I had a conversation with our Chaplain a few weeks back that I thought would be something worth sharing. For those who didn't know, Chaplain Sherree meets individually with each of our residents and patients every month. She is so in tune with seniors and their needs. She is always positive, upbeat & is someone who not only residents feel comfortable confiding in, but families and staff do as well.
In the last year or so, she has noticed a shift in many of her conversations with our residents & patients. She has noticed that many are becoming very concerned for the well-being of others....locally, nationally & throughout the World. This isn't saying that they didn't care for others before, but it seems to be really weighing on their minds now. Their worries & fears are stemming from stories they read in the newspaper and hear on the news.
Many of our residents look forward to reading the newspaper in the morning. They also enjoy watching the news before exercise group starts and before they make their way down to dinner. Just like the rest of us, they want to be informed. I just wish there were more uplifting & inspirational stories for them to read/hear.
I, too, listen to the news as I make dinner most nights in my own home. I think of it as background noise. Every so often, a phrase will catch my attention and intrigue me to listen to the story that is being told. The sad truth is that more often than not, the story that I'm hearing is something that upsets me.
Our news is filled with stories of crime, hate, disasters and despair. It feels as though no matter where we turn we can't escape the noise. It's there as we scroll through our social media accounts, the newspaper, magazines...It's on the radio and on the news....It's in conversations with friends, co-workers & family... It's all around us, all the time.
That being said...how do we as caregivers console our residents when they are worried and afraid for the well-being of others? How do we help our residents cope with these emotions when we too are experiencing them? It was so helpful to be able to discuss this topic with Chaplain Sherree & hear how she handles these conversations.
We talked about finding ways to help others, no matter how small the gesture might be. You can help others by donating to a cause, lend a helping hand to someone in need, pray for the well-being of others, volunteer, do something kind for a stranger....or just be a good friend. Be a helper.
Even if you feel that what you are doing is insignificant, to someone else it might be a big deal. Always show love & compassion to others. Even if it seems small, you can still feel good knowing that you did something to help someone in need. I'm going to end this blog with a quote that I have always loved so much.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers- so many caring people in this world." - Mr. Rogers :-)