Caregiver Blog, News Feeds, Video Feeds, Useful Links

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Story About the True Meaning of Christmas

This week I saw a true life story that showed the real feelings of Christmas. One motivated lady made a loving difference in the individual lives of many seniors. The spirit of sharing and fellowship, of good will and friends, and of giving is the true meaning of Christmas. When seniors live alone, and live far away from their families, a seniors' group can be a substitute family, especially if a few motivated individuals help facilitate a gathering.

For example, the 30 or so seniors who come to lunch each day at the local Central Coast Senior's Center for the Senior Nutrition Program become like a family since over lunch they share their news, joys, sorrows, and challenges. I learned something this week when I went over to take photos for the Central Coast Seniors Center website.

Deb Clark, in the center of the group in the photo below, a Senior Nutrition Program specialist, had single handedly created decorations, Christmas treats, and handmade gifts for the seniors who come to the center five days a week for lunch.

Many of these seniors are widowed, and eating one meal a day with friends is very special for them. Deb put on a Christmas party and they got into the spirit and the air was filled with Christmas cheer.

Deb made a special point of interacting personally with each senior, and had individual cards and handmade gifts. All year long she had taken photos of the fun times they had at lunch, and each senior received a handmade scrap book and photo album made the "old fashioned way." Deb used yarn to tie the handmade books together, and filled each one with photos, names, and comments custom written for each senior.

They were so happy with these gifts. The fact that Deb saw each person as an individual, and each book was one of a kind, made each senior know he or she was special. Since many live alone, and do not have family nearby, Deb creates a substitute family at the Senior Nutrition Program.

There are also another 50 or so meals that are delivered by drivers each day, and Deb has met all of these people when she went to their homes to set up the meal deliveries. She also sent gifts and cards to the homebound people.

This is a story about the true feeling of Christmas. Deb Clark and her spirit of giving, of recognizing each person as a unique individual, is an inspiration.

No comments: