To the question, What Is the Largest Organ of the Human Body? You might think the lung (certainly lots of volume there), the heart (big heart, big hearted)... the large intestine (large and long)...
But the answer is the skin. (I got that question wrong the first time I was asked so don't feel bad...). And touch is what, if it is missing, leaves children scarred for life.
Is touch any less important when people age, when people are "elderly"?
No - but there may be fewer opportunities to get that hug or that handshake.
Yesterday my mom had a PT appointment at her center and the therapist recommended, among other things, an appointment with a podiatrist. With her living in a center that has two podiatrists who have part time hours there, I made her an appointment.
But that also got me thinking about none other than the beauty salon.
She's been there for styling, for a cut, a shampoo.. but never for her feet! She's never had a pedicure or a manicure.
I looked at the flyer. There I saw what I was hoping for. I saw Warm Hand and Foot Treatment. $15. This is clearly more than a hair salon. And that was really all I needed to know, but read on I did: Key healing ingredients such as Keratin, Vitamin E and Copaiba Oil naturally strengthen nails, relieve dry skin, protect from... That was all I needed to know, but read on I did: ...harmful UV rays and help to prevent skin aging.
That's where I had to smile or laugh to myself. EVERYBODY who lived there was elderly. EVERYBODY was in their 70's 80's 90's. Maybe a few even in the 100s. Are we really talking about preventing skin aging?
I think the wording of the flyer is brilliant. No matter what age we are, we want to make sure we don't look even older. (Well, maybe teenagers want to look older so they aren't carded everywhere they go.... ) People in their 70s don't want to look 80. People in their 80s don't want to look like they're in their 90s. Right? When my mom looks in the mirror and complains about "that old woman there" she mimics my exact words when I look in the mirror and go running to my husband. "I look old."
So I'm going to ask her if she'd like a Warm Hand and Foot Treatment. $8 hands only, or $8 feet only. I'm hoping she'll splurge and go for the two full sets of appendages. I'm hoping that the thrill of being touched will ease her out of her depression and aloneness. There's a lot of surface area in those fingers and toes, and in between those fingers and toes...
I call her.
"Mom, there's a hand and foot treatment, you can get a massage and treatment. Would you like that?"
"I'll let you know next week."
When I talk to her the next day and ask again, she says, "I told you yes." This is Mom, who forgot she wanted to think about it? Or is this Mom who really wanted to say yes, but always has to disagree with everything first?
I hoping that tomorrow I'm going to make her (or I'm going to assist her in making) an appointment for a Warm Hand and Foot Treatment.
(And by the way, what is copaiba oil?)