Good News Story: When care begins with a smile

Sue returns to the Good News Story chair to tell us of how she encouraged an isolated resident of aged care to come out of his shell through personal care. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

Sue: When I met Jack, he was very unresponsive. He didn’t want to talk. He didn’t want to interact with anybody, and he just dismissed everybody very quickly.

I said good morning to him and he grunted at me. And I thought I’m going to make a change in this man’s life. So every morning I made a point of saying, “Good morning, Jack,” and I still kept getting grunts for probably the first two or three weeks.

And after the third week I’d say, “Good morning, Jack,” and he’d say, “Good morning.” And then I’d take it a bit further and I’d say, “Good morning, Jack.” “Well good morning to you. How are you?” And then I’d say, I’d come in again and I’d say, “Good morning young fellow. How are you, Jack?” And he’d say, “I’m good. How are you?”

And I was at the facility for about six weeks, and in the fifth week he started saying good morning to me. I didn’t have to say good morning to him. And he kept saying, “Good morning, Sue. How are you?” And I’d say, “I’m fine, Jack. How are you?” He said, “I’m having a good day.”

And I used to tell staff that this is what he was saying to me every morning, and they would just say, “Wow, he’s not been like that before.” And the last day that I was at the facility I said to him, “Good morning, Jack. How are you?” He said, “I’m really great.” And then he said to me later, walking down the corridor, “How are you beautiful?” And I said, “I’m fine, Jack. How are you?” And he said, “I wish you wouldn’t work so hard.”

And that was Jack.

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