Notes with Nate: Entering a New Holiday Season

As we enter the holiday season of 2021, we have so much for which to be thankful. While there are no shortages of challenges facing our community, I think back to where we were one year ago.   The great separation that took place between residents and their families throughout 2020 and into 2021 was so incredibly painful, but it was especially so during the holidays. That we can witness sons and mothers, daughters and fathers, and husbands and wives, coming together through the changing of the seasons is something none of us will ever take for granted again. Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, and so many other holidays might mean one thing to us when we are young, but for the aged, the value of togetherness is so dear. Witnessing that togetherness taken away was heartbreaking for all of us.

I think back a year ago to our staff members supporting the residents through these holidays, away from their own families and trying so very hard to keep spirits bright as we substituted for you—their friends and families. The kindness expressed through gifts made or brought in by staff for their residents; the songs that were sung from behind masks and face shields; the holding of a hand through gloves; and the reassurance that things would get better; were how staff members dug deep into their personal wells of compassion to continuously be there for the residents experiencing loneliness and isolation. I am so grateful for their hearts.

Today, we face a new challenge in this industry as the nationwide workforce issue continues on with unprecedented circumstances. Our staff members continue to draw forth care and compassion from their own spirits, sharing goodwill despite the stress of the times. I thank you as well for your recognition of their hard work as exemplified in the appreciation you share with them through compliments spoken directly or to their managers. Many staff members find intrinsic rewards in their relationships with the residents, but a kind word or gesture from a family member can often be the balm for a tough day.

May you continue to be blessed this holiday season and may we all continue to share our gifts with others.

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