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When my son was a little boy we went to a care home setting for his little class to sing to the seniors.
It was uncomfortable. I didn’t like it at all.
They were in wheelchairs, rocking chairs, some hung their heads downward, some smiled what seemed like faraway smiles, with empty darkened eyes when they looked at you.
The little kids didn’t seem scared or uncomfortable, but I was for sure.
I didn’t know what to think or how to react, if they grabbed me.
I wanted out of there as fast as I could get out. I was way out of my comfort zone.
Now that it’s been many years since then and we have been in the setting of care homes, assisted living homes and even foster home settings.
As I have learned to spend time with ‘relatives’ who live there, I was able to move from uncomfortable to, “I am ok with this.”
The elderly are one group of people who are very forgotten in our ‘current’ society. In the old days ma and pa lived with the kids like on the Walton show.
It was a group setting where they all shared meals, and home and relationships. It was very caring and loving and safe, and it was family.
This doesn’t happen anymore. Most older folk are now in care homes being cared for by others who ‘do it’ as a job not as a relationship.
I remember when my husbands dad went into a nice setting, he was fearful, we would put him in there and forget about him.
It is a valid fear. Many who live there are forgotten or rarely visited. Families do not make the time for the seniors.
It was not a valid worry for him, as his kids saw him all the time. Only when his memory became worse was it a problem because he wouldn’t remember who was there.
This could be a ‘think out of the box’ idea for Valentines day. Go visit a senior.
Take a bouquet of flowers to someone living alone, make some homemade cookies if they can have them.
Write a thank you note to the caregivers if you have any, and thank them for making your loved ones comfort level safe and nice.
Little things are so easy to do yet we avoid them. Because of our own comfort level.
I was very uncomfortable the first few times I went into a ‘senior care home.’ It was hard for me to imagine, what they used to do, before age took them away.
My sister lives in an assisted living home. It is safe and good for her to be there. It keeps her from harm and keeps her healthy.
I challenge you one more time, to do something new, different and kind as we head into the ‘Valentine’ weekend.
Perhaps it could even mean, write a note to your child’s teacher at school and say, “thank you,” for all you do all day long.
It is a time for what I call, ‘thinking out of the box’ and expressing thought and feelings, on this ‘day three’ of what we call ‘love week’.