By Lyndsey Lotrario
I believe that it takes an amazing person to make the best of a challenging situation. Maureen, a volunteer at Parker at River Road, suffered the loss of her eyesight a few years ago due to a brain tumor. Even though life is more difficult for her now, Maureen continues to smile, cracks jokes, and is an inspiration to all those around her.
While learning how to cope with her recent life challenges, Maureen decided she wanted to be able to give care instead of always receiving care, which is why she began volunteering at Parker. She is an exceptional volunteer–most likely because she has a greater understanding of what elders experience.
Recently, I observed Maureen visiting with an elder who usually keeps her eyes closed, but will respond from time to time with an eyebrow raise. Maureen played music on her iPhone and began a one-sided conversation with the elder, who rarely responds to people around her.
“Do you hear the music? We’re on a stage and we’re dancing. Do you like the music? Are you still dancing?“
The elder lifted her leg in response to Maureen's questions.
I was so shocked by the elder's response that I developed goosebumps on my arms. But, most of all, I was touched and grateful to witness the heartfelt moment between that resident and Maureen.