What does it mean to expect something? And what are the implications of maintaining a certain expectation?

Could it be possible that when one expects something, you are in effect changing the way you perceive that something? Without needing to go into quantum physics, we can agree that when we expect something to be a certain way, most often it turns out to be that way, or similar to what we expected. Lets look at a rudimentary example. If you visit a place you’ve never been to before and you expect it to be beautiful, you are most likely to see the beauty of the place which serves to confirm your expectation. Alternatively, if you expected the place to be hideous, you are most likely to find something within that place that serves to confirm this. There is a lovely proverb that goes something like this; Those who believe in God, see evidence of God’s existence everywhere. Those who don’t believe in God, see evidence of God’s non-existence everywhere. Here’s another example of how expectation works; I’ve met people who, when they get the flue, they are stranded in bed for a week or two. They go for antibiotics, shots and who knows what else and still, it takes them at least a week to recover. One day a guy told me he was starting to catch the flue and should put in sick leave at work for a week, without knowing the severity of the flue. It took him neither five days nor nine days to recover, it took him a full seven days to get over it. Why? Because he expected it to take seven days and his body followed.

It must be understood that I’m not talking about a magical power we all have and as soon as we expect to see a pot of gold around the corner, it will be there waiting for us. Instead, what I’m saying is that if you’ve been reinforcing the expectation your entire life, over and over again, that flue takes at least a week to pass, then it will be deeply embedded within your subconscious mind. That is to say that if you were one day to say, “Okay, I can do this! I’m going to kick this flue in the bum, watch! Give me two days and it’s gone.” It’s very unlikely that it’s going to happen, because you’ve believed otherwise your entire life and as a result, it’s deeply hardwired within who you are. We can talk hours on the mechanistic beauty of how expectation plays a fundamental role in actively shaping and maintaining our physiology, psychology and phenomenology. But in essence, it all comes down to the collective experience; that our expectations formulate the way we perceive, and experience, reality.

So why is this so important when it comes to Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia? Well, lets say you are caring for someone who has a form of Dementia, Alzheimer’s perhaps and you’re doing a very good job. Your expectation when caring for this person, is that this person is still alive, still has a soul, a personality, the ability to laugh and you expect the person to continue living a life of joy, laughter and love. As a result, the way you talk to that person is influenced, the way you smile at them, hug them, tease them, feed them, bathe them, stimulate them and care for them is so intricately influenced by your expectations. On the other hand, we have someone who is just doing their job, the pay isn’t very well, the hours are so long and on top of that, you have to clean dirty bums even if it’s Saturday. They expect the person to drop dead any minute, so what’s the use trying to get a smile on their face, because they’ll just forget it ever happened a few minutes later. How will these expectations influence the way they touch the person, speak to the person, stimulate, help and care for the person?

Can you see the two different pictures? Painted with different expectations, one has exquisite colors filled with the ambiance of joy, laughter, inspiration and upliftment, while the other is morbid, claustrophobic, lifeless, colorless and lonely.

At the Jura Care Village we have a number of specific expectations. These expectations have become ingrained within the way we view our residents, and as a result, the way we care for them.


Animal Therapy at the Jura Care Village

Meet Ouma Anna, a beautiful blue-eyed woman who was bedridden when she arrived at the Jura Care Village. We gave her one look and knew she was tired of laying in her bed. Slowly we encouraged her to come sit with us in the living room. We could see her growing stronger, physically and psychologically. More and more, she slowly moved with assistance. And this morning, after a few months of inspiring her with our love,  encouragement, laughter and genuine compassionate care, she woke up and walked all by herself from her bedroom all the way to the living room with no assistance. She is living proof that our expectations; that Ouma Anna is alive, still has will power and a purpose, have infiltrated her entire being with life.


Having a braai, with two of the residents helping. Left: Buddy. Center: Johan. Right: Gerrit.

Here at the Jura Care Village, we expect excellence in the quality of our staff and excellence within the Jura Care Model. And this has a striking effect on our residents who can feel that they are loved and properly cared for.


Working together to make a collage using magazines.

It’s so incredible to see that our expectations for the Jura Care Village have taken such a stronghold within our residents that they are beginning to raise each other’s expectations too! They are encouraging one another and care about each other, forming a big family, the Jura Care family!