Recently I’ve had the pleasure of working with an older lady whom I absolutely adore. She has a fantastic sense of humor and life stories that will knock your socks off. In her 90’s, she’s still essentially independent. Her memory is occasionally a little unreliable, but not bad enough to cause concerns.
Because of a recent illness, the family was considering moving her to an assisted living community, but instead decided to try Sunflower Family’s services first.
When we met, she was up and about, but just. She had gotten accustomed to staying in her Independent Living Community apartment, where they delivered her meals every day. Her family had been coming in to take special care of her on a daily basis, which had encouraged her to rely on them and her television for entertainment. Really it would have been easy for her to simply give up – things were pretty cozy. She had even let her weekly hair appointment slip away! (Ladies, you know that is serious business!)
We really connected on a personal level; as her body continued to recover from illness and she became comfortable with me, the stories began to pour out of her. They were good stories, really good stories, and she had us both laughing.
Signs of Life
One morning, she looked in the mirror and declared her hair to be a fright. I reminded her there was a hair salon just down the hall from her apartment. She rolled her eyes at me saying, “I suppose I should get back to my weekly appointment.”
The next week, I coaxed her into having breakfast in the dining room. By then it was an easy choice because her hair looked great, and her energy was returning.
Since then, my new friend’s been having three squares a day in the dining room. Because communal dining is a BIG part of social life – no matter what age you are – this was a big step towards her restoration. Lately, she’s even been attending a few other activities, such as Bingo, and the Ladies’ Coffee Group.
In a conversation recently, I asked her why she’d decided to start getting out again. She said, “Well, honey, I might as well. I’m not dead yet…”
Getting involved again truly energized her. Her friends were glad to see her – which made her feel valued, and in turn contributed further to her recovery process.
It Takes a Team
This story is representative of our Mission Statement here at Sunflower Family Concierge: We believe that aging adults have the desire to live full lives, to remain relevant, active, and live on their own terms if possible. Sometimes they lack one thing or another to make that a reality. We do our best to provide the lacking piece and it is incredibly rewarding to see lives made full and joyous again.
Extra help is important for families of the elderly, too. Worries about your parents’ well-being and/or taking care of their daily needs is a huge stressor. Want to enjoy your life again? Hire help.
As my husband says, “It’s a win-win situation!”