>Something’s Fishy Here

>I work on the assisted living side of an independent/assisted living facility. Most of the people I work with have different degrees of memory loss. This makes for an interesting day as you can well imagine. Yesterday marked my one year anniversary there and on most days I see and interact with the same people.

I walked up from my desk last week and one of the women that I do see every day grabbed my arm and said “Are you Teri?” Apparently someone had stopped by looking for me and when asked she said she wasn’t sure who Teri was.

We were playing trivia yesterday and one of the questions was “What is a piscatologist?” No one knew. I am always looking for ways to work on their short term memory and this offered a good opportunity. To aid in recalling something you should say the word and have a visual cue. So I demonstrated casting and reeling in and they were able to guess that a piscatologist is a fisherman.

They all were impressed and talked about how they learn something new every day and isn’t the English language amazing with all the words it has.

I wrote the word on our white board because again, a visual is helpful for remembering. I spelled it out loud and told them a piscatologist is a fisherman. About three minutes later Bob (yes, Bob my husband, we work at the same place) walked by and said “What the heck is a piscatologist?” I turned to the group and said, “Okay, this is a short term memory test, I just told you what this word meant and demonstrated it, who remembers what a piscatologist does?”

Two people were pretty sure it had to do with feet.

I demonstrated casting and reeling in again and they all replied fishing and talked amongst themselves about how they had never heard of that word before and they learn something new everyday and isn’t the English language amazing with all the words it has.

One of our favorite games is where I write a large word on the white board and they all try to make a bunch of smaller words out of the letters. I decided to use piscatologist for more short term memory practice (it’s pretty evident we need it!) and before we started I told them I was going to ask them at the end of the game what this word meant, I told them it was a fisherman and once again demonstrated casting and reeling in.

It took us ten minutes to play the game and as I prepared to test their short term memory one of the residents said, “I have never seen that word, what is a piscatologist?” I offered it up to the group, does anyone know what a piscatologist is?

(insert sound of chirping cricket here)

I cast out my line and pause, holding my position before reeling in hoping, hoping this will give them a chance to guess with only half the clue….(more chirping crickets) and then….a timid voice from the back says “I know, it’s a baseball player.” and they all nod their heads in agreement and say they had never heard that word before and talking about how you learn something new everyday and isn’t the English language amazing.

Replayed in the Pink Fibro Rewind

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. BornStoryteller
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 09:25:51

    >Ah..sad and sweet at the same time. I'm just embarking on working with Elders as a theater arts guide. I'd love some pointers.


  2. Itsme.
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 18:18:07

    >Mostly sweet! And often funny. They have the greatest sense of humor. They are no different than you and I. They just want to be needed and to feel useful. If you have any specific questions I'd love to offer any help I can! It is thee most rewarding experience I've ever had.


  3. Niki Hudson
    May 27, 2011 @ 21:11:12

    >Ah, this is worth a chuckle! You are obviously a patient woman and a good sport! Keep up the good work 🙂


  4. Life In A Pink Fibro
    May 29, 2011 @ 03:21:53

    >LOL – love it. You have the patience of a saint!Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.


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