Confession:  I'm still trying to figure out what in the heck I'm doing at my internship. 

It's the 5th week of the term.  I've read buckets full of articles on aging.  Alzheimer's.  Continuing Care Communities.  Person Centered Models.  Mental Wellness & Aging.  Falls.  Incontinence.  Frailty. 

I make so many "friendly visits" during the two days I'm there that I begin to lose track of who I've seen.   (But this is where my obsessive need to write these things down actually appears somewhat functional ...).

These guys?  They continually surprise me.  Wisdom, insight,vulnerability, stubbornness, all of it.

Cheekiness.  Oh, Lord.  The cheekiness.  I've been told, "You're just my type"; "I use my dog to meet women - is it working?"; (to my field supervisor):  "That's some girl you sent me the other day.  You gonna do that every time?".  Who knew that sexuality would be such a major theme in aging?  Shame on me for being so close minded. Lesson duly learned.

Yesterday I had a spontaneous hallway social chat with one of the residents, who asked me about my previous work experience.  Fair enough.  If I had a (relatively) young intern sitting in front of me at his age, I'd want to know too.  So we chatted about the kids in detention, about my foster kids, about working at the women's shelter.  He quietly peered up at me and said, "That's quite an assortment."

Yes, I thought.  It is.  I could see him processing something and then he asked, "Why would you want to do something like that?"

I laughed. 

Whos' counseling whom?

{post script:  i take the confidentiality of my clients extremely seriously and will never post anything that's mentioned in session with them [individual or group].  as i did with the juveniles, i often change identifying information and post mainly about themes or how i've been affected by my interactions with clients.  some postings are composite postings that join together several conversations.   all posts involving my professional work are meant to:  illustrate the unity of people; highlight the vulnerability in all of us; bridge the differences between us; relay how social work changes me as an individual; never to shame any person.}

1 Comment

  1. Ronna on November 1, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    I love your post script, lol. So professional :D

    And yes, the sexuality part of the alzheimers unit/elder care surprised me too when I was in my LPN course. I am better prepared to deal with it now as I work again in an assisted living facility this term but it does take the young 21 year olds I am in school with quite off guard. "They do WHAT????" HA! It was kind of funny. Lesson learned for them and sort of a "Yay Elders!" for me. There is hope after all ;-)

    Love you Miss Lisa. I hope we can see each other again soon! Maybe when you are visiting Shoes and his family, we can meet up since that is where my husband will be living soon.

    *big hugs!!!*

     


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