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Living well at home

Originally published in the Apple valley Scoop Issue 28 (June 2011) by Nancy Blezy RN, Nurse Manager, Careforce Health Services

June is Seniors Month, an opportunity for all of us to recognize and value the contributions made by seniors every day in communities across the province.

Seniors can and do play an important part in our lives. We look to seniors to transmit wisdom, values, continuity between generations and support to our families. Our seniors are worthy of dignity and respect. Seniors are vibrant, energetic and are great contributors to our communities. Many programs would suffer with the loss of support from seniors. Many families would lose without the assistance of senior parents and grandparents. Meet today’s seniors: active, fit and with energy and time resources to share. I recently was a regular visitor in a nursing home. There were many seniors who volunteered there and I was touched by how much joy they brought to the residents. They had the time for the little joke, the hand holding, the extra patience while feeding. One gentleman in particular touched me. An elderly non-verbal lady had to be assisted with feeding. Staff were busy and tended to the process of feeding her very efficiently. When this senior came in he would sit with her, patiently place the spoon in her hand, hold it with her and talk about life. She always ate more, smiled more when he, a senior volunteer from the community sat with her. Male residents became animated and engaged when he stopped to chat with them. He made a difference for them.

If you are reading this and are a senior, perhaps sitting at home and facing some losses - consider the benefit of looking at what you could offer someone else. Volunteering opportunities abound: visiting, calling shut-ins, driving others for appointments, reading to someone, assisting with home maintenance or chores. If you want some suggestions feel free to call me, Nancy at Careforce 365-3155 in Kentville or 765-3122 in the Kingston area or toll-free 1-866-966-1466. To our Seniors, THANK YOU! We appreciate you.