Of all the months of the year, December is the one where we all remember and celebrate miracles: the miracle of light in a Jewish synagogue, the miracle of birth in Bethlehem, the miracle of fire that would not burn a saint (Lucia), the miracle of cycles and seasons in the Winter solstice, and renewal and remembrance in Kwanzaa.
That is part of what makes this month and this season so special – the rituals of remembrance and renewal that have become traditions. At Gates Mills Club we have traditions too, and we started the month with the tradition of our Holiday Open House, featuring a wonderful pianist and tasty hors d’oeuvres. We’ll end the year with another GMC tradition – a New Year’s Party! After a fine dinner with residents dressed in their finest party clothes, we will all enjoy each other’s company with a bit of bubbly as we listen to our entertainer. We’ll eventually ring in the New Year with our own “ball-drop.”
In between these two traditions our residents are offered a variety of activities designed to encourage friendships and family. Some are planned and some will be spontaneous (like our Holiday Lights Tours), but we all will find that there is more than one way to celebrate the season.
This month, of all the months, we look to our miracle(s) to remind us of our humanity, our connection to others both past and present. Sacred or secular really doesn’t matter as long as we stop and reflect on our own miracles and find renewal in our friends and families. So, from the staff and residents at Gates Mills Club, our wish for you is to have yourself a merry little… Hanukkah / Christmas / St. Lucia / Solstice / Kwanzaa / Whatever!
And, in 2016… we wish you the best New Year ever!
Too many times we spend our days focusing on the pain or aggravations of daily living, and we forget to find small things to be thankful for that are right in front of us. Experts tell us that the effort to change our outlook changes not only our overall mental health but our physical health as well. November is the month to focus on those things and people who make us happy. So let’s begin the month with being thankful!
Rev. Swindoll, a wise Texas minister, once said: “We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”
By and large, February is a hard month. We’re in the middle of winter, we’re stuck indoors, and we watch too much television. So we humans have invented a wonderful holiday halfway through the month to break the doldrums and put some spark into our days. Valentine’s is a heartwarming tradition, particularly for couples. But it’s too easy to pass this holiday off as a children’s tradition. We should use it for other relationships…like friendships.
At this point you have already learned about the differences between the 3 basic categories of senior housing: Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing Homes. Finding a community is separate from deciding. What I am going to write about here is for when you have narrowed the communities down to a top 2-3…a nutshell for deciding which one is the right one.