Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cosmo's bad advice - and - I'm being sexually harassed by an 80 year old man

This entry contains content that is sexual in nature.

Whenever I tell a man that I am a nurse, I can see the wheels in his head start to turn. They’re just sure that I wear a vinyl outfit, thigh high stockings with a garter, and boots to my knees. I don’t. I don’t look sexy at all while I’m at work. I have on white pants, a scrub top, tennis shoes, and my hair is pulled up. My make-up is usually a mess, and I am often covered in Nutren Glytrol (a nutritional supplement) chlorophyll (a nasty little pill that turns everything green) and whatever explodes on me that day.

This is why I just can’t understand William’s fascination with me. It started out with harmless flirting, which I was able to keep under control with ‘the look’. Then he started asking me to get in bed with him, keep him warm, telling me I’d have more fun in his bed, etc. This was met with “That is NOT appropriate!” He would back off and tell me he was only kidding. The next thing was he started touching me. If I were standing next to his chair, he would touch the back of my knee. He actually grabbed my ass in front of the whole dining room one day. I would tell him to stop touching me, and he would just laugh. Things just kept getting worse. One night I was fed up and told him, “William you are a dirty old man!” His reply? “Well you’re a dirty young lady and I like that.”

One night I went in his room to administer his evening medication. This man who could barely walk jumped up and backed me in a corner. He did an open palm full feel up, front and back, including squeezing my breasts. I was able to get out, he actually chased me! (At that point, I was actually worried about where his walker was!) I no longer go into his room without someone with me. I mean, I could take him, but I really don’t want to knock out an 80-year-old man!

About 2 weeks ago, I was doing the evening med pass, and was outside a room 3 doors down from his. He had just returned from his bath. I looked up to see him walking toward me (Where the hell was his walker?) wearing his bathrobe. The robe was open. There was nothing on underneath it. He had an erection. All my aides were in rooms with people. I was alone in the hallway with him. I got him turned around, and headed back to his room. “William! What is it that you need!” He told me, “I need you. I need you to take care of this problem.” (Indicating his erection) I deposited him outside the door to his room. Literally, 2 minutes later an aide entered his room and found him masturbating. I was sick.

I can handle a lot. This was way too much.

Tonight I was preparing his bedtime medication outside his door. He came out and asked when I would be bringing it to him. I told him it would be just a minute, that I was getting it ready. I went in, and had one of my aides with me. He called out for me to close the door – he didn’t know the aide was there. I walked in to find him watching PORNOGRAPHY with his hand down his pants. He said “I wanted you to see this…” looked up, saw the aide, removed his hand and fumbled with the remote. I left his meds on the table.

I'm really starting to get uncomfortable with the whole situation. He doesn't do this to anyone else. I'm very firm with him that his behaviour is inappropriate. I'm just about at the end of my rope. I have considered asking to switch assignments, but that wouldn't be fair to my other 24 patients who are actually pissed when I even take a day off.

This is just a sampling. I go through this crap every time I work. I’ve reported every incident to the social worker. She has been keeping notes. I am very reluctant to make a fuss – he has a lovely wife and children. He and his wife just celebrated 60 years. The wife would probably blame me, and there would be a scene. I don’t want that. I have considered that some of his medications could be adding to the problem, and will be discussing that with his doctor. I’d like to tell his wife to take him home for a conjugal, but there again…

I’ve decided that if messy hair and make-up combined with a stained sticky uniform is sexy, I need to write Cosmo. They’ve been giving the wrong advice for years!


  1. This sounds ghastly :( Surely your workplace has an obligation to protect you from this sort of attack?

    Make a fuss, you have no obligation to sacrifice your own physical and mental well-being to spare a patient and his family (however lovely) a scene.

  2. eww.

    thats all I can think of to say.....

  3. That's horrific! YUK! Poor you.xx

  4. Oh dear the highs and lows of nursing!

  5. That is really odd - and icky! I'm glad you're getting it all documented.

  6. Poor you! How uncomfortable. Do you think maybe it is his meds? Or do you think he really is just a dirty old man. Someone once said to be that we become more who we are as we get older -- maybe he has always been someone like this. Argg!! Yuck!!!

    Thanks for your lovely comment on my poetry.
    Thinking of you.

  7. Oh my stars, what a disgusting old man! I think you are right to always have someone with you. Did the aide who witnessed him masturbating report the incident to the social worker. It would help to have a witness statement, I would think!

    Ewww (as someone earlier said).

  8. Ick! I agree with Mim...surely your employer has an obligation to protect you from this kind of behavior and resolve issues that "arise" Pardon the pun! I hope that something is done about this soon. Perhaps it is his medication, but it sounds unlikely considering his reaction to you coming in with the aide. My nearly 80 yr old former father in law is a perv and I don't think age has much to do with it. Personally, I think they believe because they are elderly, they can get away with such nasty behavior and "we" will blame it on age, senility, meds, etc. I wouldn't put up with that for one second more and I hope that you can do the job you love, take care of the patients that love you, without having to worry about what this "dickhead" is putting your through. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, hoping for a speedy resolution. Take care! Lisa

  9. Oh hell.

    You must feel so nervous about work.

    How long is he expected to be in for?

    I too would make a fuss, or ask for someone else to look after him.
    If that's not possible then yes, always have someone else with you and keep documenting everything.


  10. Will they let you carry a Taser? He sounds like a great Tasering candidate... kidding of course! I don't envy you one bit.