The word “dignity” is a central part of our mission at SRC. We talk about it a lot. What does it mean in practice, though?
According to Merriam-Webster, dignity is “the quality of being worthy of honor or respect”.
While everyone is worthy of honor and respect, this is certainly not everyone’s experience. For one thing, respect doesn’t happen in isolation. We experience dignity and respect through our relationships with other people. We feel dignity when we know that we are worth someone else’s time. Just having someone around isn’t the same as having someone there who wants to be there, one who sincerely cares.
We’ve been sharing stories this fall about the relationships our volunteers and staff build with the people we help. If you haven’t seen them, check out the stories below.
These are stories about the impact of relationships, as well as the services provided. Steve is more than Dorothy’s driver. They are friends. Miguel doesn’t just clean and organize for Connie. They share a bond that is – in Connie’s words – like family. Tom may be the volunteer, but he gets as much out of it hanging around with Jack as Jack gets from Tom’s support.
So many older adults experience social isolation. As we age, mobility decreases, health diminishes and we lose those close to us. Isolation is a bigger and bigger risk with time. As so many studies show, this decreases not only mental health, but our physical health and well-being. We need mobility and physical care first, but we also need companionship and connection to stay healthy and maintain quality of life.
This is why we focus on dignity at SRC, even though it isn’t on the list of services. The people who volunteer and work for SRC act out of compassion and their own desire for connection. Being part of SRC isn’t just a job or an obligation. Our mission is fulfilled both by providing services and showing respect. Our services are truly crucial, and along with them comes something that is at least as important – the human relationships that create dignity.
This Colorado Gives Day, we need your support so we can reach more people and continue to support the amazing people we already serve, whose needs evolve over time. Schedule your donation today and help create a community where we can all age with dignity and independence.