How one care-giver’s practice of appreciation inspires empowerment in her 97-year-old client


My name is Patti Jacobs, and I had this lovely experience last week
while I was with a client. I’m a caregiver. My client had been neglected by
the caregiver before me. She was very thirsty. Her lips were dry, her mouth
was sticking inside her gums. She said, “I feel so helpless.” She is 97. I
realized that as a caregiver, if I can seamlessly care for her physical
needs, she can still be present in herself and have a stronger sense of
what she can do and her possibilities.

I began looking for ways – she’s far from helpless, far from hopeless – of
helping her to notice and appreciate things that she does do for herself,
and for her to have notice of that as she did them, in her body. I began
seeing her as a person who had feelings, and who could create something for
herself even though she’s at a time of her life with so many limitations
that she still has the possibilities of being a creator. It just makes my
time with another person as a caregiver lively and exciting. A pull for me
as well.