It’s that time of the year when we talk about connecting with seniors. Our life in America is so fast and families are dispersed across our wonderful nation. We often don’t live in the communities that we grew up in, so our village of the family needs to step up for our seniors. Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements thinks the general populace would be surprised to learn how many people have no one who visits them, no one they feel who pays attention to them.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. And Welcome to answers for elders radio and we are here with Daphne Davis from pinnacles senior placements and Daphne, welcome again back. Thank you, Graham. We’re so glad you’re here. It’s that time of year again where obviously we are all talking about connecting with seniors and a lot of us, you know, we have the program twelve days a goodness, which we’re so excited have. You be a part of this year and you know the purpose, though, I think real will I want to talk about today with you and ask you about is you know this whole concept of senior loneliness. There’s so many studies out there about seniors that are alone and it breaks my heart and I know that you deal with that. You know person you know personally every day in your work. Tell me a little bit about you know your experiences about seniors today. Our snap of life in America is so fast and we don’t live in our communities that we grew up and necessarily anymore. No families have dispersed across our wonderful nation, and so our village of the family really needs to step up to the plate for our elders. I think the general populace would be very surprised to know how many people will have no one that visits them, no one that they feel pays attention to them. I’M A chore, I’M A task, I’m something that I need help with all the time. I can’t contribute back and spirals into a deep sense of loneliness. Sometimes in did some depression, a feeling of worthlessness. And so something that I would like to encourage everybody, and kind of a theme of this segment, is to just step out of yourself a little bit when you have a moment to make eye contact with someone, and I’m going to talk about elders today. Just making eye contact and consciously thinking about making your eyes twinkle, just that alone. You don’t have to say anything. You’re walking down the street, you’re in the mall, you’re standing in line the way she store, you’re everywhere. Just make eye contact. Start there. If you can give a compliment, you have got your whole outfit is color coordinated today. It’s beautiful. Thanks for giving me a smile. I mean that will go miles. It does. It’s the simple things of life that they’ll hang on to it. There are the intentional things that we do too, but I want to I want to start with just being very casual in your regular life. Extend yourself well, and I think to societies changed from our seniors that a lot of people they have their heads in our phones, you know, they walk down the phone. Younger people. You See so many people walking down the you know, the sidewalk and they’ve got their head in their cell phone and they’re not looking. Yeah, you know what, WHO’s there? And this is a season. I would hope that at least it encourages us to step outside of ourselves and the message would be obviously here and answers for elders and with all of our providers is you know, do you know a senior? Maybe it’s down your street, maybe it’s in your building, maybe it’s it’s somebody that you might know of from your childhood or friends of your parents, something like that, that is alone. You know, NASTAL statistics say that one out of every six seniors are completely alone. That blows my mind that you know they’re that they have nobody there and they sit every single day and I, you know, I always laugh. There’s this commercial out there, I think that they’re talking about, I think it’s the new Amazon thing or whatever, and here’s the father sitting there by himself and his an adopte. For Christmas was they sent him a laptop so they could open it up and then they talk to him on a computer. And I’m just going like, seriously, well, it’s better than nothing, better than thing. But my home point is is that are we making Daphne, I’m asking you this rhetort, Clee, but as a society, are we making enough effort for our seniors and what could we do that could help us step outside of ourselves? You know, there are there are a number of ways for us to do this, and I’m I’m going to be bold and just say this. There’s an organization called friend to friend and it’s been around for about forty years and it’s where we match up people who have some time and desire in the heart. Yes, it’s to adopt a friend. Yeah, and you have varying limit levels of how you engage with that friend. But friend to friend you can find on the Internet and connect with them. That’s a great way to be intentional about how you can help. There are obviously church organizations that you can intentionally add plug into. You can and do so. There are senior groups in church organizations and you’ll find seniors that are alone, I’m sure they are, in those organizations. There’s all kinds of things. If you want to be real intentional, just a couple of strokes of keys on the computer and you’ll find someplace that you can find your niche to do that. I think, though, on a human level, just face to face, when you’re living life, to extend yourself beyond your little comfort zone and say hi, twinkled, twinkle with your eyes and say hi, make eye contact with an elder. You know it’s I sit there and I think about this and I am of course, my mind goes to what if? What if every person out there today that’s listening would decide to wake up tomorrow and decide to give twinkly eyes and a smile to twenty people in your day? What one fee people, and that to me is like that’s nothing right. But what kind of joy would you bring in your own life to make it intentional every day? And it’s just like you know, people are wearing their watches. You know, that tells them how many steps they’re making. You know it. Think about for a minute, get your head out of the phone and, you know, get your head into the fact of you know who notice. Start noticing people. You know, we see every day people in our world that could use maybe a hand. I know I walk to the grocery store so often I’ll see a senior you know, in a cart in the grocery store and oftentimes I will purposely stay in the ais’ll just kind of behind them a little bit and be a little slower and I see sometimes I’m trying to reach things out of a shelf and I’ll I’ll ride away, come over there and say, let me help you with that. What would you like? And I think they’re kind of taken back sometimes because they’re not used to that. That’s right, I like how you said that. Let me help you, rather than can I help you? Know, let can I help you? They’ll say no, no, I’ve got it, or if you even add up, please let me help you. HMM, and it sets everybody at kind of a different mode like Oh, this person really does want to help me. Right. I’m not an inconvenience great, great suggestion. Well, and I think the other thing that I try to do, and it just people don’t think of it, is the light the checkout line. How often do we see seniors in you know, standing at a cart that they’re probably has, maybe have a little bit of mobility issues, and what is it to let them go in front of you for their six items that they’ve got there is yeah, you’re exactly right, and it’s like are we? Are we being mindful enough as a society to just think about those little things? You know, Yep, that’s exactly right. I know, getting a little more intentional. Some people like to to say, well, I’m going to go and volunteer or a visit at the rehab centers or at a skilled nursing vict absolutely do that. If that’s not your cup of tee, though, still think in terms of the casual person that you see. Maybe you go to church, MMM and you know there’s a person that you see but you’ve never said hello or you know that they had to take the access bus or something to get to church. Yes, you know, just say I’m so thankful that you put that energy. I love seeing you and I just never let you know that I love seeing you. It doesn’t take much to raise that sense of right purpose and value in our culture. Yes, well, we are talking to Daphne Davis from Pinnacle Senior placements and you obviously bring joy to every day to seniors and help families and help them in their next step. Tell us a little bit about what pinnacle does. Well, pinnacle is a company that all of us in our organization will help families walk through the information of what is available for Housing and care when someone needs more help either in their home or outside of their home, and we approach that in a way that will uphold the families values, not just the elders but the families as a whole, which allows for some conversations for sometimes sons or daughters to say, you know, mom, this is something I worry about. Dad. I you know. I know you want to go out there and clean the gutters and you’re doing it from the ground now because you got a longer pole, but I still worry about you doing that. You know, our presence allows for the elephant in the room to kind of dissipate, right, and so I want to encourage families to think about pinnacle as a senior advisor as someone who can just help walk through this journey called life when a new chapter has to open right, it’s not the last chapter, is just a new chapter exactly. So, exactly we want to help you and having that chapter be moved from survival mode and into living mode. And you know the loneliness factor. There’s so many good things about if you’re your loved one, your senior loved one, is home alone, the isolation factor is a huge issue to if they’re in a situation where they can be in a community and that is the right step for them, what a wonderful thing to have the ability to facilitate and that’s what we do, is we just help open up the doors of information, take away some of the mystery. Actually paint a picture of what would it look like if I went to live at XYZ assisted living building, or what does it look like if I considered an adult family home? Or should we look at memory care? Because you know mom and dad. Dad’s doing great, but mommy needs a little extra support. Sure you know how to. How do we do that and how do we keep them together? That’s huge. Of course we wanted is covered together. Just learn your options, don’t zoom that this can’t happen. Everything can happen. I’ve been doing this for twenty years. Everything can come to fromation. Yeah, so obviously this time of the holidays just really a cool you have about a minute left. Tell us a little bit about you know, what can you we do during the holidays to make our own loved ones feel special? Just a couple little little you know, I would say listen. Listen, do the things intentionally. If it’s you have to talk slower, think about how can I talk slower when I’m in conversation in our gatherings? Am I sitting on the side where the hearing is a little bit better? Am I overwhelming mom because we’re expecting her to be there for eight hours, because that’s what we do on holidays? Or, you know, when she wants to leave in an hour and a half, it’s okay and we’ve already made arrangements for someone to take her back home. Do things intentionally so that you can enjoy that person and that person not feel like a burden, very not feel like, oh, I really want to go home, or, you know, I’m just so tired, but I don’t want to ask Joe to take me home because then he has to leave the party and make it clear at the very beginning this is not an imposition. I’m here for you when whatever you want to that’s right. It’s being intentional, thinking outside of yourself, helping someone feel included. It might be that you know mom had the best hot chocolate ever and she knew exactly how to make it, but she can’t make the hot chocolate anymore. Bring her into the kitchen and have her sitting there and saying, you know my doing this ride, I know you told me to wait for bubbles to come to the top and so I don’t scorch the milk and all of that. But be intentional. Good, definitely. I just I’m so excited your hair. Have a very merry Christmas. And how can we reach too? You can reach me an eight fifty five, seven, three four, one thousand five hundred, or you can reach us at Pinnacle Senior Placementscom. The preceding podcast was provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. To contact pinnacles senior placements, go to Pinnacle Senior Placementscom.
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.