Not Needed

I was talking to Willie today about his artwork. The man has incredible talent. As he spoke, he began sharing about he was an “original” sketch artist back in the day, for the county police department.

“Back then, if an old woman got mugged, the police would call me. The lady would stand behind me and say “his eyes looked bigger, or smaller”, as I drew. This one time, a young fella’ was running around stealing women’s pocketbooks. This one lady came in, described the fella to me, and I drew him. When the police arrested him, I got to meet him. I showed him the picture I drew of him, and he asked me if I could draw another one of him so he could send it to his mother!”    Willie chuckled to himself and shook his head at the memory.

” But you know today, they have them computers. They can make eyes, cheekbones and all facial features using a computer.  Before them computers, I was always in demand and was glad to help. I was one a few that could draw like it needed to be done.  Back then, I had real purpose. Now, they don’t need me anymore…..”     His voice trailed off as he bowed his head.


I explained to him how much joy his drawings and artistic skills brought so many people joy, hoping to lift his spirit and remind him that he still has purpose……but the conversation went south.

“Jessi, listen. I know you are trying to cheer me up. But listen, I am old, used up and tired. My beloved Maggie died. She completed me. Nothing will ever chee

We live in a world where technology has progressed to the point that almost any of us could be replaced with a robot, machine or computer software.  You know, I rarely sweep my hardwood floors in my house anymore. I turn a little robotic floor sweeper on, which travels throughout my house all by itself!              ( Could  you see me trying to explain that little robot to one of the 95 year old lady’s that live in my facility?)       robot        

Recently when I was in Seattle,  WA, I rode on a train that had no driver. Every single aspect from boarding to arriving was human-less.( Is human-less even a word??)   From what I am told, these               ” automatic” trains also have bus counter-parts, that are driverless too! I just don’t see how I could ever explain to the WWII generation about such technology without having them think I have lost my mind!

Some days I wonder, if we increase the confusion in our elderly folks, just because they don’t understand due to the progression of not the disease process, but rather the progression of modern technology.  Just last week, I had a former registered nurse become very aggressive when one of my nurses attempted to take her blood pressure.   Now, let’s think about this.  Blood pressures, back in the day, were taken manually.   Stethoscopes, a blood pressure cuff and a nurse dressed in solid white, (maybe even wearing a nurse’s cap), would be accounted for  as the patient had their blood pressure taken.        Today, nurses wearing bright neon tops, colorful pants and clogs appear before a patient, carrying this little square box that they use to take blood pressures. It’s an automatic blood pressure cuff……..

The patient does not understand what is happening. Why is this thing wrapped around her arm? Why is it getting so tight? What is it????? What is that noise?       So hence, the patient becomes aggressive, agitated and even fearful……..        Rather than seeing what the patient sees, we as health care professionals quickly summarize the patient as ” confused and combative.”     Hmmmmm.


You know, technology is amazing. I love new gadgets; high tech toys and the latest software programs that do everything…..BUT,  I prefer to stand in line at the grocery store and talk to the checker, as opposed to the “self serve” lane.  I prefer for the nurse at my doctor’s office to take my  BP manually. I prefer to ride trains with drivers… hand-drawn art……..planes with pilots………..  Maybe tonight, I may just sweep my own floors…………..



Art Drawn By Willie.willie pic1

                                                                                       willie pic2




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