Walking People Home

Photo of Jess Hyde

I like to start my day by heading to daily Mass with a few of my fellow FrancisCorps members. We then have breakfast before I head over to Francis House to start my shift as a caregiver.

The first thing I do when my shift starts is receive report from the caregivers on the night shift.  They give me a general overview of how all of the residents are doing and prepare me for how to best care for them throughout the day. After receiving report, I check on all of the residents and do my round of door checks. As the residents wake up, I help them with various hygienic tasks such as washing their face and hands, brushing their teeth, helping them use the restroom, and bathing or showering. Depending on the residents’ care plans and abilities, I help get them out of bed or reposition them in the bed. These tasks are valuable one on one time with the residents that allow me to get to know each of them. I also perform various cleaning tasks in each resident’s room to keep it tidy and looking nice. If there is an admission that day, I will prepare the incoming residents’ room for their arrival, and once they do arrive, I help to settle them in, make them comfortable, and orient them to Francis House. Throughout the shift, I continue rounding on residents and responding to call bells to ensure the residents are getting everything they need, whether it be medication, food or drink, or a comforting presence. I also interact with many friends and family members of residents and try to answer any questions they might have about the dying process. If a resident does pass away during my shift, I prepare them for the funeral home by giving them their final bath, getting them into their chosen outfit, and joining friends and family of the resident and Francis House staff in a prayer service where we all share fond memories of the resident and celebrate their life. It’s truly a privilege to be able to walk people home in this way.

After coming home for the day, I like to get in a quick run or workout. I get home in time for dinner. We always share a meal together at the end of the day and rotate days that we cook for each other. After dishes are done, we pray together, and then enjoy some free time to finish the day.

Some highs of service include the interactions I have with the residents and their families. This is such a vulnerable time in their lives and it’s an honor to be trusted to care for them all as they prepare to pass into the next life or grieve their loved one. I have also learned so much about the healthcare field and have invaluable experiences every single day. However, a low of service is that there are moments where nothing can be done to help someone other than sit with them in their suffering. Another low is that some days there’s a lot of necessary tasks to be completed and there isn’t always time to simply sit and spend time with residents.

A high of community is always the dinner we share each night. Not only do we get to share the foods we love with each other, but we get to share about our days and have some good laughs with each other.  A low about living in community is being so far away from my family. However, FaceTime is a wonderful thing and our community can start to feel like a family of our own.

Categories: General

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