Slippers at the ready.
If my time working within the care sector has taught me anything, it’s that the elderly are not necessarily as frail as they are often seen to be. Many a times have I had to step in to stop fights. I’m not talking about argumentative fights, but full blown fistycuff fights. People often wonder why I call them Ninja Bids…
Take the other day for example. I walked into the lounge to see one elderly woman with an iron grip hold of another old lady whilst being slapped with a slipper. In order to break this fight up I was in the firing line of a few swift hits myself, whilst across the room there was two other ladies grappling over a seat which they both claimed to own, and just next to them was one old man threatening to hit another.The other week an old lady had thrown a table (The over bed hospital style) across the room in order to try hit another resident. Luckily they failed. Unluckily I received a punch as I walked by to pick it up.
I posted the other week about escorting one old lady to hospital and it made me think about another time when I had to escort an elderly gentleman who was suffering with dementia to hospital a few years back, we’ll call him Arty for the sake of it.
Arty had to attend A & E for some particular reason which I can no longer remember. Arty to look at was the typical cute looking grandfather type. Except he wasn’t if he wanted to do something, he would do it, be it eat something, kick something or relief his self somewhere.Whilst in A&E Arty had decided he wanted to relieve his self, and decided that it was going to be on the half conscious man laid on his bed on the corridor. Obviously I tried my hardest to persuade him not to, and slowly, and with a hell of a lot of effort lead him the toilet, all the while receiving Chinese burns and nails dug into me. I managed to get him there toilet, but I hadn’t planned what would happen within the toilet. I literally came out looking like I had been fighting with lions, scratched like a cat pole, and my uniform shredded, literally shredded to pieces.
My boss at the time had called me to see how it was going, I explained what Arty was being like and what he had done to my uniform, I was told to “stitch it back up”. It wasn’t until he came to pick me and Arty up in the car that he had realised just how bad I had had it with Arty.
There are so many times I have been unprovokingly attacked its unreal. More so at my last place of work, with it being a specialism in Elderly Mentally Impaired, mainly taking on residents that had been kicked out of their previous homes for violence.
There has only ever been once when I actually feared one of these attacks, it was when escorting an elderly man to his bedroom, his mood all of a sudden changed, and he had strangled me for the whole journey from the ground floor to the second floor. That lift seemed to be going extra slow that day. On finally reaching the second floor the other carers tried to release his grasp as I went blue in the face and gasped for breath.
What did I do?
I got my breath back, took a little time to compose myself and continued to do my job.What else could I do? They attack us – nothing happens. We attack them, we go on a Potection Of Vunerable Adults (POVA) list.