Eldery patients could be stereotyped as ‘crocks’ and ‘gomers’ and at the same time are crotchety chronic complainers who are beyond help and hope. ‘My patient is driving me crazy’! the phrase has been uttered by many nurses when they encounter elderly patients. Difficult it may seem to believe, elderly patients can be real pain in the butt for nurses, and there are many stories that are filled with demanding elderly patients, hallucinations, personality changes, and even trolling of nurses.
Nurses may feel elated when they enounter an elderly patient and think to themselves they truly needs us. Making a difference in the lives of elderly people is the sound that echos nurses head which may seem to be an exciting proposition. However, when nurses actually get to care for elderly people, they may find them as overly optimistic.
Just so that you are prepared to face the elderly music, here are some of the experiences faced by nurses and an advice from the professionals.
Irritating for many nurses, they could find themselves in an awkward situation where their efforts go unappreciated while caring for elderly patients. On top of that, they’re labelled to have mistreated the elderly for negligence and below par care. In one case an elderly patient refuses to take bath for straight seven days, when asked by a family member she profusely declined that she has ever been given any bath at all. They can fight you ‘tooth and nail’ or should we say ‘cane and walker’ to prove they are right.
This so happens when an elderly turn on the child mode that reflects their physical and mental behaviour. One nurse was reminded of an elderly patient who had her teeth removed for cleaning, when suddenly the nurse founded her hand grabbed by the patient who tried to gum it to death. Despite of these facts, elderly patients could be very loveable and adorable, only when they need assistance with something. Other times, they could whine about literally nothing.
Cruelty part could be played on both sides and this could turn out as the best defence for nurses. Some nurses wouldn’t even mind if elderly refuses the food tray, it is not their problem, patients will be the one who would have a feeding tube inserted. That quickly gets the job done!
The phrase that says you ‘cannot fix crazy all you can do is document it’ seems realistic for most part when elderly people takes on your nerves. When they complain doctors or their families about their so-called mistreatment, there is nothing you can do, but wait until the next moment.
This is not the only weapon elderly people have that annoys nurses. Once a nurse attends to the need of an elderly patient, halfway thorugh their work station you can always see the flash light blink because the elderly patient had been calling again. Dealing elderly patients for a few days with bed alarms and call lights might haunt them in their dreams.
Another annoying feature is the over-talkative nature of elderly patients. It could be endearing at first becuase they love spending time having conversations. It could get ugly when nurses realizes they have to get back to their next patient. This is where these patients can no longer be fun and interesting.
A nice elderly lady told me today that the she enjoyed talking to me because I seem patient. #IWasHighAsShitToday— Uchiha of the West (@AcheInTheBrain) January 4, 2017
@plusnethelp i can't have voicemail on! An elderly patient is using all their credit thinking they are talking to me! Sort it plz!!!!!— Angela Priest (@angela_uk) December 23, 2016
Medications that does not suit an elderly patient can cause change in personality. An elderly father or mother who was not known for cursing and profanities can sometimes use offensive and inappropriate languages. When they are confronted, retorted remarks and their total disowning of their language gets them away.
When you tell an elderly patient to stop yelling and swearing and he meows in your face..could not refrain from laughing#mylife #nurseprobs— Stacy Colella (@stacy_marieee) February 26, 2014
Strange obsessions could get elderly patients worried. They would do odd things such as saving tissues, panicking when medication time occurs, and picking up on their skin at constant intervals. Although it is a worry for patients, but it may get nurses into trouble for mistreatment.
Most nurses and profesionals would suggest treating elderly with much respect, dignity, and care as one day everyone’s going to be old and grumpy and would like the same treatment. However, to some nurses these emotional sentiments wouldn’t let them come in their way of their alternative approach to treatment.
Confused, elderly patient acting up?— Wheezy Nurse© RN BSN (@WheezyNurse) September 19, 2016
Give 'em a nice hefty dose of Haldol and drag their recliner into the hallway
Even though Haldol dosage could be a winner solution, other approach may include calling out their family members and to notify their disagreement with a particular treatment or care procedure. It might occur to elderly patients that they may have gone too far pretending the child mode and can approch for reconciliation.
And that elderly patient told me later that I was a good nurse.— Karee (@VeryKaree) December 29, 2014
Trying to decide if giving Ativan will help this elderly patient relax or if it will make her bat-shit crazy---😁 #nurseproblems— Tara (@1TattooedNurse) June 2, 2013