Southern hospitality is all about people helping people within their community and Kesha Hayes is doing just that. Hayes is the owner of Professional Development & Training Services , LLC (PDTS), a nursing aide and healthcare training business located in Columbia, South Carolina. With a passion for geriatric patients, Hayes determined that there was a need to ensure that seniors remain valued, appreciated, and never forgotten for their contributions to society for years to come. As a result, she worked with Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia and Mayor Tony Scully of Camden to have September 12, 2016 officially proclaimed as Senior Service Day.
Senior Service Day encourages people to spend time with seniors in various nursing homes and rehab facilities providing companionship.
As a Licensed Practical Nurse with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Francis Marion University, a Master’s degree in Human Resources and Healthcare Administration from Webster University and over 15 years of experience in the field of healthcare, Hayes has a qualified, professional perspective on the benefits of companionship, particularly for the elderly.
Companionship increases positive outcomes for seniors and keeps them from feeling lonely, isolated, and depressed when they are placed in nursing homes and other homes for the elderly. Companionship also increases socialization and uplifts an individual’s spirit because they feel valued.
Through Senior Service Day volunteers were encouraged to visit nursing homes and spend time reading, sharing photos and taking walks with residents. Seniors also enjoyed musical entertainment and pampering and over 241 care bags were made for seniors to enjoy long past Senior Day.
With the success of 2016’s Senior Service Day, businesses, groups, and individuals that were not able to participate in 2016 Senior Service Day are encouraged to join the movement in 2017 and help build on the momentum of an important initiative designed to ensure that seniors always remain valued and appreciated.
As Hayes looks ahead she has been quoted as saying, “Getting older is not the end of the world. It should be celebrated because it is wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God that should be shared.”
That is advice that she passes along to her students at PDTS; which is governed by South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and licensed by South Carolina Commission on Higher education. In addition to PDTS, Hayes also manages KLH Consulting, which was formed to assist students with team building skills, interview skills, and resume development.
Ultimately, it was Hayes’ desire to not only educate nursing aides on caring for the elderly but also to change the paradigm of how people view the elderly that drove her to bring her vision into fruition and make Senior Service Day a reality not just in 2016 but for many years to come.