Friendly Visitor Journal One
The first Friendly Visit was a great experience for me. I was slightly nervous as I have not had much experience with speaking in depth with strangers in general so it was a new experience for me. The senior my partner and I visited was a joy to visit with. We met at a restaurant and visited over coffee and talked about her life in Terrace and as well as her childhood and the places she has been and the things that she has done. There was hardly any awkwardness at the beginning and after an introduction of what the program is and why we are doing what we were doing, we talked for about an hour and a half. This experience made me feel inspired to maintain my quality of health so that I can hopefully stay as active and cognitively sharp as the senior I worked with. I asked open-ended questions whenever possible and asked for clarification when needed. During the visit, I tried my best to apply client-centered communication as “A client-centered communication process seeks to understand critical links between the client’s life experiences and values, and their current health problems” as well as to “… find common ground related to identification of client problems, priorities, and treatment goals” and that is important to the concept of best practice (Arnold & Boggs, 2011 pg. 180). When listening to my senior talk about her current activities I believe I used the active listening response of reflection to state that it sounds as though being mobile and living an active lifestyle was very important to her as “reflection is a listening response focuses on the emotional implications of a message” (Arnold & Boggs, 2011 pg. 186). I observed that the client had a very funny sense of humor and had a good memory for recalling her stories that she was sharing. I also noticed that the client had seemingly good eyesight as she had no glasses and was still driving, that she seemed to hear good, and that she seemed to have a good range of motion as she was walking normally and could lift and move her arms around a lot. While I paid attention to this about the client, this made me feel more confident in my ability to multitask by being able to actively listen to the client and in the future do a real physical assessment of a client by observing them. The client seemed to have just with the first visit, two out of the three characteristics that are associated with successful aging by seemingly having “high mental and physical function and active engagement with life” (Rowe and Kahn, 1998 as cited in Arnold and Boggs, 2011 pg. 371), my partner and I did not ask about the client’s medical history so we so far could not identify if our client met the criteria for the third characteristic of having “low risk for disease and disease-related disability” (p. 371). To truly see if our client does meet the criteria we don’t have the education yet but considering that in class we practiced the mini mental state exams I assume that doing that or something similar to that could happen for the next visit and I am excited to try and assess someone. In Arnold and Boggs (2011) under the section of “Psychosocial Communication Supports” (pg. 377), the intervention of “life review” is stated as being important with clients to help “establish its life’s meaning” and although this is stated as being an intervention for adults in long term care facilities, this seems like it would be a good intervention for any older adult that is isolated or lonely, as the senior my partner and I visited with seemed to love telling stories about her life and seemed very proud of her accomplishments and I quite enjoyed listening to her talk about them. The life review intervention could also sate the desire to pass knowledge and wisdom on, and to create a bond between the adult and the caregiver, friends or family. I could apply what I learned from this visit to the next visit by doing several things. I could ask to visit possibly in the clients home next time, so I could see what the client’s quality of life at home is better. As well as seeing what the clients home life is like, having the visit at the house would be a bit less distracting I also will have to try and speak louder, clearer, and more slowly, as many people, not just seniors, struggle to hear me as I have a tendency to mumble, speak too quietly and too fast and I noticed that our client was having difficulty understanding or hearing me sometimes, but had no problems understanding my partner who has had more experience in working with older clients and has a slightly deeper voice. To conclude, I feel as though my first Friendly Visit went very well and that I learned a lot and I am looking forward to the next one.
Arnold, E., & Boggs, K. U. (2011). Interpersonal relationships: Professional communication skills for nurses. St. Louis: Elsevier.