As a seniors advocate and eldercare specialist, I often see how the elderly become isolated and lose their ability to participate in real life activities whether because they’re in a long term care facility and have less contact with family and friends, or still living in their own home without the ability or energy to organize outside activities. When we lose touch with everyday activities we hasten not only a general malaise but physical and mental deterioration. I firmly believe engaging in life will extend our lives. When I say “engaging in life” I mean continuing to participate in activities by asking for and accepting assistance where and when needed.
One of my clients, Linda (changed the name to maintain her privacy) still lives in her home and doesn’t drive anymore, so getting to her favourite places and staying connected to the outside world seems to be a thing of the past. A while back she surprised me by asking if I would take her shopping for new underwear. While this activity could be fulfilled by her companion I felt she was comfortable enough to ask me so I said yes. As her trusted advocate and consultant I know her well; she is mentally capable and other than tiring a little she is physically capable. Here we experienced a great spontaneous experience that visibly lifted her spirits.
What a surprise when we arrived at her favorite lingerie store Diane’s ! Other than the normal fabulous personal service Diane’s staff provides, this particular day found us arriving during a media launch of newly designed bra’s. We were able to participate in the energy and high spirits of the show as we watched the models, designer and media mingle with patrons. With the help of the staff providing personal and discreet service Linda was able to find two lovely bras to take home and I had a few minutes to chat with Diane as she kept a keen eye on her event. Throughout all this, the staff gave Linda their undivided attention and made her feel completely at ease. We came out of there feeling as if we were walking on a cloud.
We ventured down a block to Chapmans for Ladies and visited with her long time friend and sales girl there. It was a great time for them to get caught up on little personal tidbits while Linda bought herself a new spring blouse.
Getting out, participating in life’s favorite pass times and events and staying connected is important to help us remain healthy both physically and emotionally.
Consider This –
Planning ahead, hiring people who understand and appreciate your values helps to keep you young at heart.