Friday, July 11, 2014

Lessons From the Edge

Love makes it all better.

Many of the men and women with whom I interact at Edgewood aren't "who they used to be". Oh, how often I hear them utter things like, "I used to be able to walk that fast," and, "My memory isn't as good as it once was," and, "I can't see as well anymore," and,"I'm just kind of falling apart."
Mind, body, and otherwise, many of the folks at Edgewood are experiencing the toll time takes on a person. And it can be a pretty frustrating transition. Aging, that is.
There is one woman, S, who is particularly struggling with her mind/memory. And it makes her sad. This week when she came into exercise class one day she said to me, "I need to whisper something to you." So I got close to her and she said, "I don't like it when I come into a room and people treat me like an invalid."
Note: This lovely woman really does need special treatment. As in, specific instruction. When she walks into a room you need to tell her to sit down, and exactly where to do it. When the elevator door opens up, she needs to be told to walk into it. To get her to turn around, it is often necessary to take hold of her walker and physically turn her. Something just isn't connecting in her brain, so she needs those specifics. But, apparently, that makes her feel like an invalid.
I put my arm around her and whispered back, "S, you aren't an invalid. I love you!" And we got started with exercise class.
When we were finished exercising, I walked around and greeted each person, thanking them for coming to class that day. And when I got to S, I reminded her she could get up from her chair, I helped her get situated with her walker, then I kissed her on the cheek and said, "I love you!"
And from the smile on her face, I could tell - she wasn't feeling like an invalid in that moment.

Sometimes even the smallest expression of love can change a person's outlook.
Is there someone who needs to know you love them today?

Love makes it all better.

Karen
Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this post are my own, and may not necessarily reflect those of Vista Springs Living Centers.

2 comments:

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Wonderful reminder. My Mom has become one who needs special help in the past 3 months or so. It is a balance to maintain her dignity, but also keep her safe and secure. Love is the undergirding theme. Thanks again for all your help with HeBrews!!!

Karen Hossink said...

Leah - A delicate balance, yes. And when we keep Love as the focus... :)