Editor's Note: Paul Miller is a social working student senior at The Ohio State University Mansfield. June is Elder Empowerment Month in Ashland County and today marks the finale in a four-part series he has authored to salute senior citizens and their accomplishments in the community. This series is part of Richland Source's Gray Matters project.
Betty was born in West Virginia and lived there until she was eight. From there her family moved to Columbus, where she graduated high school and went on to college. She attended a private nursing college and graduated with her bachelor’s in nursing.
She obtained a LPN license and has worked at three different nursing homes. She worked at St. Raphael’s nursing home for six years, St. Luke’s nursing home for about four years, and Mount Carmel for nine years. She also had her own business as a private duty nurse doing healthcare.
She said there is a lot of enjoyment when working with the elderly, many of the residents are funny and make her laugh. They enjoy sharing life experiences and have a wisdom of the ages. Young nurses learn these things when working with senior citizens, she said.
“The residents will know what actions they will do before you do,” Betty said. “When residents are combative keep your distance.”
She explained that when the residents are in bad moods, talk to them calmly and keep out of arm;s reach. Furthermore, she advised nurses not to yell at residents and noted a calm demeanor can frequently sooth an uncomfortable situation.
Betty was married for 18 years before a divorce.
“Tell yourself that you deserve better because you do,” she said.
She has remarried and qualifies as a newlywed at one year.
“A lot of communication is the key,” she said.
Betty explained that when you do choose someone, you have to accept them for who they are because you are not going to like everything about them. S
"Don't ignore red flags," she said. "Stand your ground on your beliefs and morals and be your own person. When conflicts in a relationship arise, use “I feel' statements instead of the word 'You.' ”
Betty has had four children, two boys and two girls. Her 45-year-old son was killed 2 1/2 years ago in a car accident.
“God has brought me through and that’s a fact,” she said. “Keep God in the center of your life and he will help you.
"I feel blessed to make it to age 70."
To find out more about elder empowerment month and activities, please contact the Ashland County Council on Aging at 419-281-1477.
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