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The 3 Battles All Elders Eventually Face

Elderly woman in glasses thoughtfully looking out the window.Physician, author, and aging expert Dr. Bill Thomas says there are three things that plague our elders: loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.

Many seniors find themselves living alone, either as a lifestyle choice or because a partner has passed away, so it’s easy to see how loneliness could begin to take over without adequate social outlets. And of course, we tend to want to “do” everything for seniors in the name of safety, speed, efficiency, etc. While well intentioned, instead of feeling “helped,” the person may actually feel helpless because you have shown them that they are no longer capable of doing things for themselves. In effect, you have stolen their independence. As for boredom, this is something that can be most troubling for those living with dementia. Too often we hear of wandering, disruptive behavior, agitation—and you wonder why! They are BORED! It is our job to find a positive and fulfilling way to redirect that energy into meaningful engagement.

As you look around Autumn Leaves, everything you see, from design and décor to programming, was intentionally designed to combat each of these issues. In fact, it is the cornerstone of our Purposeful Living philosophy. When you see a resident sorting silverware or changing batteries in a pile of flashlights, it’s not because we don’t have an amazing culinary and maintenance staff—we do! Rather, it gives our residents a sense of purpose and pride in completing a task. The robust calendar of events hanging on the wall is not meant to mindlessly fill the hours in a day—it gives our residents the power to choose from a variety of activities designed to engage, stimulate, and enrich their lives—to battle boredom!

And of course, the foundation of life at Autumn Leaves is our sense of community. It is our mission to ensure you will never be alone, or bored, or helpless at Autumn Leaves!