Thanksgiving is over and all that’s left are the leftovers and the memories. The family jokes, the cheering at the TV, the debates over whether to watch football or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The turkey that was overdone, underdone or impossible to carve. The favorite recipes, funniest stories and relaxing family time.
Recent scientific research shows that it’s better to spend money on experiences instead of buying more things. When we buy products, they are exciting and new for a little while and make us happy for a short time. But we soon get used to them and we stop noticing how special they are. Memories, on the other hand, become a part of us and keep us happy forever.
As certified nursing assistants, you know that memory is extremely precious. You’ve come across so many nursing facility residents who can’t access their short-term memory anymore. They may have forgotten what they ate for breakfast that morning, they may not recognize you and in some cases they may not even know the names of their closest relatives.
But memory works in a funny way. People who can’t remember the recent past can usually still remember events that happened long ago. They may be able to tell you about big events in history or important landmarks in their lives, such as falling in love or having a baby. They aren’t likely to remember the things they owned, but they do recall the events that shaped them into who they are today.
One of the advantages of being a CNA is that you have the opportunity to learn from your patients. Even if they have forgotten most of the knowledge they acquired over the years, they have much to teach us about values, common sense and what’s really important in life. When you go back to work after Thanksgiving, notice how much the elderly value the memories they have. Think back on the positive memories you created with your family over the holiday and appreciate the good things you have in life. Let’s face it, someone else will always have more money and more things, but your experiences are one of a kind!