The past two weeks we have been collecting pictures of our residents to do a game of “Guess Who” as a part of our National Assisted Living Week celebrations. It has been such a joy for families and residents to share their pictures from “way back when”. It has caused me to pause and reflect on life. When our residents think of themselves, they may picture that younger self that served in the Army or was a homemaker or helped on the farm. Their children may envision the Mom or Dad that helped shape their childhood and their memories of growing up. To the staff at the communities that these folks live in now, we may see them differently. But it is always wise to stop, look back and remember. As we all age we may see ourselves in many different lights. We grow and become many things to many people. So have our residents. As we celebrate National Assisted Living Week and the beauty that comes from this environment, I want us all to remember that each of us has a history and we impact so many different people. The theme of National Assisted Living Week is Family is Forever. I know for me over the last 8 times that I have celebrated this week that it has seen many different faces and many different memories. I have helped crown many different Kings and Queens of the Gardens. But I think that what I realize today that each year…my family has grown. Sometimes it can be hard to let people into your life with the understanding that they may not be able to stay for long. But as Garth Brooks once sang, “I could have missed the pain, but then I could have missed the dance.” Thank you assisted living for what you have meant to me and my family. I know my family has grown forever and my heart is much more full as a result.
We are right around the corner from National Assisted Living Week. Every year this tradition is a very special time for our residents, staff, families and our entire community. As we busy ourselves with plans and preparation to make this event a success, I wanted to stop and reflect on why this year’s theme means so much to me personally.
I started working in assisted living in 2010. I am truly amazed how quickly time has passed. Through these last years, I have met some truly amazing people. I have laughed and I have cried. I have learned about others and I have learned about myself. Rick Warren once said, “while it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experience of others.” The people that live and work and volunteer in our communities are true blessings. I have learned many life lessons from so many of these wonderful people. The wisdom that the residents share is invaluable. The families of our residents are treasures as well.
National Assisted Living Week will be the week of September 10th through the 16th and the theme this year is “Family is Forever”. This year’s theme is inspired by a quote from the poet Maya Angelou: “Family isn’t always blood, it’s the people in your life who want you in theirs: the ones who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”
I feel this theme truly represents what I see on a daily basis. It’s in the encouragement of a staff member, the smile of a volunteer or the laughter of a resident. The people that you will find here truly are family. Find out more about our communities at the links listed below. Schedule a tour at one of our properties today. Find out why we believe Family is Forever!