Sheryl Smith RN, BSN, M.Ed Certified Health Coach

An RN (since birth!), Sheryl has been providing care, support, and education to patients and families for over 3 decades. Her years as a hands on provider have taken a physical toll on a very active person. She has struggled with finding the balance between self care and caring for others. Through this struggle, the podcast, engAGING Conversations was born. With her years of experience at the bedside of our aging population as well as her personal experience with the aging, illness, and death of her parents, she realized how much caregivers in the throes of helping their parents needed support. And found it lacking. No matter how prepared they were. She launched engAGING Conversations to bring awareness to the real struggles and issues people face. And to promote dialogue about how we live in the last stages of our lives, with the goal to promote a culture change. To encourage early communication, remove the stigma around end of life planning, and ultimately improve the support available in the later stages of life. For both those being cared for and  for those providing care.  After all, life is not a race. The oldest doesn’t win. It should be about quality. For everyone involved. Sheryl continues to make difference for parents and families.

THE LEGEND OF THE STARFISH

While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.
He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

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