DETROIT - As Karen Love was finishing her master's degree in gerontology, she concluded that she had always wanted to work in this field with "season saints."
Even though she worked in communications for more that 30 years, including with papers like the Los Angeles Times and Michigan Chronicle, there was still another part of her that needed to be fulfilled.
She strongly believes in life, which means she had to repurpose herself. Her repurposing now centers around being a catalyst for social change in the lives of senior citizens.
As a strong "faith believer," she does not rely on luck, but instead on God's precedence. She was having a conversation with some friends and they informed her of a new program that works to enhance the lives of senior citizens. The group was looking for a community coordinator.
She submitted her résumé and the rest is history.
As the community connections coordinator for Greater Midtown, she interacts with seniors by creating and maintaining activities that improve their quality of life. Love strongly advocates activities in which her clients socialize and stay active both physically and mentally.
During the Middle Eastern dancing program, a room full of seniors were led by dancer Stephanie Carr in a series of movements based on coordination and focus.
Some of the movements involved utilizing a stick, which helps with style and coordination. Naturally, there was music, supplemented with laughter and smiles.
There is also a computer class directed by Yodit Meskin-Johnson that meets twice per week in the computer lab. This class not only works the brain, it also strengthens digital coordination.
Karen also canvasses the community for volunteers that will assist seniors by visiting and helping with tasks like shopping and running general errands. She recently made an appearance before the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity, asking the pastors to assist in providing volunteers through their churches.
She believes that the more active seniors are in their everyday life, the greater their quality of living will be. Improving the quality of their lives can also prolong their lives.
"If I can provides activities that stimulate the mind and the body, that not only improves their quality of life, but also keeps their self-esteem high," Love said.
Love has a delightful smile and qualifies as a season saint herself. She is an everyday hero who makes a difference through her dream job of improving the quality of life of season saints. She reminds us that with the grace of God, we all will get to this stage of life one day.
Her attitude is "who can I help along the way? Because someday I will be the one who will need that help."
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