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The Power of Bubbles

“Yoohoo! Cooee!” she cried out of the window into the courtyard below. When that didn’t work she pulled her hanky from inside her sleeve and waved it out of the window to get their attention. A few steps behind her, I smiled fondly at her and the impromptu SOS signal to her great grandchildren below.

New to the home, having started the placement only a few days earlier, I was still familiarising myself with my new client, P. She seemed a wonderful lady, 92 years old, and one thing was clear: she loved her great grandchildren dearly and the disappointment was etched on her face. She had so desperately wanted to get A and R’s attention. But they were so immersed in their play they didn’t hear P calling out to them, let alone see her signal. What a shame, I thought to myself as P returned to her seat deflated from her efforts.

The next day, I stumbled across a local gift shop selling bubbles.  This gave me the idea of another “signal” to get their attention! At two and four years old, I was sure that A & R would love bubbles. That afternoon I opened the kitchen window, excitedly opening the container and began blowing bubbles in their direction. The wind blew the bubbles towards the tree where they were playing. They looked up to see bubbles floating towards them and giggled.  I gave them a wave and a smile, and they returned the favour.

I said to P, “let’s go out to see them!” But she was tired and said she would watch from the window. I went outside and began blowing more bubbles. They couldn’t wait to try it for themselves! R came up with the brilliant idea; dipping the big bubble wand into the bubble mixture and running round in circles. Within seconds, their energetic puppy arrived out of nowhere jumping high in the air and eating the masses of giant bubbles, its tail wagging furiously with excitement, the children in fits of laughter.

I turned around, surprised to see P standing outside! She wanted to see the commotion for herself! There was so much laughter that P’s grandson came out of the farm office to see what his children were up to! He smiled as the scene unfolded in front of his eyes. His father (P’s son) soon followed suit, appearing in the courtyard.

Three younger generations gathered around P who was positively beaming throughout the experience. The family were at times reticent to talk to P due to her dementia, but this moment of fun transcended dementia and its difficulties. The atmosphere was light and carefree.

Bubbles are my new secret ingredient at this placement. I take care to ensure I always have some handy. Instead of shouting out, P now opens the window, I blow the bubbles and two adorable children and the puppy see our signal and come and join us for a moment of fun and laughter.