Aging Athlete, Musical Neophyte, Lifelong Learner
“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
A Different Way to Think About Home Care
I established ComForCare of New York City with the concept of connecting older adults to outstanding caregivers they might not find elsewhere. Our approach to care values social engagement and meaningful experiences as much any other element of support. If we can make people happier, as well as safer, at home, then we are really doing our job.
We are lucky to be in a city with so much depth and diversity in its people. This allows us to recruit caregivers from the performing arts, graduate programs, health care fields and other varied backgrounds. I continue to be impressed by the stories of many New Yorkers who want to care for older adults. Some of them are lifetime caregivers who cannot see themselves doing anything else. Others are artists or professionals who had to take care of their own family members and later decided they wanted to help others. The common thread is they are bright, compassionate people who really care about making someone happier.
There is no sugar-coating the fact aging can be tough. It can present challenges physically, emotionally and socially. I was initially drawn to the challenges of older adults with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia when studying cognitive function. The loss of short-term memory and language ability, for example, can significantly alter how someone relates to the world around them. The loss of mobility or of a social network can similarly impact life. The good news: Research and common experience have shown we can be healthier and more fulfilled when we have connections to people and meaning.
To support someone facing the challenges of aging, I believe we need to be both optimistic and realistic. We want to strive for a high quality of life that includes meaningful experiences such as seeing a great play or meeting up with a group of friends to share stories. At the same time, we need to make sure we respect where they stand. Choices need to be about what makes them feel good, not what we think will make them feel good.
I hope we can support you or your loved one when you need it. It is a privilege we take to heart.