Based on my observation, I began my interaction with Mr KM and asked him the reason for the same. He said that he would be leaving for home the next day. I asked him about his learnings from being at this place, to which he mentioned that he had learnt to be alone without company and that he had himself alone to care for self. He appreciated me for listening to him and for taking efforts to understand him.
I interacted with Ms S, who was unaware of her surrounding.
However, on talking to her I learnt that she liked Carnatic music. I played a few songs and encouraged her to sing along. She had accurate memory of these songs, in spite of poor recent memory. She avoided questions which required her to recall any event
I interacted with Ms L, who talked about some of her difficulties including sleeping. She did not talk as much as usual.
I interacted with Ms R, who narrated a story.
After that she played a game of cards; however, through the game, she waited for moments where she could tell a part of the story. I encouraged her to complete the story before continuing the game.
Ms Z talked about her family. She spoke about others, how she has learnt about others’ lives through observation. She expressed her sadness over being at the Home; when I asked her about the positive she saw of being here, she pointed that care was available for her.
Also, she felt that she was much better off than others since her family visits her every week.
Ms A narrated stories of plays that she had watched as a child. These stories revolved around family and discord within family. These stories had hints of the experience of Ms A within her family.
Mr V was happy since he was going home for Christmas. I asked him the significance of Christmas for him, for which he mentioned presents and carol singing.
I interacted with Mr AJ, where the conversation was about politics. He also discussed about his family history and about having lived in different places.
My engagement with Mr KM started with asking him to read the newspaper. He discussed some articles that in the newspaper. During the interaction, he asked me the time a couple of times. He was getting distressed as his family had not come to take him home until then. He then asked me to play some Carnatic music, listening to which he relaxed a bit. However, he waited expectantly for his family to arrive.
I interacted with Mr K and asked him about his expectations about our interaction. He instead responded by telling me what he had learnt from me and further, some learnings that I should follow in my life. He drew from his personal life and called it devastating, due to the losses he had experienced.
I interacted with Ms J, who recollected my name when I mentioned that I wasn’t the person that she was referring to. The conversation however took place as if she were meeting me for the first time in years. The content of interaction was similar to what it had been the previous week.
I interacted with Ms Z, who talked about the same things as the previous day. The interaction took an interesting turn when one of the staff members joined the conversation. She enquired about his life and his knowledge on different plants. I asked both of them to explain a few terms which I did not follow. I gauged that Ms Z liked to interact with people.
My interaction with Ms R involved a game of cards. She did not want to continue after she lost a game. She instead narrated a story.
I attentively listened to residents and provided non verbal cues to continue. I learnt that encouragement in verbal as well as non verbal ways helped residents to feel involved in the interaction.
I learnt that story telling was one of the medium used by residents to talk about their lives. While one of them narrates stories that are opposite to the story of her life, another resident narrates stories that reveal aspects about her own life.
I noticed that some of the residents, when they sat in the verandah, observed hens and roosters and made predictions on what will happen next. Drawing from Eden Alternative given by Dr Bill Thomas, attending to birds and plants can take the minds off other worries of the residents and would develop a routine for residents. Though Dr Thomas talked about pets, at Ashirwadh, residents received similar stimulation through observation alone.
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