Monday, December 27, 2010

In Her Skin

Overheard, this conversation between one of the residents and her son, at assisted living community I visited recently:

Son: "Mom, so are you going to shower today?"
Resident: "No, I don't want to."
Son: "Why not? Are you embarrassed?"
Resident: "No, I am not embarrassed."
Son: "I meant are you embarrassed that somebody is with you while you shower?"
Resident: "Yes, I am, wouldn't you?"
Son: "Well, I understand, but they have rules here"
Resident stares at her son
Son: "Would it help if someone was in the room with you but they put a towel in front of you?"
Resident: "Yes, it would."

Not just relating to the person as a fall risk. Approaching her instead as a whole person whose intimacy is at risk of being violated.

Being in her skin, not just her shoes.


  1. It is so wonderful to hear of this perceptive and caring attitude expressed by this son and his searching of a solution to a problem, to give dignity where dignity is deserved, yet so often trod on.

    Thanks for reminding us that if we really listen and are open a creative solution can be within reach.

  2. Yes, Carole. Being in the other person's skin, and seeing things from their eyes, their heart, their mind.

    Thank you so much for your comment.

    Now heading over to your blog. I can't wait to hear what's going on in your house :)

  3. Beautiful Marguerite...this is so vital to remember...taking the time to see one another as whole human beings, no matter how broken we become by age or illness...respect is everything.

  4. Respect, dignity . . . Treating the other person as if we were that person.

    I am amazed at the human ability to bear so much suffering, and humiliation, as I have seen in many eldercare homes.