The aide saw me from a distance. She wanted to make me feel welcome. ‘Hurry up, there is someone coming behind you.’ She tried to rush the elder woman inside the community room. First, pushing her from the back. The woman kept on walking at her own pace, one step at a time, pushing her walker. ‘Come on, the lady wants to come in.’ I was still far away from the entrance, and in no hurry, but the aide saw some urgency. She moved in front of the old woman, grabbed her hand, and tried to drag her along. The woman finally had enough. She pushed the aide away. ‘Go! Go!’ She was mad. The aide let go reluctantly.
A short vignette, that illustrates what can happen when care partners loose sight of the experience and needs of the ones in their care.
Take two of the same situation could go something like this:
The aide sees me from a distance. She acknowledges me with a smile, and goes back to being present with the old woman, making her the center of her attention. She walks slowly by her side, and matches her pace. How different the feeling left in the elder’s heart compared to what happened! And also, what a different impression made on a visitor like myself . . .