As we gather together with friends and family for Thanksgiving, let’s keep in mind the seniors we help each and every day. Think about where many of your residents would be, if they hadn’t moved in to your community. Have you ever thought about how many seniors eat alone on this day? Do you know potential residents you are working with that will be alone this year? Have you asked them to have dinner at your community instead? Take a minute to reflect on what you can do ensure a happy and healthy Thanksgiving not only for you and your family, but for the seniors you serve.
Emotions are heightened around the holidays; and seniors are no different! We are excited to welcome family and friends from out of town or travel home. We anticipate the first snowfall, the hustle and bustle, and lots of parties. But can you imagine if this is the first Thanksgiving without your spouse? Or the first Thanksgiving in a retirement community or health center? The anxiety of being alone and experiencing the holidays as widow or widower for the first time can be extremely overwhelming.
Do you know which of your potential residents have family bustling in from out of town? After the dust settles and everyone is gone again until Christmas, or even next spring, where does that leave the senior? Lonely again, counting the days until the next visit? Let’s embrace our seniors during this time of year to prevent isolation and depression. Families that visit during the holidays may not have seen mom or dad for six, nine, twelve months or more. How can you support these families if their loved ones have declined since they lost saw them?
When seniors are hunkered down at home to avoid the winter weather, how can you still reach them? If they won’t leave home to come to your community for events or luncheons, let’s go to them! Are home visits part of your marketing plan? Home visits offer several advantages to the traditional phone call or event invitation. While at a potential resident’s home, observe the surroundings. Are there dirty dishes piled in the sink? If offered a beverage, glance inside the refrigerator to see if it is full of food or not. All of these observations may be indicators of how someone is caring for him/herself. If you see a concern on a visit, speak up! Call the family to let them know you visited mom or dad and what you saw. You can also reach out to families and offer these home visits to check in on mom or dad to provide them some peace of mind. Home visits offer the opportunity to solidify yourself as the trusted advisor to seniors and their families.
While Thanksgiving and the kickoff to the holiday season can be overwhelming, take time to reflect on the impact you have made, and make, each day in seniors’ lives. We at Bild and Co. wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving and want to thank you for serving seniors and their families every day.