Sep 28

National Good Neighbor Day: Nancy’s Story

Nancy with her care advisor, Nicole

As each of us hurry through our days, it is easy to miss the opportunity to get to know an aging neighbor. Undoubtedly each senior citizen that you see quietly living nearby has a wealth of stories about the adventure of their life. Your neighbors’ stories will likely amaze you, bring a smile to your face and even a tear to your eye. Often our world becomes smaller when we face the challenges of aging and sharing a story with a neighbor can be the beginning of a caring friendship.

During a recent visit Nancy, who receives a number of Springwell services, began our conversation by saying she was tired and wasn’t sure she wanted to chat much. We told her that we would be happy to come back another day but she decided she wanted us to stay. We began by talking about her life before retirement. She quietly commented that she had been a textile and fashion designer, but didn’t say much more until her care advisor, Nicole asked her about a piece she had mentioned on an earlier visit. At that point, she hopped off her chair and offered to show us some examples of her work. Nancy carefully pulled a dust cover off a chair to reveal a beautiful stack of clothes, all designed and sewn by her. There was every style from shimmery evening gowns to warm winter coats.  The stunning fabrics and beautiful styling of each piece showcased Nancy’s talent, and her passion for textiles and design shined through as she described each creation. She even shared that a work she designed was featured in the Textiles USA exhibit under her employer’s name in 1956 at the Museum of Modern Art. She has hundreds of pieces, and stories to go with each one. Our first connection with Nancy had been quickly established. She suggested that if we visit again, she might model some of these magnificent designs for us. We bet she has stories to go with each piece.

After retiring from the design industry, Nancy became active with seniors in her community. Scrabble is a favorite game if the rules are followed. Her spirit for a competitive game made us want to pull out a Scrabble board right then and there.  She organized a Supper Club for groups of seniors to enjoy dining in restaurants together and shared that she was careful to choose affordable places so all who wanted to could attend. Socializing with others brings Nancy joy. At this point, Nancy isn’t able to go out as much but enjoys visitors at home.

Getting to know care recipients’ is important to Springwell Care Advisors. The stories they share help us to know them as unique individuals, not just an older person who needs some assistance to continue living at home. While our services make this possible, the connection with neighbors and Friendly Visitors make home the place they love to be.