It started out over a year and a half now with a friend who’s wife was in the hospital. I was friends with the wife for 6 years and found out he had lost his driver’s license because of his first signs of memory loss. I volunteered to drive him to visit his wife whenever he wanted to go. I then discovered like most men in their 80’s that the wife did all the cooking and he was trying his best. So it became that I visited him twice a week and cooked supper for him and left him with dinner for 2 nights each time. One night he asked me if I could stay for dinner with him as he found it lonely to eat alone and no one to have tea with after dinner. So I did ,twice a week. Eventually his wife of 60 plus years passed away and he was a lost soul, devastated that he had lost his soul mate…..and soul mates they were. They were like two little love birds right to the end. He would visit her as she laid in her hospital bed , holding her hand and telling her about his day. I am sure she could hear him although there was not a stir in her body.
After she passed away and the girls were home from out west for the funeral we had a family meeting. The girls asked me if I could take care of their Dad as he wanted to stay in his home for as long as he could. I was going to be paid now and it was “a job” now. I spent about ten to twelve hours a week with him. Cleaning his house, doing his laundry, cooking dinners, taking him out shopping, paying his bills, doing his banking and going out for meals with him. Basically I was doing all the things a daughter would do only I was getting paid and he wasn’t my Dad.
When you are 89 years old you don’t have many friends left. He has since had to go to a retirement home which he has accepted to living there now and is doing well. It has made my life easier as I don’t have to worry about him when I am not with him. I still spend about 10 hours a week with him taking him out for lunch or dinner and a nice drive each time and still looking after everything else.
I have convinced his former neighbour to join us on our “Saturday outings.” She is about 85 and has no family at all here. We have so much fun on our outings and go to a different place to eat every week. They both have wicked sense of humours and we laugh sometimes until tears start. The three of us now have a special bond and we consider ourselves “family” and look forward to our Saturday adventures and with me in control of the car and my no sense of directions ,,,they are sometimes a real adventure.
I feel for both of these seniors and not to blow my own horn but if I hadn’t stepped up to the plate both of these lovely wonderful ,story telling people, would be sitting alone both in their home and the retirement home. They have so many stories to tell us and so happy to be taken out. Living alone you miss the hugs and the feeling that someone cares about you and having someone that you can care about. The three of us have that now.
I really realized this today as we got out of the car and walked to the door of the restaurant. As I looked back to make sure they were ok walking , there they were, arm in arm walking with their canes and chatting away as the best friends they have become. It brought tears to my eyes as I saw the happiness that our Saturday trips were bringing.
The Pastor who lives at the end of my street last week stopped me while walking my dog. He wanted to know how I was doing and if there was anything he could do for me and if he could say a prayer for me. He caught me off guard as I wasn’t expecting such a powerful question. I said he could ( hoping he would pray for my golf games.) and that everything was good and that I just got back from taking my senior friend out and we had such a good time out. He looked at me and asked me if I thought my friend got more satisfaction from us spending time together or if I benefitted more from our relationship.
I smiled at him and told him I knew that he was grateful for our friendship but I knew it was me who was the winner of this one.
So my point is that if you have the time, please consider “adopting a senior”. There are so many lonely seniors with no family who would love to have your company, if only for a few hours a week. I compare it the same as being a blood donor…..”It’s in you to give then give” so please give your heart and time to a senior….make the time, you won’t regret it.