At FirstLight Home Care, we’re in the business of taking care of people – seniors or the chronically ill who need a little help with their day-to-day activities. As the population of baby boomers age, we provide a much needed caregiving service to family members who live far away, have other jobs or just need a break from their family caregiving duties.
What we often forget to mention is what FirstLight Home Care franchise owners learn from their clients – this can be just as invaluable.
Patience. We are always hustling about, in a hurry, oblivious to the simpler things in life. We sweat the small stuff and often forget that challenges will pass. We get hung up on work, school, kid problems and marital issues. Because of their experience, seniors tend to focus on what’s important, and take time out to enjoy life. Although many have to keep a slower pace because of their age, they relax more. For our generation, it’s hard to sit in a room with no electronic devices around us. Seniors often enjoy the bliss of silence and don’t need background noise to provide comfort.
What’s Important. Too often we focus on materialistic things – cars, homes, and toys. The look of joy from our clients when our caregivers walk through the door makes us realize that it’s really all about family and friends. When they answer the phone and their children or grandchildren are on the phone, the look of sheer joy on their faces is more important than having the latest iPhone or iPad. They know to value what they have versus longing for what they don’t. Having survived the Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam and now the Recession, they are more focused on people and friendships versus things.
Appreciation. Kids writing thank you notes for presents has gone by the wayside. We tend to be an entitled generation, thinking we deserve things just because. Too often, we forget to say “thank you” when a kindness comes our way. Seniors tend to be more appreciative for the things we do for them, whether it’s as simple as baking them cookies or watching a movie or as critical as helping them recover from an illness.
Wisdom. There is no doubt that seniors are a breadth of knowledge. Too often we discount their opinions as being old-fashioned or out-of-date. But if you listen carefully, there is a lot to be learned from their sage advice. How often did your mother tell you something when you were growing up and you rolled your eyes, only to find yourself telling your children the same thing now? We’ve all heard the expression “been there and done that”. This applies even more to seniors, because of the knowledge they have gained through their lifelong experiences and insights. We do ourselves and them a disservice if we leave their wisdom untapped.
Communicate. When was the last time you wrote a letter long hand? Or sent a text message or email for a matter that really warranted a phone call? Although technology has made communication simpler, in certain ways it has distanced us. Our caregiving clients look forward to our companionship as they tell us stories or share a meal.
To all of our senior care clients both young and old, we wanted to take a moment to simply say: thank you.