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Caregiving, Bringing Joy to Life | News Grab Articles
Caregiving, Bringing Joy to Life PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 February 2013 21:55

Today's the feast of St. Brigid of Kildare, February 1st which always reminds me of a gentleman I cared for in his last years.  He passed away on this day but my memory of him is always about the better times especially the times surrounding the activities that he really enjoyed.  One of those activities was playing baseball, with a plastic bat and foam ball we would play baseball in the nursing home.  Sometimes, the ball went into the hall, a safety hazard, but fun; it made the whole experience more real. 

One of the most difficult but important challenges when caring for the elderly, especially in their last years, is helping them feel like their old self.  How to make life fun again in the face of some real challenges and physical limitations.  Today, the New Old Age blog at the New York Times has a fun story about the care giving relationship between Sacha Goldberger, a French photographer and his 93-year-old grandmother Frederika Goldberger.  Sacha has involved his grandmother in his art of photography including her in unique photos and featuring those photos in his books.  What I like most about what Sacha has done is the impact it has on her life.  After retiring from her work in the Textile industry Frederika became depressed but her involvement with her grandson has helped to change that.

As for Frederika, “I like everything that my grandson does,” she said in a recent Skype conversation from her apartment, which also serves as Sacha’s office. “I hate not to do anything. Here, with my grandson, I have the feeling I am doing something.... “It was like a game for us, deciding what crazy thing we were going to do next, how we were going to keep people from being bored,” said Sacha, who traces his close relationship with his grandmother to age 14, when she taught him how to drive and often picked him up at school. “Making pictures was a very good excuse to spend time together.”

Wonderful!  What else can be said.  I wish we could have this kind of impact on every person in their elder years. 

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