Daughter #1 is in her last couple of weeks of the Nursing Assistant course and had her first day of clinical last Thursday. I was hoping from this experience she would find out if this is the career for her. When she came home, on the first day of clinical, she said it hit her that it was real….real people, real disease, real dying. I think she is seeing so many things from a different perspective now.
Today, I picked her up from her school after I had finished visiting with my client. As we are driving down the road she says to me, “I don’t want to get old.” I chuckle and said “well, it’s inevitable and no one wants to”. Daughter #1 said, “I don’t want to die alone”. I reassure her that she would get married, have kids and live a long time. After all, when you are 20 you should be thinking about the life you have in front of you. Not be afraid of it.
But I started to wonder, is that the greatest fear as we get older….dying alone? As we get older we think about these things. I don’t think it’s about money, cars, the house or any material things but it’s about having to spend those last days alone. I’m not so sure it ends up like an episode of “The Golden Girls”. Although that would be great.
As I work with more and more elderly patients, you can see the uncertainty and fear in their eyes. They want to know someone cares about them and will be there. I’ve had other CNA’s to share with me their experience with a patient at the end of life. They all have said the same thing. They tell the person that they are not alone and it’s ok to go if they are ready. All of them say the same thing…almost immediately the person slips from life but they know they are not alone.
What is your biggest fear of growing older?
2 ex’s, 2 dogs and 3 kids later…..Total ramblings that are personal and sometimes even thought provoking