While I may not always agree with him, I enjoy Mike Rowe’s perspective on life and especially the nature of the work.  If his name seems familiar, he had the television show Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Gotta Do It.  The shows were entertaining as well as informative as it highlighted people with jobs that require extreme physical effort and/or getting dirty.

Now you may wonder what Mike has to do with assisted living.  The staff of an assisted living facility often have to exert physical effort and their work can get them dirty.  I have extreme gratitude for the personnel who give direct support to the residents of an assisted living facility.  In fact, I think there is a special place in heaven for them.

My mother lives in a wonderful assisted living facility, and while her mind and body have slowed down, her personality is still intact.  Mom is very cognizant when someone has helped her do something she used to be able to do for herself.  This may be as simple as housekeeping tasks or as intimate as personal hygiene needs.   She routinely thanks the person.

The staff at assisted living facilities provide care every day of the year which means someone is working those cherished family holidays; when it snows they still make it to work.  These people, the certified nursing assistant, the dining room servers, and the med technicians are not highly paid; yet, they are some of the most important people in the building.

When I visit, I make it a point, as do my siblings, to thank the staff who help our mother with her day to day tasks.  Their jobs can be a difficult and dirty; hence, the Mike Rowe connection.  I want the members of the staff to know that their efforts are noticed and appreciated.  It may be a job to them, but to me it is showing consideration for my mother.

I’m sure there are people in your life who provide a service to you or someone you love.  Do you acknowledge them?  Do you show your appreciation?  Sometimes simply telling someone thank you can be a gift. The power of gratitude should not be discounted.  Expressing gratitude has almost magical power to transform someone’s understanding of their impact on your world.

To learn more about the power of gratitude check out Stephanie Jones, also known as the Giving Gal, at http://givinggal.com/.

You can learn more about Mike Rowe, a truly interesting character, at http://mikerowe.com/.

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  • Reading this post made me think of a TV show I recently watched: Diane Sawyer’s report, My Reality: A Hidden America (http://abcnews.go.com/US/deepdive/diane-sawyer-income-inequality-my-reality-hidden-america-44770807). It was very interesting and quite disturbing to see so many people struggling to make ends meet. In one of the segments a service worker, who cleans the bathrooms in an airport, made the comment that they didn’t want a hand-out, but would appreciate being thanked by the people they serve. Your post reminds me of her comment. I try to thank all who serve me, but I am now on a extra special mission to make sure I go out of my way to give thanks directly.