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December 28, 2021

A Holiday Season Full of Friendship

When we have a friend who really cares about us, it changes everything. We can share our troubles and not shoulder our burdens alone. We feel we matter when someone knows our family members’ names or pays attention to our likes and dislikes. When someone invites us to know them and wants to spend time together, when they show us how much they enjoy our company—we don’t just feel included…we feel we belong. Belonging is a deep need we all have. It’s an essential element for well-being that lets us know we are safe and will be cared for by our circle.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, the 21st (and 19th) Surgeon General of the United States explains that loneliness signals a basic need as real as hunger or thirst—the need for social connection. We’re wired to live together, and our togetherness ensures our survival. So, when our modern world tends to create more independence and distance than closeness, chronic loneliness takes a heavy toll on our mental, emotional, and physical health. For older people, loneliness has become a common and serious challenge. 

It makes sense that strong social connections are linked to better mental and emotional well-being. Did you know strong friendships buffer the ill effects of chronic physical health conditions? In fact, research shows that supportive social connections improve quality of life, reduce health risks, and can even prolong life. We just feel so much better when we’re connected, in every way.

Friendship may be the strongest bond in this life—surpassing romantic love, which many would argue is really a friendship at its core. That’s why Fieldstone Communities is passionate about offering the antidote to loneliness: supportive social connections. From the ground up, we’ve considered everything from floor plans designed to promote engagement to life enrichment activities that invite connection. 

This season as we make merry at Fieldstone Communities across the state, we know that the joy we experience can only happen together. It’s together we create joyful and vibrant communities.

The halls are decked, the carolers are singing, and It’s a Wonderful Life is ready for all. And now for the glowing lights of the season…friendships.

Here are some friendships that have blossomed right here within Fieldstone Communities:

Meet Ilene and Romane. They met and became friends at Fieldstone Grandridge. Their friendship was sparked by Ilene peeking her head into Romane’s apartment to say hello. Then they started going to meals together. Now Ilene stops by on her way to every meal to pick up Romane. When asked what they like about each other, Ilene said that Romane is so funny and a real comedian. Romane started to cry saying that Ilene is a wonderful friend, dropping off word search books, and just being a good friend. Romane shared, “You know, everyone needs a friend!”


Sydney met Bob at Fieldstone OrchardWest while playing bridge. Bob says he and Sydney have lots in common, that they like to play bridge, garden, and have intelligent conversations. He says they’ve made a lot of good memories while having a good time playing trivia and enjoying wine time.

Sydney said, “I think of Bob as a very nice person. I like his sense of humor. When you’re a friend, he will always be there. He is always willing to help everyone. We sit over tea and enjoy a good conversation.”

Some of Sydney’s favorite memories from last year include when he helped take care of her garden box and would bring her flowers from time to time from his garden box. “It was so sweet,” she said. Sydney says making friends with Bob has helped her “find this place as my home.” She’s growing more and more adjusted as time goes by. When asked what this friendship has meant to her, Sydney said, “A new friendship always enhances your life in a way. Laughter is such as wonderful thing to have. It helps if you feel sad. Bob’s quirkiness is fantastic and a delight.”

Bob says he enjoys having someone he can sit and talk with and it helps him relax. Bob said, “Like any good friendship, it makes life not so intense and more pleasurable.”


Jerene and Verla have known each other for a long time, but though they knew each other earlier in life, they really didn’t know each other well until they were reunited at Fieldstone Memory Care of Yakima. They met in high school when Jerene married Verla’s cousin when she was 17! 

These two love that they know the same people and relatives and can talk about anything. They love to chat, visit, and laugh about family things. Jerene and Verla both feel it is really nice to know someone that you are related to and be able to laugh and understand each other. 

When asked what their friendship has meant to them, Jerene and Verla agree they have a great time joking around with each other. They both feel “normal” around each other and can talk openly with each other.


Friendships make all the difference. This season as we stay warm inside with cocoa and watch for snowflakes falling, we hope you and yours find comfort and calm in the love and friendship around you. If you or your loved one is experiencing loneliness, we understand and care very much. If you would like to learn more about our close-knit communities, we invite you to reach out to a Resident Navigator near you.

We’re here to listen and help you learn your options, discover amenities, and get acquainted with friendly faces. We’re here to welcome you home to Fieldstone.

From all of us here at Fieldstone Communities, we wish you a very happy holiday season full of love, togetherness, and good cheer. 

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2910600/

https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2020/vivek-murthy-loneliness.html

https://www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-2017/friendships-improve-health-older-adults-fd.html

https://www.aetna.com/health-guide/importance-of-friends-as-you-age.html

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