Realistic New Year’s Resolutions for Senior Living Community Families and Residents

Realistic New Year’s Resolutions for Senior Living Community Families and Residents

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Posted: January 10, 2022

There is one question that almost every citizen on the planet has to reckon with each year. It’s a question that can drum up fear, anticipation, and hope all at the same time. Since we’re writing this blog in January, you probably know what we’re getting at here: “Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?” Any person who asks that question means well—they really do. And it becomes kind of a “fallback” question for anyone this time of year. Kind of similar to “Fine weather we’re having” between two neighbors just trying to break the ice. But for a senior living community, we try to dig deeper beneath the surface of New Year’s Resolutions and ask a different kind of question: “How will we cherish the present today?”

Now, we’re going to break that question down in a little bit, but the heart behind it is obviously centered more on the present than it is the future. We all know, as humans, how exciting it can be to set big goals for ourselves and then chase them with everything we have. We also know, as flawed humans, the disappointment that can set in when we don’t reach those goals.

Therefore, at St. Anthony’s Senior Living Community we believe there is a better approach to New Year’s Resolutions—an approach that still encourages dreaming and goal-setting for the future, but also room for failure and friends to cheer one another up along the way.

The Power in Cherishing the Present

Now back to that second question we asked above, “How will we (or you) cherish the present today?” It’s a question worth asking each hour of each day. But that’s also not the most realistic approach because life happens and we often get so busy before realizing another day has gone by. For many of our residents, they have lived full and successful lives in their respective careers and communities. And when they get to St. Anthony’s, many of them don’t skip a beat—they pursue the same kind of energetic lifestyle they had before in concordance with our weekly calendar and routines.

We LOVE that about our residents. Each person in our senior living community is filled with such an appreciation for life itself, and it shows just when you’re walking around the halls of our wonderful buildings.

The reason we think it’s so important to “reframe” the New Year’s Resolutions question is because there is something so life-giving about setting goals based on quality over quantity. That’s not to say there isn’t value in setting big numeric goals for the year ahead—lose 20lbs, read 50 books, write 200 thank you notes—but to focus on the quality of goals is so much more fulfilling. Especially for our residents, we don’t think of New Year’s Resolutions as something we talk about once and then move on. Instead, we revisit these kind of goals often throughout the year—those kinds of conversations are what fill this senior living community with joy and hope year-round. 

Practical New Year’s Resolutions for a Senior Living Community

What are some of those qualitative New Year’s Resolutions, you ask? We consider the following a list of “practical” New Year’s Resolutions because, again, they’re something we can encourage one another with year-round.

Smile Every Day. There may not be a better New Year’s Resolution out there. We all know how fast life goes by, and there are plenty of reasons why we might not want to smile. But when you experience the kind of environment like at St. Anthony’s Senior Living Community, you realize that there is far more in life worth smiling over than the opposite: frowning or no expression at all. How do we cultivate this kind of resolution throughout the year? We empower our staff to love and serve others well with a smile. When our residents interact each day with a staff who truly loves what they do, it’s hard for the men and women at St. Anthony’s not to reciprocate.

Get Out and About. Another fun question: “Have you gotten out and about today?” Yes, this one is a little tougher in the frigid Januarys and Februarys of a Midwest winter. But when those warm-enough days come around, and when spring peeks over the heartland horizon, our residents don’t miss a chance to step outside and enjoy God’s creation. And if our surrounding Brookside neighborhood wasn’t enough to beckon a walk around the block, our greater community of the Kansas City Metro has SO MUCH to offer year-round.

Come Say “Hey!” One of the most enjoyable ways our residents experience Kansas City is when family or friends swing by to pick them up for a day or night out. Those are the moments of real community getting “out and about” to enjoy one another’s company. But if a day out doesn’t make sense at the moment, just popping over to say hello and spend some time in our senior living community is an always-welcomed.

When one sets a goal such as “Read a book a month” it is discouraging when April rolls around with only one book completed. But any of the above New Year’s Resolutions will help someone live and enjoy the present reality of this beautiful life we’ve been given from God.

That last bit is what we’re truly after as a staff—taking a yearly question and turning it into a daily reality. Every day is a fresh start. Every day is an opportunity to seize the moment. And every day is a gift that is better than any goal we could think of. 

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