Speak Up and Make a Difference by Lori La Bey
The little things you notice can make a big difference. Bring them up to the appropriate parties. Remember, we all see things differently and the more eyes and perceptions the better. Writing this book is prime example. Who would have ever thought I would be writing a book over my experience with Alzheimer’s disease. I mean who am I, other than a daughter who loves her Mother? I am no different from you. Here is an example of one thing I mentioned, having no idea where they might go with the nursing home my Mother lived in.
The staff at the nursing home was talking one day about putting in a patio in the open space in front of the nursing home and the assisted living building. I nonchalantly said, “You should put in waterfall.”
The staff replied there was no way they could afford that. I told them I had been looking into putting one in my own backyard and they really were not as high priced as one would think. I went on to tell them that for about $8,000 to $10,000 dollars they could have large waterfall installed and what a beautiful feature it would be for residents’, guests, and staff.
The staff brought the idea to administration and was given permission to go with me to investigate the costs. We went on a field trip to the landscaper I had been talking to, brought the information back to Doug the administrator. He liked the idea of a waterfall too, once he saw the numbers were reasonable. We were all involved in the design and how it laid out. Staff found and got bids on glider wheel chairs, benches, plaques for donations in memory of residents, and plantings that were beautiful. Now, we had to come up with a way to raise some extra cash to get it done. Doug decided to have a luncheon fundraiser as the staff was so excited about the project, and whala… we got the waterfall. Doug has told me since than, the waterfall project has changed how they look at their environment. All who visit and live there comment on the waterfall and embrace it’s calming environment.
My Mother of course had her own agenda, and told everyone I planned and paid for the entire waterfall project. She was so proud of my involvement and had many people believing it was all me. There was no telling her different. I just had to keep explaining the true situation to people when they would come up and thank me for the waterfall! It all was quit charming and still makes me giggle every time I look at it.
The Waterfall was a far cry from one-person project. I may have had the goofy idea, but to tell the truth, I really did not expect to go anywhere. It truly was a group effort that pulled this project together, and a hige thank you has to go out to Doug the adminstrator for working outside the typcial box and budgets! It was a wonderful experience for me to connect on a new level with the Nursing Home.
As simple and goofy as ideas can sound, I encourage you to speak your thoughts. If something is calling you to pay attention, do it. Look for the whys. Focus on increasing the simple quality of life issues that arise in everyday living. You may be amazed how your ideas are received. I know I was.