I read somewhere that the number one thing you can do to make a woman feel good about herself is tell her that she looks young. So whenever I meet a new female patient who fits the bill, I make a point out of exclaiming how young she looks. I mean, I won't lie and tell somebody that she looks young if she doesn't, but I figure it doesn't hurt to compliment her, especially since people feel bad about themselves when they're in the hospital.
Most of the time, the women seem very happy with the compliment. Occasionally, it backfires.
Recently, I was seeing a new patient who was 75 years old. He looked pretty good for 75. When I asked him who he lived with for a dispo planning, a woman in the room raised her hand. I asked who she was, and she replied, "I'm his wife."
"Wow!" I commented. "You don't look anywhere near 75! You must be much younger than that."
"Yes," another woman in the room commented snippily, who we later found out was his daughter, "she's a lot younger than he is."
I guess there was a reason she looked so young. She was the trophy wife.
I later tried to make up for it by exclaiming how young the patient looked, and then how everyone in the room looked young, and that the family had apparently discovered the fountain of youth. "What your secret?" I asked at one point. I'm not sure if that worked.