In the eight years I have lived in my current apartment building, the one very bright spot has been the caretakers, Dennis and Francine. A wonderful couple, they cared deeply about each and every tenant and tried to take care of any problem, big or small as soon as they could. In a 251 tenant building, this was incredible. The nurse practitioner would frequently consult with them on how tenants with health problems were doing, if they had been seen lately. They knew everyone and had a friendly smile and greeting for everyone. They had a patience beyond measure, dealing with the brownnosers who followed them around like little puppy dogs and would hang in the office any time they were in.
Two years ago Dennis had both knees and hips replaced! When he came back he worked as hard as ever. They were out clearing snow at all hours, ensuring the walks were clear for the early risers to get out. But it was truly an overwhelming task to keep up with it all. They recently had a dear, close relative die and that was a wake up call. Did they want to die on the job or retire and enjoy time with their family and friends. They were both past the standard retirement age. The housing authority also wanted them gone as they had the highest wage. They used their conscience against them. There are buildings half our size that had far more staff looking after them. When ever Dennis and Francine were gone on holidays or earned days off, there was no one around to look after the building. We were to call their emergency line if we needed anything urgent. So we suffered along with them. Not sure how it will change with new young caretakers, if they will have the compassion like Dennis & Francine, but if its anything like most workers these days, we might not get our money's worth as pride in their work has gone by the wayside.
Two major projects in our building went way over the length of time given. We have not had air conditioning since spring, and it was supposed to be done by September. Now they have to contend with snow and ice when they get back up on the roof to finish it.
I stayed home this weekend to go to the retirement luncheon for Dennis & Francine. The tenant association had a neat cake made for the occasion:
I am really going to miss them :( But I think its time they started looking after themselves..
I am exercising regularly at home now, alternating between boxercise, circuit training, walking with weights and Zumba DVD's and as always have my elliptical. Unfortunately, my toe is still bothering me, still red and swollen two weeks later. I am trying to use my right arm as strongly as possible so it won't get any weaker, but my shoulder appears to be paying the price and I could barely tolerate the pressure points of leaning on the ball, a self treatment. I really can't stop moving, that is not an option. Losing movement in it (more than I already have) would be worse. I am braving the icy sidewalks and got out for a couple of 6 km walks around the neighborhood, looking for new parks. Some of them have been cleared by the city. They are so small it only takes me at most ten minutes to get from one end to the other. I am not one for going round and round in a circle. I like exploring new places.
My Mom did get a concussion (mild) from her fall but the Dr. cleared her of any serious injury. She does have a sore hip and arm now so knows where she impacted. She gets dizzy watching TV (see TV watching is bad for you) She is sort of taking it easy, just taking Daisy out back and to a nearby park. Poor Angus is limping around also as he took a fall as well. They are both strong willed and will keep on keeping on. But I do worry about them as falls are the beginning of the end in elderly people :( I have know a number of people who fell, ended up in the hospital and never came home. You get quite a snapshot of seniors living in a building with an age limit of 60 and working in a club where the average age is at least 70.
All the more reason to look after your body as well as possible to be able to deal better with the accidents of life.