Hello, my name is Sharry Halpin. I have been working with seniors since 1998, when I started helping my own grandparents. I helped my mother’s mother and my dad’s dad who lived in the same small town. They both wanted to maintain their independence in their own homes but needed help as they aged and became unable to do a few things. I started by helping them both de-clutter their homes from things they had accumulated for over 50 years. I got some major “on the job training” with that endeavor! My grandmother had the most trouble with letting some things go, but with some compassion, gentle persuasion and respect for her feelings we got through it, and it ended up being a huge relief and burden lifted off her. It was through investigating, interviewing and much research, I discovered the great need for the help of not only my grandparents, but so many other seniors.
I inquired information about meals on wheels, a housekeeper, transportation and companionship and exercise for my beloved grandparents. Neither one of them had any of our family near by at the time. I knew we needed trustworthy, reliable, compassionate, loving people to work with them. Sometimes such people are difficult to find, as it was in our case, however,every challenge I went through helped educate me more and grew my passion for helping other seniors in similar situations.
My grandmother finally needed to leave her home to receive full time care, so my mother in Albuquerque, my aunt in Arkansas, and myself in Colorado, became her caretakers. We divided the year, each taking her for 4 months and we all enjoyed it very much! It was there, I learned about many senior aids, as far as equipping your home with all the important necessities, shower chair, special toilet, safety bars, as well as removing throw rugs and trip hazards. I was homeschooling my kids at that time so I was able to care for my grandmother full time. My education continued with doctors, home nurses, rehab specialists etc. when various health problems presented themselves. It kept me very busy however, caring for my grandmother was the most rewarding job I have ever done.
My grandmother passed away in 2006 and has been missed ever since! I realized how much I enjoy my relationships with seniors. I trained and became certified to teach SilverSneakers, specialized senior exercise classes. After many years of teaching all kinds of exercise classes, these, were by far, the most fun and rewarding exercise classes I had ever taught, and still teach. While teaching I got asked to sub some classes at Balfour Independent Living. I put the word out that I loved the residents there and if a job came up to let me know. Well, sure enough one, but it was in Transportation. I didn’t think it was a good fit for me but as it turned out I loved it! I was offered the lead position and I got very good at scheduling, driving , and the special care needed for transporting seniors. After a little over 4 years, I went out on my own, to start my own business and with that “Seniors Little Helper” was formed in 2011.