With all that is going on around us, family still is the most important. This is a time when families need to be close. We need to take care of our elders and children during this horrible age of Covid-19. With many families suffering economically and the future seems to be bleak, we can still instill love and closeness of family life. Although, we must practive distancing and wearing of masks, we can look into discovering our past and present by seeking information about our family tree. There are services that are provided by various sites and organizations. My favorite and my usual place for discovering and compiling family histories, is Ancestry.com.
Also, Fold3.com, a site that offers ways to locate your family’s military history.
If you are not savvy in searching databases, you are not out of the loop. I have been helping individuals locate information that help and educate their families about their ancestors and health material related to their medical histories for some time. Being a retired librarian has given me opportunities for searching and compiling information that aid individuals and nonprofit clients. As for my family tree, I have located ancestors as far as plantation slavery. I was fortunate to have found my great, great grandmother and father. My grandmother told me to promise her that I would locate her grandmother whom she mourned so long as a little girl. I kept that promise and found a lot more. Local libraries are a great source and help if you are considering your own genealogy search. You can also hire or request professionals such as myself to assist you in your adventure. Libraries usually have list of researchers and genealogist organizations and individual genealogist that you can request.
No one in their wildest dreams would believe that we would be in this nightmare called Covid-19. My family like many families all over this country have lost someone to this devastating virus. We are locked in our homes, praying that this will all be over, but there is no end in sight.
I like many people have made homemade masks for our families. Many have volunteered their sewing skills to making masks for hospital workers and doctors. Nursing homes have been the most hit with this virus. Although a vaccine is being tested, it will not be available to the public for many months. We are encouraged to wear masks when venturing out in our state. We are to stay 6 feet apart when shopping or around other people. This is our new reality and for some, it is very hard. If you have elderly relatives that are in need of your care, this can be very inconvenient. This virus is especially fatal to the elderly. Nursing homes have suffered thousands of deaths and many are diagnosed with the virus.
The other concern is mental health; Covid-19 is causing anxiety and depression in many who are isolated alone without the comfort of friends and family. During this period of isolation and shut-in, many people are creating ways to keep in touch. With the technology of webcam and phone cameras, audio video communications have taken precedence for the lack of personal interacting. So many family members are dying quickly and mentally it is taking a toll on everyone. I lost my beloved stepfather just months from losing my father from bone cancer. My stepfather was scheduled to come home when covid-19 caused complications. He was 82 years old and was being cared for at a hospital rehab center for colon surgery. Most dying from this virus are those with pre-existing illnesses.
Each day brings more heartbreak and uncertainty. The only thing that we can do at this time, is wear our masks and gloves, and remember to wash our hands thoroughly. Remember to keep distance and care around elderly people.
For more information on the corona virus, click here, to keep abreast.
While supporting my sister with the care of my ill and elderly father, I noticed while he was residing in his first new residence of 2 months, that the facility had a library for their residents. Not a big one, but one that housed a collection of books for the seniors to read while sitting in the library room. I noted that there was no one particularly maintaining the library. Most of the time the activity director is responsible for this area. It was the same way when he was temporarily residing at a nursing facility while my sister was vacationing in Las Vegas. These facilities have a room for library books but there is often no official librarian or services provided. This is an opportunity I am looking into as I rewrite my marketing plan for the coming year.
Seniors are avid readers and they have a lot of time on their hands, being that many have lived out their lives and retired from employment responsibilities. They are more likely to participate in library activities and desire to have someone that can upgrade and manage their library needs. Many would even appreciate library materials that aid the deaf and blind. While I worked as a librarian at the Detroit Public Library, I was placed in the department that served the blind. We provided audio-books for them. Patrons are now able to download books in the form of e-books from their local libraries. I anticipate that many seniors are not that computer literate and might wish to learn how they might access books in this format. Also, the blind can download and check out audio books online as well. It is very enlightening to know that many senior community facilities now have access to computers with WiFi in their computer centers.
I taught a couple of clients how to use their computer programs and consider adding this need for potential senior clients. Seniors would probably want to know how to communicate with their relatives by programs like messenger, Skype, or email. Most seniors would probably prefer a traditional hard-copy book that they can read while sitting in bed instead of a laptop; as is more likely used by younger readers since many grew up with this technology. Most of these programs offer video conferencing, so that senior residents can not only talk, but see their friends and relatives. This makes them feel less isolated and lonely. they feel connected to the outside and their family. They might not be able to have their relatives visit in person as often as they’d like, but they remain in touch.
While a librarian with the public libraries, I was fortunate to have worked with the book mobile department. We delivered books to these senior community living facilities and I got to know many of the seniors. They loved the camaraderie and so did I. I learned a lot from listening to their life experiences and miss dearly my own grandmother who passed away in 2014. It was a rewarding job and I hope as an independent librarian, I can revamp these experiences. You will be surprised how seniors love learning new things. Books offer a range of outlets for them. Seniors are very creative people and still have much to offer society. I do not want to write them off in any way and desire to give them the library services they truly deserve.
Any directors of these facilities should contact me to schedule a meeting regarding a possible contract for my library services. I would be more than glad to work with you to plan a program for your senior residents.