Above and Beyond Health Care specializes in recreational outings that get clients into the community and out of their rooms. For clients with dementia or depression, that can be incredibly helpful but there are challenges to finding suitable outings for aging seniors. That’s why Above and Beyond provides the same companion for every visit.
97-year old Harry Mercer has been going to the same barber shop for 40 years. Every 5 weeks, Gus trims his close cropped white hair and they reminisce about the good old days. But it’s Diane Niezen, his companion from Above and Beyond Health Care, who makes these appointments possible. “He looks forward to it and I think it gives a purpose for him to get up each day too, knowing that I’m coming. I’ll give him a call and he’ll be a couple hours ready, sitting in a chair waiting for us to go.” They get together 3 days a week for outings that cater to Harry’s interests. Sometimes he’ll play harmonica while they relax in Gore Park or sit together at a coffee shop.
Above and Beyond founder, Jeannie Brooks, helps each of her staff members modify activities that suit their clients’ needs. It can be difficult to initiate an outing, but Brooks says most seniors become more receptive once they get used to a companion. Harry has mild dementia and his routine visits with Diane have given him a sense of normalcy and improved his mood. If he’s ever hesitant to go outside, Diane convinces him it’s for her sake and he’s more than happy to oblige.