"Now you know what it feels like!" Ever hear that statement? Recently, I fell down on black ice and hurt my, ahem, bottom side. So I called my friend and said, “I really hurt my hip and my back goes ‘squeak’”, to which she replied, “See, now you know what it feels like.” I guess she means that she always has hip and back pain and I’m just not tuned in to it. That's probably what nursing care is all about - to learn how to empathize with your patients.
It’s difficult sometimes to know what someone is going through if you’ve never been there before. So, here are five ways for nurses to care and empathize with elderly patients. We, as caregivers, can get frustrated and these will help us know how aging feels like.
So, now that you can’t pick anything up (1) or see because it’s fuzzy (2) or really, really dark (4) – and you’re hungry, but you can’t seem to make it to the kitchen because your perception is a bit off and you feel a little imbalanced (3), or truly can’t quite make it down the stairs (5), now you know what it feels like!
I always center myself with a few deep breaths and calibrate my feelings when I know I’m going to visit “Alice”. These little reminders of how we should deliver nursing care can work like a charm for elderly patients.