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The Voice of the Elderly
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~ The Voice of the Elderly ~

Long time ago when I was a student in nursing school, our nursing instructors showed us a short film with this poem narrating a montage of pictures of a woman's life from infancy to old age.  The message was so strong that it melted my heart and made such an impact on the way I provide patient care, that I have never been able to forget about it. Here is that wonderfully written poem that forces all of us to look at life from a different perspective.
~ L. Recinos, RN

An Old Lady's Poem

What do you see, nurses, what do you see?
What are you thinking when you're looking at me?
A crabby old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice, "I do wish you'd try!"
Who seems not to notice the things that you do,
And forever is losing a stocking or shoe.....

Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill....
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse; you're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of ten ...with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who love one another.

A young girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet.
A bride soon at twenty -- my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now, I have young of my own,
Who need me to guide and a secure happy home.
A woman of thirty, my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last.

At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn.
At fifty once more, babies play round my knee,
Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead;
I look at the future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own,
And I think of the years and the love that I've known.

I'm now an old woman...and nature is cruel;
'Tis jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living life over again.

I think of the years....all too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, nurses, open and see,
Not a crabby old woman; look closer...see ME!!

When the old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Dundee, Scotland, it was felt that she had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through her meager possessions, they found this poem.  Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Ireland. The old lady's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the North Ireland Association for Mental Health.

A slide presentation has also been made based on her simple, but eloquent, poem.  And this little old Scottish lady, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the authoress of this "anonymous" poem winging across the Internet.

Goes to show that we all leave "SOME footprints in time"

Parent's Wish

A touching and poignant slideshow message from 2 elderly parents to their adult children and their wishes that they wanted them to know.  Recommended viewing for children whose parents suffer from old age diseases (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, dementia, etc.)  Originally entitled "Tribute to Dad" most likely by one of their adult children as they set the message of their parent's wishes to the slideshow below.  The writer is listed as Ricardo Venegas Ortega . The background music is Josh Groban's, "You Raise Me Up".  It gives us all something to think about as we remember and love our parents who have given us so very much....they are our most precious gift.  It it now their turn to be looked after, and cared for with the uttermost sense of love and deep appreciation.

(I thank God that He has given me the ability, the knowledge, the training, and the experience to care for you mom & dad whenever you will need me.  I am well prepared and have been training my whole career to adequately serve the two people who mean so much to me and for bringing me into this life.  When you need me, It will be an honor for me to be there for you both

If you have a special poem or video that you would like for us to post for others to enjoy and appreciate, or if you would like to honor a senior loved one, we can post your tribute here in "The Voice of the Elderly" gallery. Please contact us at (855) 488-8111 to discuss the details.
(All posting and submissions are free of charge)


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Sigma Theta Tau    Beard Center on Aging    ALCA   NGNA