Watching your mother and father, or for me, my grandparents, find their way through life after succumbing to the ailments, aches and pains of old age can sometimes put a toll on an entire family.
Thankfully, though, some independent living facilities offer a wide range of social activities that can help to keep the residents’ networking skills alive, encouraging them to be a bit more eager to tackle each new day.
At least that is what I hope for my grandparents, as I was one of several of my family members to help move them into a retirement high rise building on Saturday, after nearly 30 years in their previous home.
For my grandparents and for many of us family members, it has been an emotional roller coaster, as we have had to help pack up nearly a lifetime of memories for them, help to care for their needs and work to prepare them for an extremely pivotal transition in their lives.
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
Thankfully, though, as we made our way through the back door of the high-rise building for the first time, with moving boxes in hand, the smell of freshly washed clothing from the quaint laundry facilities and the giggling from some of the elder residents eased the initial inhibitions that we had been harboring about the move.
Nothing but smiles and friendly gestures greeted us as we walked through the lobby toward the elevator. As we glanced off to our right, there was a communal library area for the residents where two women were sitting and sharing stories about a book they had just read.
In an adjacent room, we could hear a game of bingo being played, and a card game was about to start at a nearby table.
On the way up the elevator, we stopped at several floors to let some of the residents on board as they were chatting about their daily plans and were excitedly heading off to various activities.
I must say, it was truly comforting to meet some of the most fascinating people, all in one day, and all in one building.
The pure simplicity and appreciation in the residents’ spirit was certainly contagious and will be the best medicine for my grandparents in this new chapter in their lives, as they move onward and upward.