Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Video Poem: “Living Colors” (Nursing Home, Staff Shortage, Poor Vision, Alzheimer’s Disease, Hospice) 2:56 mins.

“Living Colors” is one of sixteen original poems included at the end of each chapter of "Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes.” With poems, stories, and general information, "Becoming Dead Right" explores urban nursing homes, hospice care, caregiving, dementia, death preparations, and bereavement. Strategies for improving eldercare and nursing homes are examined.

This poem was inspired by one of my hospice patients who had Alzheimer’s disease and poor eyesight. More sight problems could be corrected in nursing homes if residents received vision care regularly. My patient needed assistance to eat, but there was a staff shortage that day. Staff shortages in nursing homes negatively impact patients across the country. Using her fingers, she started feeding herself. I arrived to find her with food smeared around her mouth. After wondering what that experience might have been like for her, I wrote this poem:

Living Colors

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
“Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog”

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