Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!
Topic: Caregivers, How are you Making Seniors Smile?
I know you have heard that smiling can be contagious. Smiles can make someone’s day. Smiling can brighten someone’s pain. Smiling can change someone’s perspective on a situation. We should want to put a smile on someone’s face. We all should want to be a rainbow in someone’s world. Life has been hard lately; separated from family and friends due to a relentless pandemic. There has been no time like the present to share smiles. We can even do it 6-feet apart!
In addressing older adults and senior care concerns, loneliness is a real issue. Feeling alone(with a houseful of people) and being alone is a real issue. Countless research has uncovered this significant area of importance. Social isolation and loneliness have led to depression, anxiety, malnutrition, health issues, and sadly, suicide in older adults. Keep in mind that loneliness is considered a subjective emotion that adds to social loneliness, which was and still is a reality due to the pandemic. Both realities can have detrimental effects if not acknowledged and addressed.
For some, growing older can sometimes feel like no one cares, and you are now on the shelf, waiting to fall off and be laid to rest. While we all are going to one- day be laid to rest(young and old), what can we do to help encourage kindness? How about doing things that make other smiles.
Ways to Make Seniors Smile!
On September 1st, The Socks 4 Senior Project In Missouri City, Texas began. This was my way of honoring my mother and giving back to my community. I felt the need to make seniors smile in my community. To be genuinely transparent, I miss my mother’s smile. Her smile was so infectious and calming. Her smile said, regardless of what ails us, things will all work themselves out. I miss watching her smiles turn into loud waves of laughter. In the caregiving role, there were things I did for mommy that would render the biggest smiles. Because I cared for my mother for such a long time, I am often reminded of her smiles. It is no secret, and I miss her terribly.
After speaking with some people in the community and some planning, the Socks 4 Seniors Project was born. This will be an annual event in my community every September for as long as I can do it. As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, let me share that caring has many characteristics. Caring for one’s community is just as important as caring for our loved ones. What else might you consider? Send lunch or greeting cards to send to a senior. How about sending flowers to a senior “just because.”