank you. My story is about a lady who I found was depressed and lonely.
I think loneliness isn’t a diagnosis, but that was actually a major issue in this resident’s life, and it wasn’t detected by the everyday nursing staff that were looking after her on a daily basis.
So I connected with her just during my assessments and discovered that she didn’t have any family living except for a sister who was in a location some significant distance between them and she wasn’t able to visit.
So each time I tried to leave the room, she would introduce me to another picture or another story, and I was held captive in that room for a long time one afternoon, but found it really difficult just to walk away from her. And I did a similar thing. I went back and visited her on a regular basis, just through my placement, and one day leaving the room I pointed to a photo and told her how beautiful that was.
I happened to be visiting that location on the weekend, because I’d stayed on location and on the Monday morning returned with my own photo of the same spot. And she was so touched by just looking at it on my iPad that I had to go down to Big W and spend 20 cents to get it digitally printed and left it with her.
By the time I’d left placement, she’d exchange a little gift that I got permission from the facility manager to receive, and it was just really nice to know that I had the time to give her a daily visit.