Understand the needs of your aging parents

October 30, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Aging parents -- understanding their needs and helping them thrive. Sister Anthony, administrator for Little Sisters of the Poor ? St. Anne's Home, and Kim Bemis, the home's resident accounts coordinator, share some of their advice.

Tips for helping aging parents:

1) Ask them what they want in certain situations. I let them make their own decisions. As we age we become frail and everyone wants to make decisions for them or tell them what to do. Show them their still in control of their life and they have a choice.

2) Be more patient, speak slowly and clearly. Speak to them at eye level.

3) Treat them with dignity, respect and love.

4) As long as I can remember the elderly have always said to me that laughter was good for the soul. So I enjoy making them laugh by telling jokes and teasing them.

5) Listen. Sometimes the residents just want someone to listen to them. 6) Smile. A smile does wonders for the elderly. You don't have to say anything just smile and it brightens their day.

7) Get them dressed and out of bed for the day. You'd be surprised how much better they feel.

8) Make them feel at home and comfortable.

9) The elderly like routine.

Red Tie Gala:

The 2008 RED TIE GALA taking place Friday, November 7 at Neiman Marcus on Union Square. The event, which benefits Little Sisters of the Poor-St. Anne's Home on Lake Street features six floors of culinary delights and libations, an array of entertainment and live bands and more! Each floor will reflect a different storied club if the path including The Rainbow Room, Cotton Club, Viper Room and more!

The Little Sisters of the Poor have been caring for San Francisco's elderly poor since 1901. Eighty-two residents live in the Lake Street home. While the sisters rely on a time-honored tradition of begging to meet many of their financial needs, the Little Sisters depend on benefactors to meet 54 percent of their monthly expenses. Proceeds from the RED TIE GALA will help meet these expenses.

About Sister Anthony:
Sister Anthony has been at St. Anne's Home for six years and acts as the Administrator of the organization. She's a native of California and has lived in many of the Little Sisters of the Poor's homes from New York to the Midwest to California. She's is thrilled to be back in California- especially in San Francisco as it is a city very dear to her heart. She divides her time at the home with helping out in different areas including housekeeping, activities, and resident care.

About Kim Bemis:
Kim Bemis is the Resident Accounts Coordinator for Little Sisters of the Poor-St. Anne's Home. She has been with the Little Sisters for almost 14 years and admits that she truly loves what she does. She believes and supports the fundamental mission of the organization of caring for the elderly poor. Her duties include billing and administering requests to Medi-Cal, accounts receivables, the resident trust account - paying bills for the residents that are unable to do it for themselves, assisting residents with their health insurance, Medi-Cal and Medicare issues, and anything else the Sisters ask and need her to do. She is not only an employee of the Home, but she is also an Association of Jeanne Jugan member. As a member of the Association, she is to live the evangelical spirit of the beatitudes: a spirit of gentleness and humility, in joyful and selfless service to the aged poor.


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