Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Care Partner Wednesday--The Domain of Joy

"This is what makes us different." The wife of one of the residents stood by my desk with a glowing face. "You're not perfect. Nobody's perfect. But this..." she waved her hand, "this is wonderful. Special. This is what makes us different."

She was referring to the many staff in all departments who dressed in costume to make life fun for residents on Hallowe'en. Everywhere you turned there was something new and fun to see in the form of a staff member in costume. In our neighbourhood, Robin Hood gave you your pills, Waldo (as in "Where's Waldo?") helped you get ready to meet the day, Jack Sparrow fixed your toilet and Superwoman greeted you at the desk. Every time residents discovered a new costume, there was laughter, exclamations, and yes, joy.

Joy is at the pinnacle of the triangle of the seven domains. It can be elusive, and is dependent on the other domains being fulfilled. Unless I know you, we are connected, my life contains meaningful activities, I can make choices,  I feel secure and I have opportunities to grow, joy isn't possible.

"One of the best ways to understand“joy”and the role this emotion can play in our experience of well-being is to become aware of how often it sneaks up on us. Moments of joy often catch us by surprise. These joyful moments cannot be scheduled, structured, or commanded into existence. They can only emerge from the moment. No one can say “I’m going to experience joy at 2:30 this afternoon.”Efforts to intentionally create joy for others are doomed to failure. The best soil for joyful moments is always found in places where relationships are deep, rich, and intensely meaningful. It is through the relationships we have with one another that we can discover ways to recognize and celebrate moments of joy when they occur."

Have you ever noticed that media seldom depicts happy, laughing, joyful people who are also elderly? It's a subtle message, but it's clear. Joy is for the young. There is no denying aging brings incredible challenges. It does. However, it can also bring joy.

Just ask my friends.


Care Partner Wednesday--The Domain of Joy "This is why we are different."