I have lived so many great moments with seniors. Years after the event, conversation, or joke shared, the memory always puts a bounce in my step.
One event that I would like to share with you is one time when I was working as a director of activities in a residence for semi-autonomous seniors. We planned a picnic to go to the site of where Expo ’67 was held in Montreal. They are Lovely grounds and also a place where the seniors could reminisce of the good times had in ‘67. A variety of people signed up, some with walkers and others with some memory loss. I do not know if you have been on this type of picnic, but it certainly is a lot of work. My friends often laughed at me and said “Yeah what kind of a job is that anyway: calling bingo numbers, driving a bus and going on picnics?!” Trust me; I slept quite well the night of those outing days.
We had a beautiful day ahead of us. I was accompanied by a volunteer. Off we went with our sandwiches, juice boxes and about 12 seniors. Not only was it a challenge to find the picnic tables, but also to park the bus close to where we would be eating. Since walking on uneven grass was going to be challenging for everyone, it would help to be as close as possible. We figured it out. Once settled in, a lady pipes up and says “I need to go to the bathroom.” Hmm. (This lady, in her mid-eighties, was heavyset and not strong on her legs though she had a great sense of humour.) We were in the middle of a field, surrounded by trees and the closest building was in sight but….waaaaay toooo far to walk with our group. Hmm.
“Mrs B, when was the last time you peed outside?”
“Oh I was a teenager, what fond memories! Why?!”
This lady had a blast trying to position herself, while we held her skirt and assisted her the best we could—all three of us were laughing so hard! She had a blast and called her children the minute she got home to share her adventures of the day—something tells me she peed her pants telling them!! That day made her feel so much younger and filled her heart with cheer….whenever I saw her she smiled and recalled the event with a laugh.
Never forget that seniors have plenty of life in them! Tap into it by bringing out the teenager in them, I promise you it is still there! They are no different than you and me.