Five things that happen when you work at a nursing home

Working in close quarters with the elderly may not be the most appealing job, especially to young adults. As a millennial who spent three years working at a nursing home, I learned a lot about the elderly, myself, and people in general. Believe it or not, a lot happens at a nursing home; as a result here is what happens to you…

 

  1. You develop a higher self esteem…

Think back to the days when gram and gramps used to pinch your cheeks and butter you up with compliments. They would say that you’re the apple of their eye, light of their life, and resemble a younger version of themselves. You can expect all of that and a handfull of hard candies while working everyday at a nursing home. Regardless of how unpopular, antisocial, or boring you seem to think you are, the old folks see you as the star you really are, which is without a doubt a huge confidence boost.

 

  1. You find a home away from home…

Regardless of how big or small your family is, you will realize that by working in a nursing home it will grow by a minimum of three times the size. There are people who “adopt” you as their hypothetical grandchild and spoil you with attention. Nurses become your parental figure and guide you through tricky situations and coworkers practically become your siblings. Overall the nursing home is a community that makes you feel welcomed, safe and loved.

 

  1. You will discover your strengths…

As a young person in the home of the elderly, many peculiar challenges will arise. Perhaps you will discover that you have a great sense of persuasion after having to convince an elderly man that his wife will not make him “sleep in the dog house” if he doesn’t finish all of his dinner. Or maybe you will see just how much patience you have when the same people continue to pose the same questions every ten minutes over the span of an eight hour shift. At the end of the day you will realize that the not so typical work environment will allow your hidden qualities to surface.

 

  1. You become “old” at heart…

The more time the elderly spend with youth, the younger they claim to feel; however for a young adult, just the opposite occurs. Rather than spending time surfing the web or texting friends, you’ll realize that having a real conversation over tea is much more satisfying. Bingo will become your favourite sport and you’ll start taking advice from The Golden Girls. By the end of the night (6 p.m.) you’ll be watching the news in your pyjamas. Simple things will make you smile, and you’ll be living every day like it’s your last.

  1. You realize the impact you have on the world…

The big and busy world that we live in can make you feel so small and unnoticed. Working in a nursing home opens your eyes as to just how much impact you have on the people around you. Using your manners goes a long way and will result in mass amounts of respect. Complimenting a lady on her tiara (that is actually a necklace placed on her head) will make her feel special. Even small things like a morning greeting or lending an ear can mean so much to someone who may feel forgotten to the world. You realize that the happiness of others can be achieved even in the simplest of ways and at the end of the day making other people happy makes you happy.
Jordan Gorski is a first year Public Relations student at Humber College.

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