This morning an applicant came into the facility dressed very…what’s the word…barely? Unclothed? Barely clothed? Hip? Modern? Ummm…what do you call it when a person has more body than clothing? I’m not sure what the correct fashion word is, to define a very, very short skirt that apparently only came in size 1 and a blouse that um….well, I think it’s a blouse that ran out fabric while in production, but sold ”as is”.
One of the resident’s who noticed the young lady, commented on her appearance. “Wow, she has a lot of skin. We would be “skinned” for wearing that in my day”. Never ever write off the power of a dementia patient’s thinking. The lucid moments they experience are “hold nothing back moments”. The filter of offending someone by their remarks, has long been turned off.
Society has progressed in such a way that often times, I think we are losing our way. Values, morals and the basic sense of decency have been downplayed and overridden by fashion designers and Hollywood. This trickles down to people like you and I. We want to look good,be in style, fashionable and turn heads when we walk by. To those who choose to dress in this manner, that’s cool for clubbing, bar hopping and working the street corner, but not so cool to apply for a job in a nursing home. Just because a famed, young, globally known music artist can appear on prime time television and ….well….I don’t even know how to define what she did. I can’t describe what exactly she was wearing, because I don’t know how to begin. Down south we have a name for women who dress and act as she did, but it would not be appropriate for me to sling mud. Besides, this is supposed to be a blog about dementia. Here’s my problem with that. We are careful to not offend anyone with what we say. Just as I am careful to not throw out my deep south, Bible belt terminology of women who dress differently than I. BUT, I think every patient in the facility would be offended by how applicants come into THEIR home, barely wearing any clothing. I have washcloths with more fabric than some of their ENTIRE outfits. What about offending the generation that respected themselves enough to put appropriate clothing on when going out in public, or better yet, when going on job interviews??????? The residents in my facility may suffer from dementia, but many of them have intact eyesight and can still see just fine.
Here is my advice for job seekers looking to obtain employment in long term health care settings. Dress modestly. This is a place of business, not a fashion runway, not a night club, not a speed dating arena, not a cat-house and certainly not a place where we need to see your breast, belly-button or any other body part to determine your ability to work here. Respect the population we serve. Remember they are the generation who respected themselves, their fellow humans and God. This is the generation who took pride in family, and family morals and values. They lived their lives based on the Holy Bible, not a chapter from the 50 Shades of whatever. This is the generation who saw food shortages, gas shortages, multiple wars, stock market crashes, Presidential assinations and attemped assinations. Yet, they somehow survived. Most thought the music of Elvis was the “work of the devil”, and his dancing was “ungodly” and everyone that listened to him was going straight to hell.
Lawrence Welk on Friday nights, Hee Haw on Saturday nights, and church on Sunday. That’s how they lived.
Simply said, I don’t care if you don’t respect yourself or not. However, respect them. Respect the values, morals and convictions of the last generation that stands for morality.