Geraldine is a woman who loves to be with other people – particularly other women her age. While Geraldine has family who include her in activities and she goes frequently to the library, she really wanted to get to know other women. We learned that Geraldine was interested in becoming a member of the Portage Senior Center. Then we discovered that there is a group of women who call themselves the Sisterhood Group. This group meets once per month to socialize, do crafts, watch movies or go out to lunch. Geraldine agreed to visit the group to see if she might want to join. We also reached out to the group leader to help her learn how to support Geraldine who can become very anxious in new places. The first couple of times Geraldine attended she did not stay the whole time.
Then, the Sisterhood Group decided to have a “show and tell” meeting. Members could share what ever they wanted – a new project, a book, or something about themselves. Geraldine and her community living support staff shared her story. This seemed to be a turning point. Through telling her story, Geraldine was able to strengthen her connection to the other Sisterhood members.
At one of the last meetings, the Sisterhood Group went to lunch at a restaurant. Geraldine was nervous about going to a restaurant, but she went and with the support of her new friends she had a wonderful time.
As John McKnight said, “We can’t find friends for other people, but we can help them have as many opportunities as possible to be out in the community, spending time with other people.”