Assisted Living Friendships Happen in San Jose

Finding a new friend in San JoseAn assisted living worker in a San Jose assisted living community became best friends with a former Veteran pilot.  It is amazing how in just a few weeks we, as humans, can develop close relationships with someone.  A new, young assisted living worker in San Jose was surprised how quickly she became friends with older gentlemen who she was caring for.  Every day she would make his bed and help him to get ready for the day.  He was quiet at first and hesitant to make a relationship because there were so many people caring for him that he could not keep them all straight.  He was pleased when she started to ask about the medals and awards he had posted on his wall and the plaques he had to honor him on his dresser.  She started to make small talk and conversation about the weather and quickly wanted to know more about who he was as a younger man.  He was so happy that someone had taken the extra effort to get to know him as a person.   While he appreciated the care from the other workers in this lovely San Diego assisted living facility, he was not pleased at how impersonal it felt to have someone come into his apartment do only what was necessary and move onto the next resident’s care needs.  The assisted care worker was also pleased to have someone to talk to about more than what they needed her to do for them.  She was happy to begin making a meaningful relationship with a ‘friend’ in the assisted living community.

He asked her questions about her young life gave her advice about the future and told stories about his days as a military man.  She was intrigued by the stories and decided to do some research outside of work.  The senior aged resident was a Korean War Veteran.  She was able to gather information about his time in service and have his name added to the memorial wall in Washington DC.  While he was unable to travel from San Jose to Washington Dc to see the memorial, she thought that this would be the best vacation she had taken in a long time.  So while she was on vacation later that next year, she visited the memorial and took pictures of the name on the wall.  He was so touched to have this person, who otherwise would have been just someone to care for his daily living needs.  It was important for him to share with her the keys to getting to know someone, as she had with him.  Making friends was easy and he had hoped she would never be alone.  He said the top 5 ways to get to know someone, as they had were to:

  1. Look a person in the eyes when you are conversing
  2. Be interested in what makes the person who they are
  3. Be open to new beliefs and ideas
  4. Be honest in what you disclose about yourself
  5. Do not judge, be kind

He felt as if she had helped him so much and honored him with the gesture of adding his name to the memorial that the least he could do would be to share his life experience and wisdom he had gained through years of life.  The senior aged resident and the assisted living worker shared a meaningful friendship together while living life fully in the assisted living San Jose apartment.

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