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Family looking for coins to help keep father's mind sharp

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Posted at 6:55 AM, Apr 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-03 06:55:43-04

WAYLAND, MICH. — Keeping your mind sharp is especially important as you age as one man in Wayland showed families in his younger years, helping others going through hospice. Now that he's started his own journey, a new hobby and his daughter's social media post are helping him continue serving others.

John Meyer isn’t one to stay still. He moved into his daughter Amy Jo’s house when he started his Hospice journey 10 months ago due to heart failure and, despite his health, knows the importance of keeping his mind –and hands—busy.

“Yes, I do. I need something to do.” John told us. “Because if I don't, then I sleep all day. And then and then it doesn't make me feel good.”

John likes to do puzzles and woodworking, but his latest hobby of counting change is gaining him some internet fame.

“He had counted all the change in our house many times and we were having a hard time finding change and so I put it out on Facebook with a picture of him counting change and asked people if they had a jar sitting around that they wanted him to count and he would keep busy by counting their change” John’s daughter, Amy Jo Oosterhouse explains.

To their surprise, people started telling John to keep some or all of the coins.

He used the money to help brighten the days of people from Hospice Care of West Michigan who do so much every day to help John and many more through their journey -from the nurses who care for his health, to the chaplain who comes to play guitar with him.

“…When she comes, you know, or any people come they … do lift me up, because I know that God has given each one was different, a different gift.” John says.

Amy Jo tells us the community has stepped up to help him keep going.

“…We had probably five people, I think, who brought their change and so far and might have been a couple more and had them count it and just responses that people really liked the idea” she hopes her dad’s story inspires others taking care of elderly parents to help keep their minds and bodies sharp. She says little steps like this go a long way.

“Dad feels like he has a purpose when he's doing something with counting the change, and that's very important to him,” She said, explaining the transition from independent adult into being cared for by your children or Hospice can be a hard change to accept. “It's very different for him, so I just try and give him what he needs and support him and love him through this time of being a hospice care and just dealing with a lot of transitions”

John tells us he doesn’t want to keep the money for himself. He just wants to keep his mind as sharp as he can.

You can find Amy Jo on Facebook if you’d like to bring coins for John to count. Any coins sent to him will be given back, used to buy a gift for a hospice worker, or donated to those in need.