As a psychologist talking with nursing home residents, I’m honored to share their lives and hear about their pasts. We discuss their families, how to tell the aide to close the window at night, and ways in which they can make their current lives feel more like their old ones. Residents sometimes reveal traumas they’ve told no one for all of their 80+ years. Often they phrase their experiences in a way that begs to be shared. So enough with the begging, here are a few of my favorite quotes:
“I’m learning how to be old and young at the same time.”
“Seeing a doctor is like pulling hen’s teeth. And you know that’s rare, because a hen don’t have no teeth.”
“The physical pain is just physical pain, but the psychological pain is more extreme.”
“To be 51 is like being born again!”
“I’m just a miserable, sick old creature, sitting around, waiting on time.”
“I was one of those people who never wanted to be in a nursing home, but I’m having a ball here!”
“I thank you for being one of the people who brought me back to life.”
Do I have a great job, or what? Please share your own favorites from your own residents in the Comments section below.
2 thoughts on “Nursing Home Residents: Favorite Quotes from “People of Age””
My absolute favorite quote of all time occurred during a recreation discussion group. We were discussing age, and while I don’t remember the details, I must have told the group that I was thirty years old and feeling it. One of the residents replied, “Thirty? Thirty years old? That ain’t old! I got shoes older than that!
Another resident recently told me that he lives every day as if it were Christmas and every night as if were New Years Eve. He treats every day as a gift and every night, celebrates life.
Thanks, Sue! Those are great. I’ve gotten so much perspective on life from working with elders.