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November 22, 2021

Gratitude: The Doorway to Joy

A wise person once said that “happy” goes up and down and “joy” is a steady, smooth line. 

But what does that mean? As we look to the holidays and all of the emotions and circumstances that come along with them, we know there are layers of experiences, memories, longing…and togetherness, too.

The hallmark feature of Thanksgiving is gratitude—from charming signs and napkins with “Thankful” calligraphy on them to heartfelt prayers at the table—thankfulness is peppered throughout November. But how do we get to feeling thankful when our lives are full of much more than just roses?

It’s something we think a lot about in senior living. Our mission at Fieldstone Communities is Together we create a joyful and vibrant community. In memory care, assisted living, and independent living, there is always change. And change often comes with loss and struggle. Change can be uncomfortable, lonely, and unexpected. That’s why it’s so important to intentionally create opportunities for joy in every day. Not to mute the difficult emotions our residents and their families experience, but to balance them with the joys that sustain us.

If it’s true that joy is more of a thread that runs through our lives, we can all participate by helping to reveal it to one another. The conditions for joy are always there—but sometimes we need a hand. For us, this means we work together to create meaningful moments. This includes daily interactions with attentive listening, a warm greeting, and engaging interactions. It also means setting the stage (and table) for the light to shine in and on our residents’ lives.

This November, our communities are full of activities and meals to warm both hearts and bellies. Music, homemade meals, and familiar movies mark the season. Residents across our senior living communities can make Thanksgiving-themed artwork, enjoy National Apple Cider Day, laugh with friends to Turkey trivia, delight in a myriad of cobblers and pies, watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, make beautiful table decorations, watch NFL Thanksgiving Football, and enjoy the festive and familiar Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Our professional chefs are planning gourmet spreads with all the comforting foods of Thanksgiving, plus many more dishes with a twist. Oven-roasted turkey, candied sweet potatoes, bright cranberries—all the sweet and savory dishes we can dream up.

This month and every month, we are deeply grateful for our residents. They are the heart of our community, filling us with purpose and reminding us every day why we are here—to create joyful and vibrant communities. The participation of our residents, families & staff—the daily dance of knowing one another and being together—fills us with joy.

While the season turns to winter, we hope you find yourself full of gratitude, joy, and all the comforts of friendship, care, and family (and cider!).

Happy Thanksgiving!

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