In Honor of Older Americans Month, meet TJ.

Every May, the Administration for Community Living observes Older Americans Month
to recognize the contributions of older adults to our communities, aging trends, and our
commitment to their service. This year’s theme is Powered by Connection, highlighting the
power of meaningful relationships and social connections on the health and well-being of older
adults. As a nurse and the founder of St. Jude Home Care Inc., I would like to take this
opportunity to share my experience of how professional and personal connections can contribute
to mutual well-being.

I met T.J. last year when I worked for a home care company in town. I filled his
medication boxes with his many prescriptions, and I kept up with all his medication changes and
ensured he got his refills on time. T.J. is blind and lives alone; he spends his days watching TV
without friends or family in town. My visits provided a break in his routine, and he showed
interest in the mundane activities of my life that I would relay during my home care visits.
During our time together, I enjoyed listening to him reminisce and recall memories of his son,
who had recently passed away. Our friendship grew, and when I left the home health job, he
called to see how I was doing. We arranged to visit once a week, and I would pick him up and
take him to the Sojourner coffee house, where he could be with a few other veterans and enjoy
donuts and breakfast together. After I started St. Jude Home Care Inc., T.J. became my patient
again. We now visit several times each week, going on neighborhood walks, running errands,
and occasionally having lunch together. We still go to the Sojourner coffee house on Thursdays,
where he has developed many enjoyable friendships, and he is a little more physically active than
he used to be. I enjoy being with T.J., his banter, and his good and kind heart. He is my patient,
but he has also become a real friend, and I believe both our lives have been enriched.

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