Air date: May 22, 2014 http://www.theheartofdetroit.org
It’s a simple thing putting one hand inside another. But we don’t do it often enough. Tom Gardiner and Mike McEvoy give free massages to senior citizens twice a month at St. Patrick’s Senior Center. Mike: A lot of seniors don’t experience touch from family and friends. A lot of them live by themselves. Tom: One of my first clients was in her 80s and had edema and had her walker within a few sessions the edema went down and she was able to walk around much better and she was so grateful and she came for 10 years each week that I was there. “Am I relaxed, just relax (laugh) if we can do that we’ve done our job.” It’s less a job than a labor of love. Tom and Mike, both retired, have put in a collective 17 years of volunteering at St. Patrick’s. Tom was a hospital therapist who learned reflexology at his job. Mike is a retired businessman who was looking for something meaningful. Tom: What you feel is that you get more out of it than you are giving. Mitch: Do you end up hearing a lot of stories from the seniors because they are so relaxed while you are working on them? Mike: Kind of life stories, histories, where do they come from a lot of them you know where raised in Detroit some are from down south. It’s a simple thing, putting hands inside each other, crossing that invisible barrier that keeps us apart. Mike: The connection with people is great uh I am kind of energized by that just trying to keep in touch you know…literally keep in touch Mitch: (laughing) Yeah literally keep in touch. Mike: Right that is a way to connect with people I think. By lending a helping hand — four helping hands — Tom Gardiner and Mike McEvoy keep that human connection with our precious seniors, here in the heart of Detroit.