Senior Spirituality Through Routine – by Marie Pollnow

I was really psyched when this idea came to me.  I was driving home from work and was quite tired.  Oftentimes great ideas come to me when I’m in this state.  I think this is because there is less resistance.  I will also get ideas for songs, articles, or poems in the middle of the night while in the dream state.  Maybe this is an open portal, who knows?

So what better spiritual practices do elders have and all of us for that matter, then routine?  Routine becomes more important and exponential in the later years.  Routine is more expansive and covers a broad spectrum of people.  To be honest throughout all of my years as a caregiver I never met a senior who did not use or like routine.  Everyone was different, of course, in how the utilized it.

Many of them received joy or comfort through routine.  I remember a Swedish client having dementia and paranoid schizophrenia who just loved Hot Crossed Buns (fresh of course) with Orange Pekoe Tea.  Another client truly enjoyed tapioca pudding.  One of my favorite and endearing ladies Flo was thrilled when I made her a homemade breakfast.  She was a hardworking, old country girl like my Mom.  To me she was a queen.  I treated her as such.  I miss her.  My sweet little lady Vera loved toast with a  cup of black Foldgers everyday.  Another specialty of hers was peanut butter and butter sandwiches.  She ate those for lunch often.  Yum!  Then there was Alan my wonderful sweet Kosher Jewish man who was a retired teacher.  He absolutely had to have routine, it was vital.  So did Marlyn who had a brain injury.


Marlyn had to have her frozen blueberries heated in the microwave exactly two minutes every time.  One minute in I had to open the bag and stir for it a few times.  She had a compulsion about blueberries.  She bought fifteen bags of frozen blueberries every week.  Since she had had a car accident at age eighteen years old she incurred serious brain injury.  In order for her to have some comfort she needed routine.  It was important to her to have some kind of normalcy.  She had no short term memory.  She had created a system of writing things down at all times to keep track of things.  She could get nasty at times and I almost quit on several occasions.  She told me in all the nine years she had caregivers I was the smartest and best of all of them.  Once I got to know her routine things were fine.  I grew fond of her and must say I loved her.  She had a lot to deal with poor mobility, brain injury, congestive heart failure and a need of oxygen at all times.  Her routine was a challenge.  Its astonishing to me to think all this woman went through and she still managed to graduate college with a Master’s Degree in teaching.  She taught Math classes to students and actually was a retired teacher.  Wow!

Al was great,  he was meticulous and particular.  He ate Kosher meals and had a strict daily routine he adhered to with the caregiver’s help.  He had Parkinson’s Disease and suffered a lot.  That was hard to watch.  He was a beautiful man.  He enjoyed a good warm shower everyday, ate breakfast while he read the newspaper and had a lovely ranch style home he had built himself.  He was a gentle soul and keeping his routine kept him grounded.

I learned so much from my clients and found I am like them in many ways.  Routine brings good feelings and comfort too.  What I found interesting is people with the most advanced dementia would find such peace in routine.  Like the time I prayed the Lord’s Prayer with my Polish Catholic non-verbal dementia client or when I cleaned up my ex-Marine lawyer’s dirty shoes and left a good spit shine on them.  He had accidents and that meant the world to him.  In fact, all of my clients meant the world to me and each one of them lives in me forever.  Lucky me!

About author

This article was written by Marie Elena

I love animals, magic, love and peace. I believe in Universal Laws, love Metaphysics, dabbling in Magick, crystals, herbs and creating things from nothing. My favorite place to be is in nature. I don't believe in this mamby pamby career restrictive thinking. I am a Truther... proud of it. I love writing and am so grateful to be here, woo hoo! My future goals are to write several books of a spiritual nature, take a foot out of the grid... in other words not out of the grid 100% just a little out. I believe in vibration, intention, allowing, growing and loving. I also believe we all should stand in our truth and value ourselves. Never let someone else determine your worth. I am still learning on this journey of life and looking for my partner, love and conspirator to walk this path with me, I like to exercise as well, it is life energy. Animals are my friends and you might catch me reading a book on witchcraft. Don't be scared!! - Love and Light!!- - Restricted thinking, restricted life. Expansive thinking, expansive life. ~Marie E. Pollnow.


Comments (1)
  1. Admin says - Posted: April 1, 2016

    I just love this article Marie. Your writing shine!

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