Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Quick Lesson in Semantics

Jane: (A new resident) Can I get someone to take me home.

Caregiver: You are home.

Jane:  This is not my home.  I want to go home.

Caregiver: This is your home.

Jane:  No, I mean "home".

Me: Good, Jane, don't let them confuse you.

   I had no business intervening in the caregiver's business.  But I thought she was mixing Jane up, even more than she was mixed.  Jane thinks we all in a ski resort and that her family is out on the slopes, and that they will soon come and get her and they will all go "home". The caregiver was trying to make Jane understand that this is where she will live and be "at home".  But she was contradicting Jane, and telling her that her thinking was wrong.  Jane could only resist and keep her "sanity". 

   I wish the caregiver had said, "Sorry, Jane, there is no one who can take you home.  But we will make you comfortable here.  Stay with us.  We need you."  Jane would feel a loss, for certain, but not a loss of frame of reference.  Home means "home".  An old folks home is not a "home".  Home is where the heart is.


reconcilinglife said...

That was a wonderful entry...and very sad at the same time. I have known alot of folks like Jane. But, I could never put it quite like you can....Bam

garnett109 said...

you are most certainly right, don't make it harder for Jane, I would 've said yes and gave her what she wanted and that would have been that!

jmorancoyle said...

    This is a thought provoking entry. A lot of caregivers should read it and appreciate it.

jckfrstross said...

i wish every care taker could read this:) very well said my friend very well said


bamawmn46 said...

A ski resort sounds good to me.  Sometimes, we just have the need to be somewhere else, but  sometimes paid caregivers just don't 'get' it. You are right. The caregiver was making it all worse.

tendernoggle said...

Hi Chuck,
You could have done a much better job explaining to Jane, you know.

fisherkristina said...

Good entry chuck.