Page 2 - Senior Times South Central Michigan May 2020 - 27-05
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Page 2 Senior Times - May 2020
By: Tim Mitchell, Fund Development Coordinator, Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E.
  April showers bring May flowers! Yes, the flowers are blooming and the trees are showing signs of awaking from their winter slumber with colorful blossoms and leaves of green. It’s always a joy to see new life revealed through nature in the spring season! The month of May also brings several cele- bratory events such as Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and the famed Kentucky Derby. And, it brings the obser- vance of Older Americans Month.
of POW’s creatively developed a “tap code” means of communication. They would tap on the wall that divided them from the American on the other side of the wall. Each series
Everyone needs a “tap code.” No, we don’t literally need to tap on the wall to commu- nicate with others. The tap code we need is simply any way we connect with other peo- ple. If you are a senior, make that phone call to your fellow seniors to check on them or to your family members to hear a friendly voice. If you are not a senior, but know a senior who is staying home to be safe, call them, send them a “Thinking of You” card, or drop off a meal to them. If the senior uses technology, connect with them through Zoom, Facebook Live, or another visual media platform.
This may be the best way to celebrate Older Americans Month – by creating a “tap code.” Communicate and make sure our older adults are okay physically and emotionally. Let no older adult live in isola- tion. That may be the best way to celebrate this important month.
Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. celebrates seniors during the month of May, but also every day of the year by providing high qual- ity health care and socialization. Since partic- ipants can’t currently come to our centers for socialization, our staff is going to them and engaging them in creative ways. We make sure that no one is alone during this time of social distancing. We have created a “tap code” to effectively communicate with them and meet their needs through personal vis- its, supportive phone calls, and encouraging notes. If you know a senior who needs assistance to remain safely in their own home or to combat the anxiety of loneliness, please call (269) 441-0203, visit the website at, or text PACE to 51555.
 With the recent health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, the way we cele- brate Older Americans Month may be much different this year. It is very likely that older adults will be asked to remain in their homes well into the month of May. This lengthy time of social distancing doesn’t exactly inspire
a celebratory mood. In fact, just the oppo- site, it can lead to high levels of anxiety and despondency. No one wants to be alone for
an extended period of time. We need contact with other humans. That’s simply how we are wired.
of taps represented a letter that eventually spelled out a message. Captain Jerry Coffee, another POW, said, "The tap code was very important in giving comfort and solace to one another – when you know that the man in
  Vice Admiral James Stockdale, the author of several books recalling his military life and experiences, describes the emotions and life of solitary confinement while imprisoned as
a POW for seven years in the Hỏa Lò Prison, infamously referred to as the "Hanoi Hilton." He described maintaining an emotional state of being “realistically optimistic” while imprisoned under extremely inhumane con- ditions. That is, he had an unwavering belief that he would return home to his family, he just wasn’t sure when it would happen.
the next cell was down and hurting, his feet locked in the ankle cuffs at the foot of a con- crete slab, and his hands cuffed tightly behind him. Those few taps on a wall told a fellow prisoner that there was someone on the other side saying, "Be tough, babe. I'm praying for you."
In the meantime, he knew he needed human to human communication with his fel- low POW’s, but their captors kept them from seeing or talking to one another. The group
While our social distancing efforts don’t even begin to compare to the conditions at the “Hanoi Hilton,” it still drastically limits the human contact we need in our lives. It can make us feel disconnected from the world. How do we cope with these conditions?
Admiral Stockdale added, “Our tapping ceased to be just an exchange of letters and words; it became conversation. Elation, sad- ness, humor, sarcasm, excitement, depression — all came through." They even developed certain acronyms, for example, GBU was used as a universal sign-off that meant, “God bless you.”
   Experience the Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. Difference!
                                       THE CARE YOU NEED TO HELP YOU STAY IN THE HOME YOU LOVE!
• Physical and Occupational • Quality Medical Care • Socialization
Therapy Services • Social Services • Support for Caregivers
• Safety in the Home
Call us to find out if Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. is right for you or someone you love - (269) 441-9319
   Visit seniorcarepartners/
Text “PACE” to 51555 to learn more about the services we provide
 200 W. Michigan Ave, Ste 103, Battle Creek, MI • 445 W. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI • 800 E. Milham Ave, Portage, MI

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