October 4, 2013
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I attended the Senior Social Center’s Christmas Tea event Dec. 22, and I was impressed with the games, activities and food. What was more impressive is that more than 50 seniors drove through hazardous winter conditions to attend the party, and not one person complained about weather. Instead, they sat with each other, laughing, solving riddles and singing Christmas carols.
As an adult, it’s more prevalent than ever how much love and support I’ve depended on over the years from my parents and grandparents. I certainly didn’t recognize all their gifts and love as a teenager or a young adult, but now — more than ever — I see how their presence in my life shaped me into the woman I am today.
Something powerful happens when you put high school students together with senior citizens. Students become more aware of a generation often forgotten, and elders feel overwhelming gratefulness of their presence.
Have you ever been driving along the road and all of a sudden, you get stuck behind someone that is going roughly 10 miles slower than the speed limit and you honk, yell profanities and get annoyed because they can’t seem to speed things up?
Organization hires new program coordinator
The Senior Social Center in Craig recently hired Jackie Camp as its new program coordinator, helping the organization become more viable than ever. Camp cares deeply about Craig’s older population, and she’s thrilled to take the group to the next level.
Loneliness is a terrible thing to experience, especially if you’ve been married, raised children and have grandchildren who never visit. Our elderly population in the United States is marred by stories of neglect, leaving the loved ones that gave us life in the dust.
Wellness Wednesdays had an important event this week honoring Moffat County’s senior citizens. Organizers gave out dozens of awards to those who participate and volunteer with the program, making elders feel special for their contributions.
Sunset Meadows I and II wrote an important letter to the editor that appeared in Friday’s Craig Daily Press.
Sometimes, happiness not only makes your face smile but it also makes your heart smile. That's what happened to me on Wednesday when I attended the Nifty 90s party at Sunset Meadows, where eight seniors 90 and over were honored with a luau birthday party.
As Thanksgiving nears, I’m reminded how thankful I am for my wonderful grandparents. Although my two biological grandmothers and my amazing step-grandfather have passed, I still have my Grandpa Bob and my Step-Grandma Jan.
Sunset Elementary School’s preschool students participated in a wonderful community service this week — they visited the elderly at Sandrock Ridge Care & Rehab on Wednesday and sang songs, bringing laughter and joy to Craig’s senior citizens.
For the past few months, a large group of elders and committed community members have held numerous meetings in an effort to open a senior center for Craig’s older population.
Mother’s Day is Sunday, and I have an enormous amount of love and respect for my mother, Sherry Rae Middlemiss. Life has not been physically easy on her, but she manages to trek through and remain a beautiful ball of positive energy and a shining light in my family and in my life. She was diagnosed with severe scoliosis when she was a young child and underwent her first surgery at the Mayo Clinic when she was 13 years old. She was one of several children to go through experimental surgeries for kids with spine disorders.
Would you move away from your husband and children to assist your elderly parents?
Companionship is important at any age, and that’s why Wellness Wednesdays are so vital to the senior citizens of Craig. The program offers a host of activities for our elders each Wednesday, but perhaps the most critical element is the camaraderie.
The biggest reason I care so deeply about the elderly is because of what happened to my late grandmother during her almost six-month stay at two nursing homes — one in Santa Fe, N.M., and one in the Denver metro area.
State lawmakers are continuing their efforts to protect the elderly population from abuse and neglect. Bravo.
Losing grandparents is never easy. Winton was my step grandfather. He was 92-years-old, and one of the most fascinating and intelligent men I ever knew. He was a blind mathematician and used to sit in his recliner, thinking, solving complex math problems in his head.
The goal, it seems, for our elderly loved ones is to live and die at home. Independence is a huge deal for senior citizens, and who can blame them for wanting to hold on to self-sufficiency for as long as possible?
On Wednesday, my husband Shawn and I took our first Northwest Colorado flower delivery to Sandrock Ridge Care & Rehab in Craig. Over the years, each delivery has been very different. Some are more difficult than others, and our visit to Sandrock was extremely emotional and tough for a number of reasons.
Have you ever sat down with your grandparents and it took forever for them to tell a story or get to the point? What about the stories that you’ve heard over and over again? I know that it might be more beneficial to us if we could speed things up or stop them in the middle of retelling a story we’ve already heard, but I wonder how that makes them feel.
Do you remember what it was like receiving a letter in the mail before email became popular? It’s so nice to open a mailbox, clogged with bills and advertisements, and see a letter among the mess. Just seeing a card that someone composed, addressed, stamped and carried to the mailbox can put a smile on anyone’s face. So we must ask ourselves, “Should I take a moment and send a note to a friend or a loved one?”
I visited Sandrock Ridge Care and Rehab for the first time Friday afternoon, and I was pleasantly surprised how clean and cheerful the staff keeps the facility. Over the years, I’ve visited dozens of nursing homes and a large majority don’t live up to those standards. Sandrock Ridge Administrator Dollie Rose was kind enough to set up an interview for me with two delightful ladies who live at the home — Debbie Harris and Betty Rice. The two are the closest of friends.
Because giving back is so important, I was incredibly touched when I heard about a local woman who stood at the checkout counters at City Market in Craig and paid for groceries for every senior who passed through. What a remarkable gift to give.
Growing old is not easy. I never realized how difficult it is for the elderly until my grandma Mary Leavitt broke her hip in 2005, which ultimately confined her to a nursing home. Unfortunately, she took her last breath in a place she did not call home, a place where other senior citizens rarely were visited by their family, a place where a majority of the elderly population end up despite their desperate wishes to live and die in their own houses.