Sensorium & Color Scope workshops: EX-pand your professional toolbox
Sensorium & Color Scope workshops: EX-pand your professional toolbox
Living in a household of eight, with both my grandmothers, I was exposed to the beauty of books, playing games, laughter and learned to appreciate the value of generational strengths. My family showed me the power of engagement in activities of daily living, meaning every one had tasks that made our family “village” run. MomMom Bertha was the laundry Queen, made a killer pound cake and reveled reading my English compositions and giving feedback. Meanwhile, Grandmom Marie breaded the smelts, darned socks and a voracious appetite for news and reading made her a wonderful conversationalist.
Then there was my Great Aunt Hilda, the Aunt whose house you always wanted to visit, because she had a totally pink bathroom, down to the Rosemilk soap and fluffy shag rug yet more than that was the life of the party and lived life out loud. She loved to connect with people through jokes, music and games. Aunt Hilda always made people feel welcomed, wanted, connected. She was a guiding star in my life. I accompanied my Aunt on Sundays to visit my great Grandmother in a nursing home and would see folks who appeared lonely and my Aunt encouraged me to go and sit with folks. This experience revealed that each person has hidden treasures waiting to be discovered and that someday I too will want someone to sit with me. That pivotal point cinched that serving elders would be in my future and thirty years later here I am in the best profession on earth!
I am deeply grateful to my Mother who supported my various senior communities with donations, book suggestions or loaned family antiques when we hosted the annual country fair. And to the many pioneers who helped to pave the way for this profession, specifically Anne D’Antonio-Nocera, Nancy DeBolt, Cat Selman, Dr. Peckham, Mary Miller, Nadine Touhey, and my best team leader and mentor Pam Keely. Every elder I have been blessed to serve has gifted me with wisdom, humanity and invaluable life lessons . As Thomas Edison said “the secret to success is making your vocation your vacation.” I view each day with curiosity because the human spirit is not linear rather ever changing. May we encourage one another across the life span, continue advocating for quality eldercare and the power of engagement and the importance of play with gusto!
Connections sums it up. As humans we are wired to be connected. Don’t stop now.
Create a Village: Let people know that your loved one is changing. Life is meant to shared. Tap into existing friends, family, neighbors, church family who extend a helping hand.
Don’t be a super hero: accept help offered or ASK for help. It can be scary with so many family roles shifting. Your elder can still make decisions and now you may be the one to implement. When cognition changes, involve your loved one in conversations. Please don’t talk about a person present as if they were invisible. Think no conversations about me, without me.
Create moments of JOY….simplicity is best. Enjoy time together. Open scrapbooks, walk in the park., enjoy an ice cream cone, adapt a family favorite game. Activities are everywhere J
Organize legal affairs: Too many people wait until crisis emerges and then reactive thinking happens. Be prepared and open to hard conversations. The more difficult matters are discussed (treatment options, body changes, adapting living situation for better functioning (safety),final wishes, life celebration/funeral arrangements can be healthy when openly discussed. When organized this opens time up to BE with your loved one.
Adjust, flex and discover more: as loved ones change, change with them. If memory changes show up, don’t correct your loved one or act impatient.
Explain and involve children into the process: This informs, decreases societal myths about aging and cultivates sensitivity and compassion.
We fear what we don’t understand and fill in the spaces, often with incorrect information. Share your care journey with others. Listen to their experiences, swap resources and enjoy life’s journey.
40 words for S*N*O*W ???
Crazy right? Well Finnish is a unique language and Finns like it that way.
This issue was inspired by our recent snow fall here in beautiful southeastern Pennsylvania and I felt moved to create a playful post. One that can easily be transformed into an activity.
If you did not know, I was an AFS exchange student to Finland for a year, after I graduated high school and before college. It was my “between” year that was rich, full and amazing. I am still close with my lovely host families. A gift that keeps on giving. Deeply blessed.
Living in Kuopio, a six hour train ride from Helsinki, I was in the center of the eastern Lake District and about 80 miles from the Russian border. Snow started late October through April so when people around here moan about a long winter, I chuckle. From that rich time I learned life is meant to be lived, outdoors and there is no such thing as a snow day in Finland. Friends and family taught me to ice fish, cross country ski, drink lots of good coffee, travel above the Artic Circle into Lapland, witness herds of reindeer and yes, roll in the snow, after sauna. (a story for another day 🙂
Even the Finnish flag, blue and white, represents the land of lakes and snow.
Anyway, I get very excited when I see snow or anything Finnish related.
What are the broad categories for snow in Finnish…..
· precipitation that is still falling
· mixed with water
· on top of large bodies of water (FACT: Finland has MORE than 60,000 lakes)
· snow on the ground
· after a human or animal intervention (think tracks, holes)
· and verbs for walking on snow.
And I didn’t even mention dialect words. WHEW!
Two links to use for an activity:
Below, fun slide show with 8 wintry words
Use Google Earth and check out Kuopio and share your thoughts on our Activity Pathways facebook page.
Onnellinen Talvi….Happy Winter!
I return to the spirit of the first ezine I released in 2016 which focused on the power of words. Important then and important now.
Word. A simple f-o-u-r letter word that can carry pleasure or a pinch.
How, when, why and which word we use matters.
Every time. Kipling said “Words are the most powerful medicine known to man.”
So I ask , what words and thoughts are floating around your brain? Are they positive? Affirming? Energizing ? Or are they negative, self doubting, depleting?
We, as professionals use words to uplift, heal, create and engage.
As we c-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-e our profession this week, make sure that you are “feeding” yourself positive words. Words that lift you UP to a higher ground. There is plenty of negativity to go around however it does not serve us. It depletes us. We need to keep ourselves and team members on track taking notice what words are being used and how we are using them. Positive statements can become our fuel. Motivation for ourselves. Our teams. Our services.
January 22-28,2017 is Activity Professional Week.
How will honor yourself, your team and the profession?
In focused and persistent pursuit of creating elder care services that know NO boundaries, only possibilities
Join me on this journey and TOGETHER let us create positive change in eldercare.
I encourage you to reflect, refresh and renew yourself after all you cannot pour out care from an empty cup. Keep your caregiving cup filled. Let others add to your cup.
Activities are a natural bridge to bring everything together in a place & time to help people share life’s journey, soul to soul.