Babies, Seniors, and the Holidays
With the recent birth of our third child, the daily goal is back in place for my wife: a shower.
In a world of chasing two children and catering to third, this may not seem like a monumental goal, but it is THE key goal by which each day’s success is measured.
Having a purpose in the day has proven a key to a happy life (as referenced http://seniorhousingandcare.info/uncategorized/retired-living-in-an-assisted-living-or-nursing-home-community-what-is-your-purpose/), though the size of the effort in question is not as important. Some ideas include to call a friend, send a letter, take a walk in a new area, read a new magazine or book, learn how to say “hello” in Swahili (Jambo), plant an herb for your new windowsill herb garden http://gardening.about.com/od/vegetablepatch/ht/window_herbs.htm , and the list goes on and on.
During the holidays and even beyond the holidays, seniors living in retirement communities, independent living locations, assisted living communities, or even living at home with the hope of graceful aging are challenged with all life has brought. The longer someone lives, the more likely they are to content with factors of:
- Financial limitations
- Loss of independence
- Being alone or separated from loved ones
- Failing eyesight (and lessening of the ability to write or read holiday correspondence)
- Loss of mobility and/or the inability to get to religious services
- Loss of loved ones
The holiday season is particularly tough for many who may fall into a holiday depression. http://www.gmhfonline.org/gmhf/consumer/factsheets/depression_holidays.html
Society has an opportunity to turn this experience around. If each person who knew a senior or of a senior who might benefit from some additional interaction, could take just ten minutes this week to reach out to that person, purpose could return for so many. Within the ten minutes the key is to listen and engage the senior regarding their thoughts, past successes, and before leaving make a commitment to return to talk again because you enjoyed the conversation.
Over time, each person needs to set their own path of purpose to find true meaning. However, for those who have a hard time getting started, a friendly gesture is much appreciated.
Off to make sure my wife can get a shower today and claim success. Happy holidays!