It has been quite awhile since the last blog, mostly due to the enormous business load I've encountered since my business opened in November. So many seniors without advocates, without the proper care, and many without the will to live once they are placed in unfamiliar homes/facilities.
My eyes of 57 years have seen the elderly of Essex County in a new and at times, disturbing light, mainly the level of care provided, the future they see before them, and the overwhelming need for affection and attention.
As time passes us by, no matter how special, or important, or unique we might think we are, the final chapter of a senior's life remains the same for all of us.
As much as there are a great many seniors who are making the most of their lives in Retirement Communities, the majority are lonely, neglected by family, non-trusting, and without purpose. While living within the latte and cool blue walls of these immensely beautiful 'state of the art' buildings,amenities galore and gold encrusted fixtures, lies the withered aged spirits of men and women who long ago, made their youthful and gifted mark on the world, yet feel as though they are but burdens and inconveniences to family and society. Much of their independance gone, they now must rely on group buses, annoyed adult children, taxis and business caregivers to assist with travels and appointments. I encounter discouraged, tired and cynical babyboomer adult children who desperately need a forum to discuss their aging parents and the toll it's taking on the families, their health and their spirits.Countless seniors exhausted by endless doctor appointments, falls, monetary worries, restricted freedoms, loneliness and diminished health. Yet, it takes but a warm hello, a smile, a touch, or a word of affection to initiate the most precious of lost smiles in the elderly.
My very first client, Miss Catherine 77, has become a lifelong friend and mentor; Elizabeth, 90, a walking scholar on being raised in Germany as a poor little girl; Marie 83, a retired and compassionate nurse in Quebec who continues to heal the sick with words of kindness; Ted and Joan married 67 years, lost a child at 45 and their loyal beloved pet dog Buddie, still holding hands and making suggestive advances at one another in a world where devoted long-lasting love eludes so many; Rose 85, who gave everything to her children and now lies alone in a longterm care facility, no longer the spirited jovial gal, battling a bone infection.....her sons out of sight; Clarence 97, who mourns his beloved Betty who recently died, a real gentle man who taught me the 2 step in 40 minutes; and the many others who have no idea how important they truly are to young kids like me.
There remains a sadness in me, wishing I could have known them in their youth, wanting them to stay around a little longer while I travel through my senior years. The profound sorrow that surrounds me really has it's roots in the knowledge that they will not be here much longer for me to love, and to feel the love they provide me. This raw reality has me questioning where I go from here.......