By Kimm Loewen - Move-In Coordinator
Music was playing and our residents were clapping and singing along. Toes were tapping and faces were smiling. Only one thing was missing and that was a little bit of dancing.
Being a person who loves to dance, I took this opportunity to get some of my residents up and did a little swaying to the beat. One particular resident, Tom, was sitting there watching and listening intently. I approached him with my hands extended requesting a dance, he did not hesitate to accept the invite. Tom is not very steady on his feet, so as soon as he was up, I wrapped my arms around him to help him feel balanced. Tom started to cry and I could feel him hanging on to me pretty tightly.
An incredible moment happened for me... I felt the embrace turn from just Tom hanging on for security, to one of actually hugging. I was told by other residents and family that his crying quickly subsided and a huge smile appeared on his face. We danced the whole song and the pure joy and warmth I felt emanating from the mutual hug will be a moment I will never forget.
Science says a hug can produce soothing chemicals that help us feel safe, lower our heart rate and blood pressure. A hug can lead to a decrease in depression and give our immune system a boost. So, let's not forget the magic of a hug and take every opportunity we can to feel these effects. The next time you go in for a handshake or a pat on the back, try giving a hug instead and have that precious moment for yourself.