September 30, 2014

Simple Things that Make a Difference

Huebbe,-mary-2014.epsBy Mary Huebbe
Marketing Consultant
Ridgecrest Village

These words were given to me from a resident. They are not the exact words, but this is what they gave me:

“In this last year, I have watched too many people pass away. I have seen the grief from one family and felt the pain as we talked. We have heard people say how they should have done this or that because life got in the way. Oh, how they had missed having those extra special moments.”

It is obvious that people don’t really notice how they
perform so many good deeds. They don’t realize how they are helping people every day without even noticing how their actions are extraordinary.

My experience needs to be shared. I have seen our resident families here at Ridgecrest take the time to visit many people that have moved to different levels of care. Their friendships transition with them on their journey for more medical care, beginning from Ridgecrest Independent Living, to Assisted Living or Memory Care (Oakwood Place), and then to the health/skilled care and/or physical therapy (Crest Health Center). All levels are within our 22 acre campus.

I have seen our Nurse Kathy go to the hospice house and spend time with a resident who had to transition there for one reason or another, just to let them know someone is there. She wanted them to know that their family here at Ridgecrest was still thinking about them, and that we continue to care about them and pray for them.

Occasionally one of our Residents will transition from independent to assisted living and then on to our Skilled Nursing Center for their final days. We have observed many of our staff from different areas of the building, as well as other residents, stop by to visit. Some would just poke their heads in for a minute to give a reassuring smile to the family, as well as the resident. Some of the families reported how attentive the staff was during their time of need.

We had a married couple who lived in our cottage, and for medical reasons, his wife moved into our Health Center. It was very comforting to the independent spouse to know that when he was needed by his wife, he was only minutes away and was able to get there in time.

The simple part is just being there, not worrying about finding the right words to say, not trying to fix things, not pretending that everything is going to be ok, not trying to explain the unexplainable… JUST BEING PRESENT WHEN NEEDED!

It is as simple as sitting quietly at a bedside in the middle of the night, or speaking a quiet prayer while someone is sleeping. The part that means a lot is the comfort that it brings to the one in pain or fear. Just knowing that someone cares enough to be there is the key, whether in person or through phone calls. Messages can come by
Simple doesn’t mean easy. It is a sacrificial act, an act that shows honor. It is taking the time from something you had planned to do, to instead do what is needed to be done. It can sometimes be VERY uncomfortable to see someone suffering. It is completely against our nature not to try to do something to fix it. It is also completely humbling to recognize that there are times when there is absolutely nothing we can do to fix it. Yet by being there, we have helped.

A good way end is with words written from a daughter of a resident to our staff, “Caring seems to be the right word here – there aren’t enough words to express our deep appreciation for the care given to Dad – especially these last few years. Despite the ups and downs, Dad cared and respected all of you, and he knew in his heart Ridgecrest was home. Thank you!”

This article is a “Thank You” to all of you who do Honorable Acts of the Heart for others!

Filed Under: Family, Personal Growth