Community Stories

Celebrating Self Care through staying active 

September 14, 2023

Marie stays active as self care

Marie Perry, 65, has stayed young through staying active. As we celebrate Self-Care Awareness Month, we asked for her perspective on taking care of herself. 

Marie works full-time as a nurse with Memorial Health Care System, continuing her career of more than 40 years. 

She also volunteers with Heart2Heart, volunteers at the hospital where she works, volunteers with Animal Aid and is president of her community’s condo association and in general. 

“I don’t know where I get the time,” Marie said, “What I say is just you do what you have to do.”

Always in motion

Marie recently visited one of her adult children and four grandchildren in Alabama and another daughter in Coral Springs.

“She had to go away with her fiance for the day, and I babysat for them. While I was there, I cleaned her house,” Marie said. “She didn’t ask me to. I just can’t sit still.”

She often gets in more steps on her Apple Watch per day than her husband, even if she doesn’t leave the house that day. And even if he makes the extra effort by going on a morning walk and intentionally exercising. 

“I don’t sit still. I absolutely don’t sit still. I can’t,” she said. “I want to find productive things to do rather than be nonproductive.” 

Maria also plans to support the runners and walkers during the 5K Gran Run this Saturday. 

A generational perspective

Marie has always been passionate about working with the elderly population, but volunteering with Heart2Heart is an especially positive experience now that she is midway through her 60s.

She currently volunteers with a senior whose daughter is her age. She can relate to the daughter and speak to the gentleman from a daughter’s perspective. And there are also experiences that she can relate to with him. 

“He used to be a ballroom dancer, and I’m taking ballroom lessons. He had a bilateral hip replacement, I had a bilateral hip replacement,” Maria said. “Being older, there’s a lot more to talk about and relate to.”

The key to staying young

What’s the key to all of her energy and staying active even as she ages? 

Marie believes it all begins when people are younger. After all, she said, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. 

She encourages young people to put down the electronic devices, get outside, get involved and talk to people face to face. 

Not only will it make an immediate difference in their lives, it will help them significantly as they get older. Likewise, it’s never too late to volunteer and be an active part of your community. 

There’s still time to volunteer for or participate in the 5K Gran Run on Saturday, Sept. 16. Get active and engage in some self care!

Join the Team!

Becoming a Heart2Heart volunteer means that you are dedicated to serving the aging community. It means you want to connect in a meaningful way to a specific individual or to several people. It means you are committed to a consistent amount of time per month – whether that’s several hours a week or just a few hours per month.

Heart2Heart volunteers must be background checked and trained. Our training can be completed from your home on your computer or device, through the online Volunteer Portal. We run fingerprints in our office in Fort Lauderdale, and you can schedule an appointment with us after you finish the training.

The first step is to create an account on our Volunteer Portal. To get started, click here!

Read more …

The First Birthday Celebration in Years

The First Birthday Celebration in Years

For nursing student Katrell Johnson, picking up cupcakes and balloons for a resident at Sun Village Homes for her 86th birthday felt like a natural gesture.

For Julia, the ensuing festivities became the first birthday she had celebrated in years.

Read their story
https://www.heart2heartoutreach.org/community-stories/The-First-Birthday-Celebration-in-Years

Volunteer and her Quilting Group Sew Quilts for Seniors

Volunteer and her Quilting Group Sew Quilts for Seniors

Helping seniors feel love with quilts

Judie Nance and her quilting group have donated more than 150 quilts to seniors in care centers around South Florida. They’ve made smaller quilts that fit on top of wheelchairs and quilts with zippers, buttons, and little animals for seniors in memory care.

“Oh, we’ve had tears and so much gratitude,” Judie said. “It makes you feel good that you could brighten someone’s day, give them something to smile about and to live another day.”

Read the story

Wheelchair Wash Connects Hearts and Boosts Confidence

Wheelchair Wash Connects Hearts and Boosts Confidence

Sometimes, the key to happiness is shiny wheels and simple conversation.

Members of Parkridge Church teamed up with Heart2Heart to host a wheelchair and walker wash at Park Summit Senior Living in Coral Springs.

They set up something like a car wash in a sliver of sunshine. They tied ribbons on the newly cleaned wheelchairs, and the seniors bragged about the free service for the rest of the day.

Read the story

Student Volunteers and Seniors Connect at Sun Village Homes

Student Volunteers and Seniors Connect at Sun Village Homes

Nursing student Maria Namendy shares he experiences volunteering at Sun Village Homes in Hialeah.

She’s learned the power of giving seniors a voice — just by listening to their stories.

She’s just one example of how West Coast University students are making a difference.

Read the story
https://www.heart2heartoutreach.org/community-stories/student-volunteers-at-sun-villiage-homes