• Sandy Rose

Caring

There is an aspect of senior life that you never think about until you become a

senior citizen. In your youth, you work, plan for retirement and assume

retirement would be your time to relax, travel and do all those things you never

had time to do in your youth. At least that was my expectation. It didn’t

work out that way for me. Don’t get me wrong, I did retire to a wonderful

retirement community; and I did take a few cruises and motor trips, which likely

consumed about two months of my time since retirement. I’ve been retired four

years, at this time and plan to take a couple trips later this year, but most of my

time is spent in my community. I maintain a home, of course, do activities here in

the community with friends, but being in a retirement community has showed me

a need all seniors will be involved in one way or another and that is care giving.


My friends and neighbors in this community need help at one time or another.

Sometimes, it is only transportation to the doctor or someone to check on them

once in a while. I beginning to see that we all will either receiver or administer

care giving at this stage of life. I also feel it is a blessing either way. I have had

several opportunities to help fellow neighbors and friends with transportation,

meals, errands, visits or encouragement. I think they have blessed my life more

than I could theirs. Everyone of us in this retirement community have a life time

of experiences, joys, heartaches and treasures to share. There is no better time

to do that then when you are driving to Med Center, visiting over a meal or just

sitting with someone that needs a little company. It takes time, but what can be

more important than investing your time in helping someone through a rough

time in their life. Raising children, maintaining a home for the family, as well as

working outside the home filled my younger years. There was care giving there

too; maybe preparing me for what I would find in retirement.


I’ve not been on the receiving end of care giving, but if I live long enough, I’m

sure I will some day. Those that I’ve cared for have taught me to be very

protective of their self esteem. It is hard to ask for help, hard to feel incapable of

doing simple chores, and especially of losing your independence to drive or walk

to the mail box. It’s important to lift them up in other ways; encourage their

stories, what they have accomplished in life; encourage them to continue to do

what they can, hobbies, writing, recording. I always encourage them to write

down their memories, share them with family. Those that can’t get out or drive

any more need someone to visit with, even if it is listening to the same stories

over again. Patiences is special gift in this fast paced world, but a very important part of care giving. Seniors slow down and so does their mind and recall. It can

take them longer to think and say what’s on their mind. That’s where care givers

need to patiently listen and encourage. By caring you can give another person

hope. Hope they still have something to contribute of interest to someone else,

hope they too will see better days. It’s hard to adjust to limitation when our mind

still sees that young person in us. If we’ve made it this far in life, lets slow our

pace, talk to our neighbors, listen for the opportunity to “pay it forward”.

Care giving is not a job but an opportunity to care and share in another person’s

life. Don’t miss the blessing.

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The Heritage at Towne Lake

19201 N. Canyon Lake Springs Dr. 
Cypress, TX 77433