Seniors! Celebrate Your Freedom!
You may ask: Freedom from what?
A good question. Let’s analyze what many seniors are not happy about, first. Among the elderly, the answers are familiar to caregivers.
1. I cannot do what I enjoy doing.
2. I feel tired most of the time.
3. I cannot go where and when I want to go.
4. I feel I am a burden to everyone around me.
An old story comes to mind. It’s the one about thankfulness. Paraphrasing:
I have a tooth ache that is so painful. Then I saw someone without teeth.
I can’t remember where I put my keys to the car. Then I saw someone forced to use public transportation.
I must ask someone to help me when I pay my bills. Then I met someone who couldn’t pay their bills.
My feet hurt when I walk. Then I saw someone without feet.
Picture ourselves in their conditions: We can and will be limited in our choices as we get older. We also need others to help, sometimes at sacrifice to those that care for us. At times there is no way to repay services given.
As caregivers and family, we offer something of great value to the elderly. We can give the gift of helping the elderly or handicapped by letting them realize they can do something constructive and rewarding. Our job is to find out what they can do and what they can feel good about doing. To someone who cannot walk, to show how much upper body strength can do. To someone whose short-term memory is mostly gone: reminiscing of the “good old days”. To one who has lost all their friends as they got older: the value of their new friends and family. To the world observer who sees doom and gloom: the things that one can enjoy that was impossible years ago. Getting our elderly to see what they can do, and do those things that they value is part of our job.
Home Helpers staff and family can assist not only as companions but as real friends to uplift those who have lost some hope in their twilight years, in their own home, and in a caring environment.