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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Caregiver-Patient Poems: Nursing Home, Long-Term Care Mealtime, Volunteer Appreciation


I fell in love with poetry at an early age. The rhythms, the messages, and the sheer creativity of finding the right words have always been fascinating to me. As a hospice volunteer in Detroit nursing homes for many years, I naturally began to record my experiences in poetic forms. These are two of my caregiver-patient poems that are published in online anthologies at other websites.  I’ve given you the first few lines. Click the two publication links below to read my complete poems and offerings by other writers.


Mealtimes in long-term care and other older adult facilitites mean nourishment for residents’ bodies and minds. They are wonderful opportunities for caregiver and patient to share time together, sometimes ending with a special treat.

Sweet Treat
By Frances Shani Parker

A wisp of a woman, she waits
eagerly for her dinner tray.
I hide her magic ice cream cup
that makes other foods invisible.
Each mouthful of nutrition
adds time to her aging clock.
“Is this my ice cream?” she asks
before I feed her meatloaf.
She chews slowly, searches
for the missing sweetness.

Read the complete poem at The Barefoot Review.



Volunteering with terminally ill patients in a nursing home comes with unique challenges, especially when the patient and volunteer have difficulty communicating. Solving problems, realizing personal growth, and enjoying patient appreciation make service a very rewarding experience.

Victory
By Frances Shani Parker

His weary, tucked-in body
lies in a nursing home bed.
A black Gandhi, he yearns for peace.
His days are chains of mountains
formed by pressures of frustration.

I approach him like a helpless child,
wonder how to lift his spirits.
Eyes that have seen ninety years
squint tightly as daggers of pain
pierce his cancerous form.

Read the complete poem at The Survivor's Review.
Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.


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