Monday, August 11, 2014

Great Day at the Nursing Home

Today was our regular day volunteering at the nursing home and it was a great day.

Other than when I stepped in a puddle of urine with my sandaled foot.  Because ick.

But other than that, it was a great day.

We visited a resident I will call Edith, whom we've visited a couple times before.  The first time, she petted Isaac for a long time and cried and cried while she petted him.  She didn't talk, but babbled a lot, no words I could make out.  She didn't respond to me at all, just to Isaac.  The second time, she didn't cry, but still didn't talk, didn't respond to me at all, just petted Isaac for a long time and babbled some.  She looked sad.

Today, she looked happy to see Isaac.  This is the first time I've seen her look happy.  She petted him and stroked his face really gently and lovingly.  She was babbling, no words I could make out, but then she started to croon to Isaac.  It was like you would sing to a baby.  Still no words I could understand, but definitely singing.  It was beautiful.  I said to her, "I think you really love dogs," and then she looked at me as if she was surprised and said, clear as day, "Yes!"  I was delighted. 

I fished a treat out of my pocket for her to give to Isaac and helped her open her hand flat and placed the treat on her open palm.  Isaac gobbled it up, leaving her hand slick with doggie slobber.  And she laughed.  Loudly.  She looked so delighted.  She looked at her slobbery hand, looked at me, looked at Isaac, and laughed again.  I wiped some of the dog spit off her hand with my own hand, laughing too.

Then, with her other hand, she pointed at her palm.  She was clearly asking for another treat to give Isaac.  I understand her perfectly.  I got out another treat.

One of the housekeepers was walking by and heard her laughing and came to see what was going on.  I told her how Edith had been singing to Isaac and how she'd said yes, she loves dogs, and how she's asked for another treat to give him.  Then I handed her one more treat, just so the housekeeper could see.  It was such a lovely thing to see.

I wanted to stay there all day, engaging Edith.  It was so beautiful, so incredible, that she was responding like that.  That is why I want to do therapy dog work with Isaac.

It was a good day in other ways, as well.  We visited Dorothy, the woman Isaac kissed on the nose the first day we met her.  He did not kiss her today but she told the residents sitting near her, "Sometimes he gives kisses right here," and pointed to her nose.  I love it that she still remembers how he kissed her and that she loved it so much.

There were two residents in the dementia unit that remembered Isaac's name.  That surprised me.  And pleased me.  It was a really nice day.

No comments:

Post a Comment