Home Health and Wellness Take Time to Make a Senior Smile

Take Time to Make a Senior Smile

Make a Senior Smile

Tonya Hilson at CarePartners Senior Living joins Suzanne to talk about how we can do better with our seniors to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, helping make a senior smile.

Tonya says, “So what sometimes we see happen often is that families, they become frustrated with caring for their loved one at home. So then they move to a senior community, they make sure they have everything that they need, they make sure everything is put in place before that arrive, and they welcome them there, and they kind of disappear. Not intentionally, but it’s because of life, their own personal lives, they are caught up with building their own families, caring for their own families or they may be going back to school. They’re trying to advance their careers or their business, need growth, or they’re seeking their life purpose, but they become occupied, and they may call every now and then just to check on their loved one. But being there physically, or just even actually having the time to sit and have a conversation with them, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.”

“Put yourself in your loved ones’ shoes. Let’s reverse the roles. How would you feel if no one is visiting you, or making time for you? How would that make you feel? Just for a moment, just switch and say, no, you’re not the one that’s out here working. You’re the one that’s at the at home alone or in the retirement community or just feeling like you don’t matter anymore. How would you feel? What type of actions would you want those around you that you love and you took care of for so many years? How would you want them to treat you?”

Tonya adds, “What we try to tell families is that, if they still have a pulse and a heartbeat, they want to still have you near them, whether they remember you or not. But your voice, that closeness, means so much to them. Some people just feel like they’re not making a difference, but they really are. They are necessary, to be a part of that loved one’s life.”

“One of my personal just mottos for me in this industry is ‘make a senior smile’. And if I could do that, that just blesses my heart. So I would love to see other people in our community just take the time to make a senior smile.”

Tonya suggests, “Even going beyond the family members., let’s say that you don’t have a family member that’s in the senior age. If you just have that time to volunteer — to help another senior who does not have anyone to come visit them, or someone to call them, or come and fix the puzzles with them — but you have some extra time on the weekends to volunteer or one day through the week, they don’t have to be a loved one. Just say, you know what, here’s a senior center here, or there is a retirement community. I want to go make myself available. Contact the director there and say, hey, I wanna make myself available for somebody who wants to have visitors, somebody who would love a bouquet of flowers, or make some cookies. They love sweets.”

Regarding ideas on how people can help aging parents and loved ones know that they matter, Tonya says, “For me personally, my grandmother was in a different state, and I just still wanted her to know I’m here for her. I support her. So I would just even use Amazon to deliver packages to her. and that would just make her feel so special. So she knew every month that the UPS guy was gonna show up and knock on her door and bring something exciting. Even with Uber eats, you can send them something yummy. So there are so many ways we can just get on our cell phones, open the app, set up an order, and send it to them, and it’ll make a world of difference for them for that day.”

Tonya Hilson can be reached at (206) 412-3554.

Learn more:
* CarePartners Senior Living: https://answersforelders.com/carepartners-senior-living/
* CarePartners website: https://www.carepartnersliving.com/
* Tonya Hilson: https://www.carepartnersliving.com/your-admissions-team/

Hear more:
* Shows by CarePartners Senior Living: https://answersforelders.com/tag/carepartners-living/
* Shows with Tonya Hilson: https://answersforelders.com/tag/tonya-hilson/

Answers for Elders is part of the SeniorResource Network: https://www.seniorresource.com/
Check out our affiliate podcast Alzheimer’s Speaks: https://alzheimersspeaks.com/

Lead image: Photo by RDNE Stock project