“These are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.” – Celtic Blessing of the Hands
As the beautiful passage above indicates, one of the things that strikes an emotional chord in all of us is looking at the hands of an elderly loved one. Hands represent so much of a person’s life in terms of the work they did, as well as their hobbies and talents. In any given lifetime, hands may have painted, hammered, bandaged a cut, or wiped away tears. They may have played the piano, weeded gardens or worn a baseball mitt.
Greenridge Place Memory Care’s wall of hand photographs celebrates the aging beauty of the hands of their residents. The tribute began as a celebration of National Senior Citizen’s Day. The staff noted the amazing reactions of the residents when they were shown the photographs of their hands with captions relating to their life’s work. There were many special moments of realization and emotional responses to the images.
Greenridge Place Memory Care calls the exhibit “Reflections” and wrote eloquently as follows:
“Today we are celebrating the immeasurable impact “these hands” have made in the lives of so many. Some of these hands have served in the military, have saved lives, have built homes, have raised children, farmed land, some of these hands have been a part in changing lives, or a game of chess. We have created commemorative walls in our community in honor of our residents and families to convey the impact that “these hands” have made in our lives and the impression these individuals have made in our hearts.”
If you are caring for an elderly loved one, especially when you find your day challenging or issues arise, take a moment to touch their hands. Think about all they represent in their lifetime and in yours. Use that moment to reflect upon some special memories with your loved one. You may find that it brings a welcome moment of peace and joy to both of you.