They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and I couldn’t agree more. When I see my Dad being treated in the nursing home as if he didn’t matter, I want to sit down with his caregivers and show them some of our family photo albums. I want them to see the long and rich life my Dad has lived, and to somehow make them understand that he’s not just someone with Alzheimer’s disease who needs skilled nursing. No, he’s more than that! I will use the photos to help me tell the story of who he was – before the disease. These photos help to weave a beautiful fabric that defines the moments and memories of my Dad’s life.
Other family members at his nursing home have shared photos of their loved ones with me. Like our family photos, their pictures chronicle joyful times. They depict families laughing, celebrating, and appreciating life. For a few minutes, as you gaze at these preserved moments in time, you forget all about illness, disease, and the nursing home.
The goal of this post is to encourage nursing home staff to see those they take care of as more than just a part of their job. It is my hope that they take the time to see the residents as people who have lived long, full, productive, and rewarding lives. The next time they feel stressed out with their workload, I wish they would take a minute or two to do one thing – just look at the photos. ***This post was originally published in 2011 on my Blog