November 08, 2006

A Heart For The Elderly
I am on my way this afternoon to take one of my dearest friends to the store. This particular friend happens to be 88 years old! I have known this wonderful lady for many years and we have grown very close because we have so much in common. She loves all aspects of homekeeping like I do and she has SO much wisdom to share. We are always talking about recipes, decorating, gardening, etc.. and I have gleaned so much wonderful information from her.

My dear friend has no family in town and is unable to do a lot of things that she use to. It has been my great honor and privilege to kind of "step in" and help out when and with what is needed. Little tasks that she use to be able to handle with ease have now become monumental for her. She also worries a lot now and I notice that her confidence level is not what is used to be. Age is starting to take it's toll and I want to be there to help her out in anyway I can. The sad fact is, she is not alone. There are so many elderly people out there who need a friend to help them through and make life a little easier AND happier.

My Grammy has always been my shining example of how to live. As long as I can remember my Grammy would visit our local nursing home every Sunday afternoon. She "adopted" different ladies throughout those years and would be faithful in her visits to them. I am sure that these visits were the highlights of many these precious ladies lives. My Grammy always had something beautiful blooming in her yard and she would always go out and cut her most beautiful blooms to bring to her friends. She was always saving little bottles and containers to put her flowers in. When I lived with Grammy I would go along with her on these visits. I witnessed first hand Christ's love through her. She would hold these dear ladie's hands and listened to every word they uttered as if it were the most important thing she had ever heard. She spoke many words of encouragement and understanding to them and comforted them in their time of need. Her presence always just radiated Christian love to those around her.

Another thing my Grammy always did was she would always make handmade cards for the elderly and shut-ins. She was an artist and she would draw the prettiest pictures on the front of each card. She faithfully sent out cards each week and I'm sure the recipients were so happy to receive them. Another helpful tool was the telephone. So many elderly people are lonely and a simple phone call can make all the difference in their day. She was also a baker and many a tasty cookie or cake was baked for them. All little acts that take very little time or effort but can make such a big difference in the life of someone.

Throughout the years my Grammy has taught me so much about extending kindness to others. Her life was a lesson in love and I learned these important lessons through watching her. They say a picture is worth a thousand word and I believe that is true. She never preached about the importance of reaching out, that is the way she lived her whole life.

I know that many of you are busy with young children and many household duties and responsibilities. I wanted to share a few ways in which you could reach out to someone in need:

Phone Calls: It only takes a minute to pick up the phone and say hello. It might be the only phone call that person receives all week.

Baked goods: Have your children join you in in the kitchen and make up a batch of brownies or a loaf of bread for your elderly neighbor. Wrap them up with a pretty bow and you are all set!

Cards: Children love to create! Why not take an hour out at the dining room table and see what lovely creations you can come up with! All you will need is the price of a stamp to put a smile on someone's face.

Visits: Call your local nursing home and see who could really use a visitor. "Adopt" that special person and make a weekly visit to cheer them up!

Grocery Run: When you are making your usual grocery run call up an elderly friend and ask them if you could pick something up for them!

Raking leaves, Shoveling Snow: Get the children involved in this. They will get some good fresh air and exercise all the while making a positive difference in someone's life!

Most importantly, find a way that will show them that you care. As you are blessing them you won't believe what a wonderful blessing they will be to you! They have so much wisdom to offer, all you have to do is take the time to listen!


Anonymous said...

Your Grammy sounds so sweet, it just shows that the best gospel sermon is to live the life of love that Jesus Christ lived. :o)

deb said...

Susan, what a wonderful post! I tend to really click with old-timers, too, and I've enjoyed many good times with 80+yr-olds.

When I was spending lots of days researching nursing homes/alzheimers care homes with my mom this fall, I was in and out around older people a lot. It made me realize that I need to start visiting them here locally once I returned home. Thanks for the added incentive from your post.

Mrs.B. said...

What a lovely post! (o:

picketfencemom said...

What a wonderful and thought-provoking post as well as a tribute to your Grammy! I was very close to both my grandmothers, and I know I learned a lot about life and everything else from them. When my girls were little, my mother and I and several other ladies from the church used to visit the nursing home to sing and share refreshments. My 93-year-old grandma would go with us many times...because she felt like she need to visit all those old folks in the nursing home! LOL
I know in the last several years that I've been so busy with my own growing family that I've not done what I should in this area of ministry. Thanks for reminding us...and you know, when we take the time to do for others, the biggest blessing is usually ours, isn't it??!

annewithane65 (Kim) said...

What a wonderful post, Susan. Our church choir sings at several local nursing homes throughout the year and what a blessing it is...not only for the residents at the homes, but for us as well.

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