Sainthood was the topic of the sermon at church this past Sunday. This daunting task of aspiring to conduct oneself in such a heroic or awe inspiring manner caused me to think of a niece of a resident in our community. As Dementia Administrator and Dementia Practitioner recently promoted to VP Marketing of a 100 door independent Senior Retirement Community, you become close not only with the residents but also their family members.
For this niece, her uncle was facing poor overall health and lack of energy with no interest in life since his wife passed. As Kathy lived 700 miles away, her uncle was alone with no immediate family to offer care and concern. Recognizing her uncle’s poor and decaying condition, Kathy stepped up to the plate by providing long distance life sustaining love and care. First, she received a transfer, secured a small home and moved to be with her uncle.
Second, she had her uncle examined by a psychiatrist which resulted in counseling sessions. She then coordinated new physical examinations and had her uncle’s primary care physician and psychiatrist review all his medications concerning Dementia Prevention.
Kathy helped spark a new interest in her uncle’s life by encouraging more social interaction with other residents of similar age and with similar health concerns. Having found this at Brookside, her uncle moved into our retirement community with thrice weekly visits from Kathy. In fact she brags, stating his confidence has improved to such an extent that he is driving again.
While juggling her professional career 700 miles away then deciding to move to the same city as her uncle, Kathy was able to recognize problems in her uncle’s life and turn it around. In the book of saints, Kathy is definitely listed.
Candidacy for sainthood also comes to mind when thinking of a daughter of another resident. She moved her mother to Mobile after her mother was severely taken advantage of by telemarketers and door to door salesmen. While it was a major undertaking to down size from her beautiful family antebellum home in a rural Alabama community, her sons and daughters packed her up and moved 150 miles for her to be close to them. Taking the reins, her oldest daughter secured new doctors and began searching for a new home. After looking and looking, Ms. Eldermore fell in love with her new Arts and Craft Cottage in our retirement community, its secure environment, our numerous activities and all the other like-minded folks her age serving as supportive neighbors as well as friends. With years behind her shut up in a dream ‘Tara’ antebellum home being paranoid, scared and alone, Ms. Eldermore is happy and relaxed now, truly enjoying life. Serving as an advocate for her mother, Ms. Eldermore’s daughter is indeed a Saint.
As we approach our retirement and golden years many of us consider our legacy and our desire to make a difference in the lives of loved ones we leave behind. A gift you could consider is helping and looking after an elderly neighbor, friend or family member.
Being an advocate for an elder and improving their lives is truly an avenue to Sainthood.
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