When was the last time you took a chance at trying something you have never done before? A little over five years ago, I discovered my passion for lifting smiles and helping others with older adults. With each day, I grew to love what I do even more as I go home knowing that some-how, some-way – I helped make a difference in one’s life.
My previous career was in marketing and business management. When I chose to change the direction of my career, it hit me. This is my calling! At first, it was intimidating to make the change; but I found myself saying – go out there and try something new, and I am grateful I made that leap. It is important to have a sense of purpose at work, where you feel you are using your talents and providing a good service.
Ever since, I encourage others to do the same. Trying Something New has more benefits than one may think! Sometimes a little bit of perspective is all we need to gain appreciation and sense of value for the things around us. Time with family, friendship, everyday lifestyle, and simply getting to know others all seem completely new and revived when you go out on a limb in another area of your life.
There are many days we are visiting with an older adult that may be struggling to lift that smile due to an illness or they may be feeling sad and lonely. In this industry, it is our goal to encourage others to look at the positives – where every day is a bright day. No matter how gloomy a day may be… it will be a bright one. Occasionally, just trying something new will make that day bright.
Recently, we sponsored a booth at a caregiver seminar (Tips and Tools for Successful Dementia Care) hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association. It truly hit me why we do what we do as I visited with so many people who are caring for their loved ones at home. I saw the hurt in their eyes, the inner frustration as they are struggling too; considering they are working day and night, seven days a week. While visiting with one special lady, it warmed my heart simply listening to her story. She had such a great inner strength we all only dream of retaining. But she too needed a break away – to downshift. After sharing with one another about Respite Care, she realized how important it is to care for herself too, so she can continue to give quality care for her husband. As she lifted the smile with a sigh of relief knowing that she was not alone – her day became brighter.
We are not alone. There are many support groups out there to help one another. If you are caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, please call The Alzheimer’s Association at their 24/7 Helpline: 1.800.272.3900 or go to http://www.alz.org/apps/findus.asp for more information. Also, your out of area family members can join their local support groups as well!