For many years, the elderly, Dr. Wilson, had been living alone in Brooklyn, New York. Fit and lean, and almost unbelievably near the century mark, Dr. Wilson walks extensively throughout his vibrant community, attending to his needs and desires without aid. Never one to want anyone to make a fuss, he has carried on his weekly ritual for decades. Now a staunch believer in natural medicine he regularly visits local merchants to purchase fresh foods, vitamins, and health drinks. He watches his diet carefully. He keeps his life simple, returning to his apartment for good meals, a little reading, and maybe a telephone call or two with family.
With the Wilson clan, young and old spread all over New York – some in Westchester, some in Queens, and everyone engaged in their own busy lives, Claudia knew it would be quite a task to bring family members together for a Brooklyn celebration. However, as the youngest daughter of the Wilson family, and perhaps the most reflective of her siblings, she realized she could no longer take these birthdays for granted. Now in her fifties she’s more than aware how time has passed on so quickly, even in her life, and that birthday celebrations with her Dad may soon be dwindling down.
“Although my parents live separately now, Mom will be thrilled to see Dad as will my girls and nieces who are in college,” says Claudia. “It’s an effort to get the family who are all focused on their own lives, to set aside time and all of this is a lot of work, from picking a restaurant to getting everyone there on time, but it’s worth it, to make this a special family moment.”
Improved focus on fitness and advances in healthcare means we’re all living longer. But like Claudia Wilson, we should never take precious moments like birthdays for seniors in our families lightly.
Although Dr. Wilson has gone without aid for many years, he’s showing signs that home care may be a wise choice real soon.
“No matter what choice we make regarding dad’s care,” says Claudia, “we’re going to continue to savor these birthdays and family celebrations.” It’s a great lesson for us all. In the later years celebrating our seniors is even more important.