** 2022 Message **
Dear Activity Professionals and the Golden Carers Community,
As you charge toward the finish line, could I offer you some extra cheer? Not necessarily holiday cheer or a cup of cheer (though of course, I wish that for you too!), but some good old-fashioned cheering? The rah, rah kind that can make even your most negative self-talk be quiet?
I’m good at cheering too. I had lots of practice as a cheerleader for my junior high and high school many, many years ago. I also have lots of current practice cheering for my son’s travel baseball team and for myself when I have 10 more minutes left of a challenging workout.
The right cheer, at the right time, can make all the difference.
So, as you are entering the final push of the year, making sure all the small details are taken care of so that your residents have a meaningful holiday season, let me cheer you on. Goodness knows you deserve it!
Three cheers for all the times this year you’ve researched something strange on the internet in order to provide a fun fact for your residents. Who knew that the dot over a lowercase j or i was called a tittle? You did. You knew because you needed that weird fact to make your residents smile.
Three cheers for your patience when you were having a really busy day and you stopped what you were doing to answer a question from a resident that you had already answered for him twice before. You are really good at making everyone you serve feel important and that you always have time for them.
Three cheers for you taking your job seriously, but not necessarily yourself. You’ve dressed up in poodle skirts and lederhosen and neon colors because you know that if it makes even one reluctant resident attend a happy hour social, then it was all worth it.
Three cheers for carrying the good with the bad. Holding space for grief while also cultivating joy, many times in the same day or within the same hour of work. You remind others around you that there is room for all emotions.
Three cheers for finally finding an intervention that worked for that resident with dementia who has been so anxious and aggressive in the evenings. You never gave up and poured over history, involved his family, and tried so many things before you found something that stuck. I admire your perseverance.
Three cheers for being able to make every resident feel loved, even when they make it hard sometimes to get close. You are always searching for a way to connect with them. I am proud of your determination and how you always put residents first.
Three cheers for always advocating for Activities in your staff meetings, care plans, and family meetings. You are educating people about how recreation and connection are just as important to wellness goals as medications and sugar-free desserts.
Three cheers for always giving your all every time you walk in the door to your community, and for faking it until you make it on the hard days. I know the work you put in and how much your heart beats for your residents. You are the best of all of us.
So, three cheers (and cups of holiday cheer) to you, the Activity Professional who makes all the things happen every day. You inspire your coworkers, you comfort your residents, you put family minds at ease.
Now, let’s finish strong together, shall we? Here’s to 2023!
Cheering you on, always.