Senior Moments: Volunteering with your heart

(ROCKWALL, TX – Nov 4, 2015) As we gather together with family and friends this Thanksgiving season, we reflect on “What are we thankful for?”

A tradition in our family – before carving the turkey and digging into the dressing – is to join hands and share what we are thankful for.

This year, I am thankful for my 97 years young mother-in-law, Frances Straughan.

Frances can be spotted with her little hat on taking her daily walk. She also plays Bunco and Canasta. We are thankful to have her living nearby, active and in good health.

Senior care centers are popping up in Rockwall due to our aging population. When the time comes that we have to make a decision as to which senior care center is right for our loved one, it can be daunting.

The centers are clean and beautifully decorated and have amenities that appeal to the elderly and their families. We have to be cognizant of our loved one’s current health situation – 

Can they live independently or do they have health issues that require a facility that addresses their needs?

Is the staff eager to answer questions and concerns concerning your family member?

My dear friend, Karen Coughlin, who has a professional background in hotel management, believes that senior care centers should have checklists and score cards similar to those used in grading hotel service. Karen has developed such a program, Hospitality in Healthcare. Karen is introducing this program to the senior care centers in Rockwall. Karen believes Hospitality in Healthcare should be in the hospitals as well. This tool would be very helpful in deciding which facility is right for your loved one.

This time of year can be a very lonely time for seniors who don’t have family members who can spend time with them.

“Adopt a Senior” is a program that Arbor House Assisted Living & Memory Care is promoting to engage the residents with a caring individual. Volunteers are encouraged to visit Arbor House and meet our residents, says Brenda Cross, Director of Marketing.

Brenda has developed activities that bring the community together. There was a pumpkin decorating contest and for the Christmas season, volunteers will decorate their senior’s door in festive style.

Volunteers are and always have been the cherry on top of the cake. Volunteering is a rewarding activity for the recipient as well as the volunteer. Volunteers interact with the residents and the staff to provide a caring relationship.

Karen Straughan

This Thanksgiving, I am also Thankful that I have the time to be a light in someone’s life through volunteering.

Maya Angelou has a great quote,”Try to be a Rainbow in Someone’s Cloud.”

Karen Straughan, Senior Real Estate Specialist, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


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