Time is the greatest gift we can give, because it cannot be returned.
Things are often forgotten, given away, tossed, or lost amidst clutter.
Money is often forgotten after it’s spent.
The gift of time lasts a lifetime.
Spending a day, an afternoon, or an evening with an elder, listening, laughing, and learning, is time well spent.
Sometimes it takes as little as thirty minutes to lift an elder’s spirits.
Imagine, just thirty minutes and you can change a person’s day.
When I walk into a board and care, nursing home, hospital, an assisted living or adult day care center, I always try to connect with someone–whether I look directly at a person and smile or hold a hand and say, “Hello.” If I can stay a while longer, I am treated to a story or two from long ago. I’ve learned that the gift of my time goes a lot farther than anything I can bring.
Even those in the mid- to late-stages of Alzheimer’s, who forget your name or that you visited, still savor the pleasant feelings they experienced during your visit. So, sit by one’s side, hold her hand to comfort her, or listen to his stories even if parts of them make little sense. Letting them know you’re there for a while is often all that matters.
As many live in faith, we also must have faith that one who can no longer remember or even open his/her eyes to “see” us is aware of our presence, even if we do not yet understand how this is so.
The next time you wonder, What can I bring? Bring yourself and the greatest gift–your time.
Today is World Alzheimer’s Day. If you know someone with Alzheimer’s, give him/her the Gift of Time, today.
It won’t take much out of your life to spend at least thirty minutes with someone. And what you will gain will last much longer.
TIME, the most important gift we can give to our loved ones.
Brenda Avadian, MA
Update: For all of you who continue to pray, think, send light, and offer our family hope, thank you. I will be posting updates to Two Family Emergencies in One Day on my Facebook page. (If you don’t have access Facebook, please send me an eMail and I’ll try to update you as time allows.)