Dementia and Really Old Beauty

We live in a society that seems to use, toss, and purchase new. Old things are considered obsolete. Markings on the surface tarnish value. Dents, scraps, and wobbly or squeaky parts are all reasons to trash the item and seek a replacement.

I think it is time to examine this way of life. Not only are we guilty of this as it pertains to our personal possessions, but some folks are also guilty of this in regard to senior citizens. The thought process runs something like this.

They are old and need lots of attention. I don’t have time. I have a job. I have a family. When am I suppose to do all the things that need to be done and still have time for myself?

While I am the first to admit to having issues trying to get everything done in a day, I realize my top priority in life (just after God and my husband) is taking care of other people. In my case, that “other person” was my mother, who had mid-stage Alzheimer’s. Anyone who has a family member going through something like this can find it a difficult path to go down, sometimes we have to bring them to live with us to make sure they are getting the right care. You may look into how you can rent a stairlift for your elderly loved ones or see about a home healthcare worker, and so on, just to make it an easier transition. In fact, home healthcare is so important for the elderly that people want to see how they can support their communities by checking out how to start a home based senior care business to protect and ensure the safety of our seniors who cannot look after themselves anymore. That’s when I looked at my mother and knew I needed to help.

You see, I looked at Momma, and the seniors whose path I crossed each day, and I didn’t see their wobbly or squeaky parts. I saw years of stories that need to be told. Stories you should hear, too. If you just give them three minutes and pose the right question, you will probably hear an entertaining story. It is much like my new headboard. Give me three minutes, ask me where I got it, and the following entertaining story will be revealed.

-2To celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary, my husband and I contracted with Black Dog Salvage of Roanoke, Virginia (they are the folks on the television show “Salvage Dawgs” on The DIY channel) to design and build a special headboard for our bedroom. We asked for something that demanded the attention of anyone who entered the room. We also wanted the individual components to have a story to tell. Further, we did not want it sanded and stained to a high gloss. We did not want its knotholes, scrapes, or dings covered up. We wanted the history of the piece to be evident. The picture shows the result of our request, and we LOVE it! The wood is from a barn that was built in the 1800s in Appomattox, Virginia (we actually watched the episode where they took the barn down), and the iron is part of a 200-ton iron purchase from Egypt. Now THAT’S just cool. The headboard is not symmetrical. You can see all the age in the barn wood, and the iron is not shiny. Oh, but it is perfect. Just what we were looking for.

I hope I will remember the beauty of age as I work with senior citizens. After all, I hope to be one in the future.

Hope that gives you Something to Ponder.

Photo by Georg Arthur Pflueger on Unsplash

Carol Howell
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