National Assisted Living Week 2009 is Sunday, September 13, 2009 to Saturday, September 19, 2009.
So, what does that really mean? I am seeing that it is this ‘special’ week in the news, and posted on many caregiving sites and blogs, but I am still not totally sure what to do? Am I alone?
Thinking about it more as I went to get a glass of water, I decided that, like any other recognized holiday or occasion, I guess it can be what you make of it. I mean, I don’t really celebrate Easter – instead I’ll take the day off and usually go for a hike, or maybe out to lunch with my wife. Someone else might go to church and then to a brunch with family.
New Year’s Eve – another example – which happens to be my birthday too. I tend to celebrate by having a nice dinner, and then going to bed really early (for some reason, I can’t ever seem to make it past 10pm). Most other people are out hootin’ and hollerin’ in the freezing cold waiting for a ball to drop.
So, National Assisted Living Week – what does it mean, and what to do, since there are no formal rules or guidelines that I have been able to find. I guess, like anything else, it can be what you make of it.
Here are some of my ideas:
1) If you know a caregiver – reach out and offer thanks, or maybe offer to cook a meal. Caregivers are most often worn out, and have little time to tend to their own needs.
2) If you know someone in an assisted living facility, pay them a visit, or write them a note. Loneliness is often a by-product of living in a long-term care environment.
3) Take care of yourself and commit to it long term – Many (but not all) of the ailments that cause people to go into an assisted living environment can be delayed or avoided completly by taking GREAT care of yourself – eating well, quitting smoking, exercising both mind, body and spirit, etc.
4) If you have aging parents who are still healthy, take a moment to give thanks.
5) If you are looking into assisted living for yourself, or a loved one – commit to researching any and all possible facilities thoroughly – remember, there are good ones, and not-so-good ones out there.
So there are a few of my ideas for National Assisted Living Week. I’d love to hear yours!