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July 17, 2012
SOME PERSPECTIVES…Working With Residents


As we journey through life, we encounter different kinds of people who, in some ways, have influenced the way we feel, think and act towards ourselves and others. Working with some of these people has deepened or widened our sense of understanding of who we are and our capacity of sharing ourselves with other people. Our experience with them enhances our ability to deal with different challenges or changes in our own life.

As employees here at Evergreen, one group of people we are dealing with everyday are the residents in our facility. They are not less different than the rest of us. They come to the facility with different personalities, shape, size, color, and backgrounds. Their lives are filled with stories from their life experiences.

Working with them provides us the opportunity for a better self-understanding and self-acceptance. They become a reflection or mirror for our future. We see ourselves in their lives, in their hopes and dreams, in their aspirations and struggles. We realize that someday where they are now will eventually become our territory or our own experience.

We influence each other. The way we provide care to them reflects also the kind of care we want to receive from others. The residents teach us and also help us to evaluate our values and attitudes and how we influence one another. Whatever we say or do has always an effect on others. If the residents understand me, I get their attention. If they trust me, I get their cooperation. If they are happy with me, I feel good and proud of my job.

Many aspects of our job are plainly routine and common sense. Most of our responsibilities are focused on serving the physical condition and needs of the residents. Many residents are experiencing loneliness, boredom and a sense of hopelessness. Dealing with this experience everyday is more difficult than not having three meals a day and good clothes to wear.

Emotional struggles are more painful than physical or material struggles. They exist in people’s lives regardless of their age and experience. As I work longer in health care I have realized more that the best quality care considers caring for the whole person, his/her total well-being: physical, social, cultural, psychological, emotional and spiritual.

Empathy is what CARE is all about. If I could bring joy and happiness into the lives of the residents, I would consider my work with them as an opportunity for personal growth. I gain more wisdom, knowledge and understanding of myself by reflecting on my experience with the residents and learn to grow and develop from them.

There are challenges and difficulties we face everyday in working with the residents. Like us, they have their own weaknesses, limitations and strengths. It’s a waste of time and energy if we try to change them. The only person we can change is ourselves. We can change our attitudes or perceptions on the way we deal with the residents. We are changed when we change the way we look at things. Our perspectives will also change and we will consider our work as a source of personal fulfillment.

Everyday we come to work, and sometimes we feel our work is just another way to pay our bills. However, without our knowing, at the end of our shift, we are making a difference in the residents’ lives. Their day is complete because of us. The facility is now their home, and we become their family they want to see everyday. This realization is enough to encourage, strengthen and inspire us to give our BEST in working with them.

Felix O. Magallanes, Care Aide

Evergreen Baptist Campus of Care - June 25, 2012

Categories: family, resident, employee