Suzanne Newman talks with 14-year-old Hailey Richman from Long Island, New York. Hailey is executive director for two non-profit organizations that help seniors.
In this segment, Hailey talks more about Kid Caregivers, which grew from a blog to Zoom calls, meets with guidance counselors, and Puzzle Time where kids can volunteer to help seniors solve puzzles. They are now in almost all 50 states. People can become ambassadors in their state to take a leadership role in finding volunteers. Some high school students volunteer weekly or monthly. Kids bond with the seniors, making an inter-generational connection that can touch people’s lives just by solving a puzzle together.
Support the cause by donating or volunteering to help get puzzles into facilities that don’t have a lot of resources. Learn more at KidCaregivers.com and PuzzlesToRemember.org.
View Episode Transcript
*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 is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider, hurt, on the answers for elders radio show. And Welcome back everyone to answers for elders radio network. And we are here with the wonderful Haley Richmond. And Haley Richmond is here with us from Long Island, New York, and we are, I am way out here in Seattle, Washington, so we are crossing the country and that means every one of you that are listening to this program, whether it’s on radio or on podcast, on we’re here to inspire you this hour and I am so confident you will be by this exceptional young lady, Haley. Welcome back to the program. Thank you, Haley your you spent the first hour kind of sharing a little bit about your story and how you thought about making a difference. And you know, that’s the piece, that’s the little piece where you just kind of like gloss over. You know, I decided I would do it for myself. That is amazing. It’s inspiring that you stepped up to do this and I am so in awe of you because, you know, you could be my mentor and I’m sixty five years old right so there’s so many people if they had your mentality about how can I make a difference, how much better the world would be. And I am so impressed with who you are and certainly what you’ve created. And for those of you that are listening to the program, Hayley’s website, she has two website. We just gave it to the last end of this last segment, but Haley, do you want to mention your websites one more time, because we’re to talk a little bit about what you do? Sure. So, my website, kid caregiverscom and puzzles to remember Dot Org. Okay, so kid caregiverscom and puzzles to remember Dot Org. Both of those are for kids to interconnect, Inter generationally, connect with seniors and especially those with Alzheimer’s, but also, I’m can imagine you’ve worked with seniors that may have dementia or just maybe lonely or different things like that. Is there? Is there a program for that as well? Yes, we work with all types of seniors. In fact, we’ve recently been working with seniors who not only have all Zheimer’s disease but they have cerebral palsy. HMM. You know, our volunteers will help them with their hands, guy them to the puzzles and it’s really a wonderful experience. Yeah, I can imagine, and I know there’s a lot of things like Louis Body, dementia, Parkinson’s, any sort of brain injury, things like that, to get the synaptic nerves in a jigsaw puzzles, because there’s so much about spatial Anamal, you know, relations and things like that. That definitely that can help. Is it? Am I? I’m know not enough about this to be dangerous, right. So, yeah, that’s totally correct. Yeah, so, Hayley, you started kid caregivers with the blog. Then what happened? So at first it was just a blog where I post stuff, but now I’ve expanded it. We do zooms of people and we do meets with guidance counselors and we can really talk about our experiences and we have puzzle time, which is a branch of it where kids could go and solve puzzles with seniors and facilities. That’s wonderful. And how do you reach the facilities? Do they invite you? Do you call them? How do you get connected to them? So it’s actually both. Sometimes they’ll reach out to us or if we have volunteers, will reach out to them and find the volunteers of facility. That’s amazing. And how many states are you in? Were and almost all fifty states. Oh my goodness, girlfriend, you’re amazing. Well, when we definitely would love to work with you. I know that there’s so many things that would be wonderful and and certainly to work with you on on various initiatives that we’re doing as well. So that’s some things. It’s really kind of exciting. So Kid Caregiverscom give me just the umbrella thing. What is its mission? So it’s mission is to support and empower children who are caregivers. We want to help young people cope and and live in the lives of adults of Alzheimer’s disease and we offer puzzle time programs and intergeneral racial connections where young people can talk elderly people and they’re encouraged to use their skills to benefit the alzeimers community. So what do you find? Is that your greatest challenge? Sometimes our greatest challenge can be getting to the facilities that don’t have lots of resources. They’ll are they’ll be facilities that don’t have many puzzles or we can’t find people to go there. So really trying to get two more marginalized facilities that don’t have resources. That’s our main gool right now. Yeah, so, so communities of color primarily, as you know, that type of situation. Yeah, and obviously we need some resources in that area. How do you inspire the kids to get involved? Is that a hard thing? So, Um, I just encourage him by saying, you know, you’re making a difference and once you do it you’ll love it, and I think that’s really been like the message. Like sometimes some people go and they’ll be afraid at first, but once they go and they start solving the puzzles, they’re so happy and they like won’t can we do this again, because I just think it’s such an amazing experience that they’re able to have this intergenerational connection and they can talk about the puzzles and just talk of the seniors. It’s great. Yeah, I can imagine, and certainly to have that, that relationship, because so many, you know, one of the sad statistics I know, which I do another completely other program but we basically focus on seniors, senior loneliness, to kind of raise awareness of you know the fact that they say sixty percent of seniors, according to numerous studies, have no regular visitors, sixty percent in communities, and that, of course, those are the ones that can track. So if you’re really looking at seniors that maybe isolated home during the especially during the pandemic, there’s all kinds of despair and loneliness and things like that and sadly our society, you know, is not you know, we don’t treat our seniors very well, and to have a generation like yours that can, you know, create this glass basically like a grassroots effort to truly to build something, that’s pretty amazing. How you know, you’ve inspired a lot of kids out there and and certainly we’re excited to hear, to see you know what you’re doing. So so, Hayley, tell me a little bit about you know, when you go into a community, what happens? How do you get that process going? So at first we may go into a few facilities with some children and they’ll tell their friends and more people will want to go. And what we’ve had is we’ve had a lot of different people. So now we have ambassadors, so people can come become ambassadors for their stay and they can find volunteers for facilities and almost take on a sort of leadership role help them fasabilities and benefiting their communities. Now, do you have him a list of ambassadors for every state? So someone reaches out to you, you can connect them. Is that what you do or how did they find their state ambassador? Yeah, so some states have ambassadors, some don’t yet, and so okay, volunteers, if there is an ambassador for the state, I’ll contact them and rejobs them saying we have some volunteers and if they’re located near the volunteers, they can help find the volunteer of facility or if it’s a big stay, they can. There could be multiple ambassadors for different like California. Yeah, be exactly. Yeah. Yeah, so it’s basically like a regional type ambassadors. That correct kind of think. Yeah, so if you’re doing a pro you know, a program, and you go into a community, how many kids usually go at one time? Just one at a time, several at a time? Do you do a team approach? What do you prefer view if you had your ideal scenario, but with that look, yeah, it’s like a team. So they can go on if their ambassador or a bunch of volunteers, maybe ten. Obviously, of Covid it’s kind of impacted that we can’t have as many volunteers and facilities. Before Covid we would have ten volunteers or as many seniors that are going to be there, they would each have maybe one or two volunteers to help them. MMM, and do you you know when you get there? Do you go like on a regular schedule or do you just go every once in awhile? How does it usually work? So it really depends. We’ve had high school students go every single week. I May, so they would go every siddy or some people go twice a month. So it really depends on what works for someone. That’s amazing. That’s amazing and obviously when you when you do this process, tell me about the results. What are you seeing happen? I see something beautiful happen. There’s an intergenerational connection and they’re able to bond with the seniors. You know, they can talk about the image, they can talk about the birds and I see not only the person of all Z IVER’s disease being in a better moon, but the student WHO’s volunteering too. So it’s I makes me really happy that they can both get joy out of this. Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen you know, I’ve seen that in so many scenarios when we do outreach. How often do we have, you know, a situation where we do something in the way of community, you know outreach, and then the actually the individual that shows up that does that is almost it means almost more to them than it does the senior. Not that the seniors don’t love it, but it’s really an amazing experience. And talk about a foundation for our youth to think outside yourself and to have a mission for something that’s Greater and for a greater purpose. How that can affect your life. And you know, obviously you’ve had kids under eighteen that are now adults. have has that been able to carry into their lives a little bit? I think it’s shown that, like, they can volunteer in so many different ways and really touch someone’s life, even by simply just solving a puzzle. Yeah, yeah, it’s and you know, they’re in their whole life puzzle as well, aren’t they? In a many ways. Right, so that the fact that they’re doing that. So obviously we’re going to talk about how our community, wherever you are can help. In our last segment of this hour, Haley and are going to talk a little bit more about kid caregivers and puzzles to remember. In the meantime, Haley, how do we reach you? So you can reach us by contacting us on our website kid caregivers, or you can email us at kid caregivers at gmailcom, or puzzles, the number to remember at gmailcom. And you’re amazing and you’re the founder and executive director of this organization. At fourteen years old, Haley, your phenomenal win. Your Birthday. It’s May ten, may tens a, you’re a Taurus. Good girl, it’s coming after going to be fifteen. Yeah, so excited. Oh, good for you. Well, everyone, Haley and I. We’re going to be right back the hours. Still more to come right back after this. Answers for elders radio show with Suzanne Newman. Hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcasts like this to help you find qualified senior care experts and areas of financial, legal, health and wellness and living options. 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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman 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 Newman found herself 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. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, 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.
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