Celebrating All Moms

Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that stirs emotions.  I think of my friend who recently lost his Mom.  I think of the women that would give anything for someone to call them Mom.   I think of how far away my Mom is and that I will spend this holiday away from her.  I think of how blessed I am that God chose me to be the Mom of my daughter.  Now I could write another flowery post about celebrating Moms.  Believe me when I say they (all Mom’s) very much deserve this honor.

But I’m going to say this with sincerity and heart.  Take time to notice ALL the special Moms in your life.  Sometimes they are biological and sometimes they are not.

Sometimes Mother’s Day can be hard to manage for people who live in assisted living.  Let’s be honest it can be hard for many people, in general, depending on the circumstances.  Life is tough.  So instead of just being a “Debbie Downer”, here are some practical tips for making sure that all the ladies in an assisted living community are not forgotten this Mother’s Day.

Plan something that celebrates all the ladies in your community.  Have a tea or an ice cream social.  Honor each lady there.  Chances are whether she had a child of her own, she helped “mother” someone through the years.

Be sure if family comes to visit others that your staff is sensitive, but not awkward about those ladies who do not have family present.  Many times staff become like second families and can make someone feel extra special by sharing time and smiles.  It can go a long way.

Now yes…I know this celebration is for the ladies.  But don’t forget to be sensitive to the men as well.  Mother’s Day to them may be very different than in years past.  Some may be just fine and dandy.  But be aware, we sometimes see sadness or other ways of sharing emotion as thoughts of a spouse that is no longer living or even memories of their late Mother resurface on this day.  Be kind.  Show understanding.

It’s not that we shouldn’t celebrate Mom’s…we absolutely should.  It would be terrible not to enjoy holidays for fear of stepping on toes.  That’s not the way to live.  But in an assisted living or any other settings, we need to be considerate.  Show compassion, show kindness, show patience and show love.   You know your Mama….or whoever raised you taught you those values.  Make her proud.

Happy Mother’s Day

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You and the Flu

Last week we had our annual flu shot clinic at our community.  I’ll admit that I never started getting a flu shot until I went to work in the assisted living sector.  I had experience with kidney stones, sinus infections, broken bones, and surgeries.  But no flu.  But the first year I got the flu shot….NO…I didn’t get the flu, but my husband and daughter…both (who did not get their flu shot that year) got the flu and it was rough.   But as rough as it can be on school-aged children and middle-aged adults…it can be much more serious for the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.  Here are a few helpful reminders to consider as we approach flu season.

Get your Flu shots!

In our communities’ we offer flu shots annually to protect our residents and staff.  It is something that we take very seriously as it can be a dangerous situation for an elderly person to get the flu.  Nowadays you have options!  You can get your shot with your family physician or many pharmacies have flu shots available onsite.   Remember that when you get the flu shot, it takes about two weeks for it to begin working.  So, you want to get your shots ahead of the flu season curve.

Sniffles?  See you next time!

What may sound rude, is just smart advice.  If you don’t feel well or you have a child that doesn’t feel good…find another time to visit an assisted living community.  What we can shake off easily may prove a huge obstacle for a senior citizen to bounce back.  The CDC provides this list of flu symptoms to watch for:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, plan to visit another time when you are well.

Clean up Your Act!

The CDC states that:

People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.  That is why hand washing is key!

It also is important to wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. However, use caution with these type sanitizers and children.

So, use good judgment this flu season and do your part to protect yourself and others.  We love to have visitors in our communities.  But if you are sick, we will just plan to see you when you are well!  When you see our healthy visit reminder signs posted at your local Great Oaks Management Communities, just know it is part of our mission for seniors – to be happy and healthy.