My name is Rachel, and I am the new Client Care Coordinator here at Seniors Helping Seniors. What an exciting couple of weeks it has been since I joined the SHS team! Not only have I been getting familiar with our wonderful caregivers and clients via telephone and e-mail, but I have also had the privilege of meeting some of the caregivers here at the office. As soon as my training began, I was able to participate in a number of exciting interactive activities planned by SHS for their staff, clients, and affiliates.
On Thursday, June 21st, SHS hosted a Virtual Dementia Tour right here in the office. Although I have experience as a caregiver for individuals with dementia, it was my first time experiencing something quite like this. In the simulation, I got a brief glimpse of what the day-to-day looks like for somebody who suffers from dementia, and I was at a loss for words. I have always understood how important it was to be patient and loving with dementia patients but trying to complete daily chores and tasks in the Virtual Dementia Tour gave me an entirely new perspective. Buttoning my shirt was nearly impossible. Trying to fill the pill box and write a check was frustrating to the point where I didn’t even care if I did it properly—I just wanted the tasks to be over. To say it was a humbling experience is an understatement. I’m sure I can speak for all of the other caregivers and guests and say that the experience was very helpful in understanding how to approach caring for our clients.
The same afternoon, SHS hosted “Ageless Grace”, an exercise program designed for individuals with cognitive and physical challenges. The instructor explained the value of the exercises we were performing in relation to the brain’s neuroplasticity capabilities. Using imaginative and creative tools, we all danced and laughed the evening away while we trained our brains and bodies to exercise in a way that enhanced the way we think. My heart felt so full when our teacher reminded us that the key to participation with older adults with dementia was the music. Isn’t that the truth? It has always been magical to witness the sparkle in someone’s eye when a familiar song begins to play.
I knew that working for Seniors Helping Seniors would be purposeful and meaningful, but actually getting to meet the caregivers who dedicate their time and energy into enhancing the quality of life for other older adults really pulled at my heart strings. I’m amazed at how many people have showed up on their own time in order to educate themselves on caring for clients with Alzheimer’s and dementia at our quarterly Habilitation Training, just for the sake of providing better care. We really do have such a warm, loving, and thoughtful bunch of employees. It is an absolute honor to be a part of the SHS team and I look forward to the future.