Who knew we had so much talent under the roofs of H.O.M.E.’s Good Life Senior Residences. Well, we did! In honor of Older Americans Month, we are celebrating our Good Life residents and all those we have had the pleasure of meeting and providing housing and services to over the past year.
Have you ever stopped to think about what an older adult’s life was like before they became an older adult? I venture to say no, and like many you may only see them for who they are today.
Well, who they are today is just a window into who they were and what they did earlier in their lives. As good citizens, we need to better understand and tap into an older adult’s talents, skills and interests to help them to put such talents to use in new ways and to demystify myths such as:
Myth: Aging Dulls Wits and Inevitably Causes Dementia
Seniors may have slower reaction times, but “mental capabilities that depend most heavily on accumulated experience and knowledge, like settling disputes and enlarging one’s vocabulary, clearly get better over time,” writes Patricia Cohen in the New York Times.
Myth: Aging Makes You Less Creative
There are countless examples that dispel the myth that aging makes you less creative.
Here are the stories of some of the talented older adults we would like to honor from our Good Life Senior Residences who teach us the importance of never forgetting and finding new ways to shine:
Thom was a hairdresser and loved it! He says, "I was really good at coloring and I really liked to color hair. I liked mixing the chemicals together and creating new colors – it was really like a science. My favorite color to dye was white, it was modern and it looked so cool! I would dye my own hair white and leave two dark lines on the side of my head. I loved it! I would look in the mirror and think I looked just like George Jetson, it was really cool." Thom’s artistry is still very much present today in how he decorates his apartment.
Mable was a nurse. She says, "I worked hard in school to become an RN and I liked to care for people. I like talking to the nurses that visit us and telling them about my time being a nurse." Mable’s gentle and caring nature continues to shine through today.
John worked as a chef in Las Vegas. He told us, "My favorite job was working at Cesar’s Palace. I wore a big tall hat and I liked to make the fancy food. Gourmet food was my favorite. I still like to cook for people when I can."
Myra was and still is a multitasker, especially when she had to show her family home to buyers on the southside. She said it was stressful but she also got to use her multitasking skills, thinking of all the things that the buyers would want to see and ask. Myra is always ready to lend a helping hand, whenever and wherever. She always helps assist the cook with setting the table, pouring water and cleaning up food at Pat Crowley House. She is a consummate multitasker!
Charlotte loves music and has been singing for many years, although she says with age, her voice has gotten a little rusty. She is also a walking history volume and can chronicle history from the middle ages to her descendants in the British Parliament. She is a "living internet!”
Christine worked as a paralegal for a “big time” law firm for many years. She spent her time there bookkeeping and filing, so she is great with organization. Aside from being organized with her paperwork, she also has “a way with words.” She can make you a nice thank you card or love poem to give to a loved one in no time.
In recognition of this special month, we challenge you to get to know a senior, either for the first time or better than you already think you do. You too may uncover a hidden talent, an untold story or spark a new friendship.
Don’t forget to share H.O.M.E.’s information with them in case they want to benefit from our offerings and tour our intergenerational housing in hopes of living with, learning from and celebrating life with other talented older adults like those mentioned above.
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