A few years ago I did some writing about something called the “Elderverse”. You can find it HERE . The word in its’ most true meaning, suggesting connectedness across an otherwise global divide. It demonstrates the willingness of individuals to unite in an effort to precipitate change on a global level that is almost mind boggling to some.
True person-directed care hinges on relationships. These relationships grow over time and trust develops, which encourages growth, innovation but most importantly friendship. The “Elderverse” hinges on friendships formed. For over seven years, our Signature Hometown team has been facilitating dream vacations for Elders in our homes. This initiative has become a staple in our culture, with the expectation being that we will continue to help manifest the hopes and dreams of the Elders who choose to live in our homes. It brings joy to my heart to see that others across the globe are also picking up this idea and even in many cases creating paths where there have never been before.
Read below the story of St Antonine’s Home in Dundee, South Africa submitted to me by Sr. Lucia, the home’s manager.
In our home 70% of our Elders are immobile while 30% are mobile. Even though faced with this situation, life continues through the influence of the Eden Alternative. As an Eden Alternative home, we together fight boredom, loneliness and helplessness by celebrating special days together. They are very courageous in giving their hand to help and participate in daily events that take place in our home.
Among those events, we most recently took a trip to South Beach, Durban. It was a cool day as the taxi waited outside the home to take all of those who were going on the trip. On the way, there was a lot of music as well as sharing wonderful stories. Many were remembering their early stages of life. Excitement shown on all their faces as we arrived.
One of the Elders said “I have never thought I would ever go to the beach at this stage in my life. I am so grateful.”
In 2014, we might have thought creating a new “Elderverse” would be a hard, almost daunting task. However as we have grown in both relationship and friendship, I have realized that creating an “Elderverse” is possible. It comes through open sharing of thoughts and ideas. It is supported through the exchange of culture and genuine caring for each other. The story above is a perfect example of how by working together we can chart a new course with our Elders that will promote purpose and growth for all. It’s a beautiful thing because in its most simplistic meaning, everyone deserves a day at the beach. Thanks to Sr Lucia for forging ahead into uncharted territory and creating memories that will never fade with the Elders at St Antonine’s Home!
An excerpt from 2014: You see, the “Elderverse” is not created by acts of kindness but instead by the love that binds us. I heard the wise voice of an Elder last week say, “Where love is found, that’s where we will be.” Isn’t that a beautiful thought? This very wise woman had experienced the magic of connectedness and the love of companionship in her life.
It simply does not get any better than those words.