It can be easy to become discouraged when we believe that by needing help ourselves we can't properly assist others.
This is especially true for seniors when mobility issues make it difficult to leave their apartments or pain decreases the amount of time that they can spend with friends and family before becoming fatigued.
But these physical limitations don't have to prevent individuals from sharing their hearts with others, there are many ways that seniors with mobility issues can be of service. Here are some options to consider putting into action in the Bethesda Gardens assisted living community.
One of the first ways a senior can consider helping is to offer to read out loud to a friend who has limited vision or memory issues that make it difficult for them to do the activity themselves. This could include helping them sort their mail or reading a book or daily newspaper to them.
Individuals who talk with their neighbors around Bethesda Gardens will find that many have skills they have always dreamed of learning, such as playing an instrument, painting, dancing or knitting.
Seniors can then help their friends fulfill these lifelong dreams by either sharing their own knowledge in the subject or by offering to take a class with them and encouraging them to give the activity a try.
Crafting skills such as knitting, crocheting and sewing let seniors help a wide variety of people in need from within their own assisted living apartments.
Warm hats and scarves for the homeless, toys for children and personalized purses for women are just a few of the things that can be given to local shelters and hospitals or national organizations. Though seemingly small, these donations can provide comfort and cheer to those undergoing hardships.
Once called Big Hope, the First United Methodist Church of Arlington's School-Based Mentoring program pairs at risk children with volunteers who sit with them during lunch once a week. The pair can work on crafts, talk or play games. Though the visit is short, this simple one-on-one interaction often has a powerful impact on the kids and can help them to succeed in school and life.
Prayer Partners for the children and their mentors are also needed, which lets seniors who are unable to physically volunteer each week offer their own contribution to these life-changing meetings.
Seniors with a soft spot for man's best friend can look into joining the Arlington Animal Service's Golden PAWS group. The volunteer group meets twice a month to make useful items for the animals at the shelter and help the pets to find their own forever homes.
Many of these donations such as no-sew blankets are simple to make and only require the ability to use scissors and cut fabric or to tie cloth strips together.
Being sensitive to others in need is the best way that seniors can serve. The smallest of actions can sometimes have the greatest impact. A few ideas of how to be alert include:
Watching for community members who are withdrawn and taking time to get to know them better.
Doing small acts of kindness, such as offering to sew on a missing shirt button or act as a guide for a newcomer.
Being aware of other seniors who struggle with mobility and encouraging them to join in during activities.