Thursday, April 13th, 2017

The Definition Of Mannequin In LTC

January 6, 2011 by  
Filed under CNA Training

“They treat us like mannequins”, I hear this as I squeeze past two wheel-chair-bound women. They nod sagely, looking up at me eye brows raised with that certain tilt of the head, meaning ‘yeah, she’s one of them. What an odd thing to say I think, and it haunts me for days. Why do they feel like that? 

A mannequin according to wiki, is “(also called a mannekin, mannikin, manikin, dummy, or lay figure) is often an articulated doll used by artists, tailors, dressmakers, and others especially to display or fit clothing. Did these women feel like dolls? Did we simply dress them each day to our liking? No, that’s not what they meant…or this one, “A mannequin is a life-sized model of the human figure, used especially in advertising and sales. That’s closer I thought, life size model of a human being. Something we notice, obliquely but don’t really give the time of day to.

A dummy has no soul, there is nothing behind the eyes painted. A dummy is ignored …. That’s what I mean. We ignore them, treat them like a mannequin, clothing, food, enter the nursing home in our whims. Go to physiotherapy, occupational therapy, the dining room now. Go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet, brush your teeth for a bored voice. As we make our offering with our own eyes glazed looks away, thinking it is for our own dinner, our own plans, what we do when it is not the place to work.

The mannequins are wheeled into the room as we speak, not for them, but to each other, they are not real, why should we talk? It would be crazy – talking to a mannequin. It must seem to them that we do not see them. Their very humanity is hidden by their age to our young eyes. We see the gray hair, gray eyes, hear the conversations confused and forget what is not a dummy. This is a real person. Like me – just old. Maybe even better than me in some respects. No age dummies, they are still young, handsome, thin and well dressed. They never change. Not a bit.

People instead are long, short, fat, old, young, thin, smelly, funny, or angry. They serve as a kind and very horrible. The differences are easy to see. Why, then, two old ladies feel unreal? Mind the idea that deep into the whole idea is definitely still alive, emotional, spiritual, and deserves much more than a set of clean clothes that are in their future, and a pizza meal in the country.