What Matters Most . . . and All That Jazz!

Home Help for the Elderly, Home Care in Burnsville, Private Pay Home Care, Caring Elderly, Elder Care Resource, Help for Senior CaregiversHelping people is what we do.  Improving their quality of life is our mission.  Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make people really, really happy.  Most people who work in the home care business get job satisfaction from helping seniors and others with everyday tasks that most of us take for granted but which mean the world to the recipient of the assistance.

I met a woman a week or so ago who has been a musician her entire life.  When she immigrated to the United States almost sixty years ago at age 18, “Mavis” was already an accomplished musician.  Her mother was a professional classical violinist, so Mavis had a good teacher.  Mavis met her husband in a jazz club in Minneapolis, and the two of them hit it off immediately!  They formed a marriage partnership as well as a professional musical team and toured the United States playing jazz and blues in places such as Nashville, New Orleans, and Memphis.

Mavis is still in love!  Her eyes and face light up when she talks about her passion.  Her professional and life partner husband passed on some years ago, but Mavis still has her music!  It’s the one thing in life that keeps her going and makes her life worthwhile.  She reads about music, studies it, and still plays it on the small electronic piano she keeps in her tiny one-bedroom apartment, getting a little bit miffed that she can’t play it full force or else she gets complaints from her neighbors!  “They just don’t understand”, she says, “how beautiful music is and how important it is to me!”  She enjoys going out to jazz clubs but can no longer drive at night and no longer feels it’s safe for her to be out after dark alone as a 77-year old single woman and with a broken arm from a fall.

Since Mavis is independent in the upkeep of her apartment, her cooking,  laundry, and personal cares, her only request was for us to find a caregiver who enjoys jazz as much as she does and who would be willing to  take her to jazz clubs once a week in the later evening hours.  I can’t tell you how elated she was when I called her this morning to tell her that I had found a woman who was willing to go out with her every Friday night to listen to jazz.  “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it!” she said.  “Thank you so much!”

Companionship and transportation to events and activities that people enjoy not only makes them happy but gives them something to look forward to each week.   It gives them a break from the monotony and boredom that can set in when they can no longer drive and they have no one to take them places.  Even if someone lives in a senior building with activities, sometimes they are not the preferred activities for every individual living there.  Sometimes, it’s just good to get out of the building for fresh air and a change of scenery.

A ride to a jazz club once a week may not seem like much to most of us, but it is what Mavis lives for.

Julie Ellingson, LSW

April 2, 2102

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