For the past three years, LeadingAge Texas, the statewide not-for-profit aging services association, has sponsored the Inspirational Senior Texan Awards (www.leadingagetexas.org/ISTcontest
The contest is intended to commend individuals who make outstanding contributions in their communities by going above and beyond all while inspiring others with their actions. This year, over twenty senior Texans from around the state were nominated by their respective aging services organizations.
Among these inspirational nominees was Mrs. Dennie Lindsey, a resident of Highland Springs retirement community in North Dallas. She finished runner-up in on-line voting that occurred during the summer.
Mrs. Lindsey formed a group of volunteers at Highland Springs aptly named Lady Links. Their purpose is to enrich the lives of people with dementia or Alzheimer's.
In her own words, "Lady Links are women who are compassionate and patient and want to help others who are in the process of losing their ability to maintain the necessary links in their lives. Our efforts are directed toward those who have dementia because they don't have the cognitive skills to call their friends and ask them to come over."
It's the time spent together—friends with a friend--that has become the hallmark of Lady Links.
That could mean a sing-along for a music-lover or an arts & crafts activity for someone who paints. Visits are scheduled typically twice per week.
"We get to know the resident and do things that they like. There's nothing better than seeing their smile as we engage in a fun activity," noted Mrs. Lindsey.
Training is an important component of Lady Links. "Notably, we provide an overview of dementia, describe what to expect and how to respond to certain situations," she said, who counts thirty-five independent living residents of Highland Springs as Lady Links volunteers.
Lana Van Giesen is the Director of Resident Life at Highland Springs. "While Lady Links is not formally affiliated with our community, its impact has been indelible to our mission. It starts with Dennie. She is calm, but strong, as she opens people's eyes about the positive interaction with people with dementia," she said.
"Simply put, Dennie makes those she helps feel significant and enriched. That's what our mission of celebrating life is all about," noted Mrs. Van Giesen.
Born and raised in Dallas, Mrs. Lindsey moved to Highland Springs in 2013 with her husband after an extensive career in education. She was a public school teacher and counselor before serving as an adjunct professor at both Stephen F. Austin State University and LeTourneau University.
Married for fifty-three years, she is the proud mother of two children and enjoys spending time with five grandchildren. At Highland Springs, she is a member of the Garden Club & Native Texan Club and participates in faith-based activities.
About LeadingAge Texas: LeadingAge Texas was established in 1959 as a Texas not-for-profit corporation. Its purpose is to provide leadership, advocacy, and education for not-for-profit retirement housing and nursing home communities that serve the needs of Texas retirees.
About Highland Springs: Highland Springs is one of eighteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living. Located in North Dallas, Texas, the scenic 89-acre campus is home to more than 790 residents. Highland Springs is the ideal greater Dallas retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.