Reflections on Catholic Healthcare

When one is home a lot, a trip out can be a nice diversion. However, the older one gets, the more daunting a trip out can seem.  Limited mobility, diminishing eyesight, and/or hearing difficulties can make  outings seem intimidating.  So what can encourage someone to brave an outing to an unfamiliar area? Sometimes all it takes is an invitation and a little encouragement even when events take an unexpected turn.

Noticing that one of our residents prefers smaller, intimate circles rather than large groups, one of the Activity team decided to invite her personally to join her for lunch at Avila Gardens. Sister had already planned on going to Avila to practice the hand bells and this was a perfect opportunity to offer a small, intimate outing not to far distant. With much encouragement, the resident finally agreed.

Then came the unexpected: the hand bell practice was cancelled. What could Sister offer as an outing now? Always quick on her feet, Sister formulated a different plan on her way over to the Good Shepherd Cottage to her unsuspecting companion.

“We have a change of plans.” Sister enthusiastically announced.


“Yes, I have to go to Home Depot to buy something and I need someone to go with me.”

“Isn’t there anyone else?”

“Please, go with me. I need you.”

“Only if there is no one else.”

“No one else can go with me right now. Come on, it won’t take too long.”

“Are you sure?”

“I only need to get one thing. Will you come?”

A little reluctantly, the resident agreed and sauntered out to the car with her walker. As they pulled up to the front of the store, you could see a little hesitation in her face. Upon entering, she stopped for a moment and looked around, “Gee, it has been a long time since I have been in this store.”

She followed behind Sister and looked in awe at all the items on the shelf. Soon, she was engaging in a lively conversation about all the things she used to do around the house. On the way home, the contented companion gently smiled: “That was an unexpected trip. I enjoyed it. Maybe I should go out more often.”


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