Thanksgiving Together: Celebrating Gratitude in Every Season of Life

Thanksgiving with Seniors

At Pleasant View Communities, we deeply value Thanksgiving as a celebration that transcends just a festive meal. We see Thanksgiving as an embodiment of gratitude and unity, mirroring our commitment to enriching the lives of our senior residents.

As our community prepares for this cherished holiday, we are mindful of the varied lifestyles of our residents—from those in independent living to those in our compassionate personal care, memory care, or skilled nursing facilities. Each environment within Pleasant View offers its own special way to mark this season of thankfulness and togetherness.

Together with Pleasant View, you and your family can ensure your loved ones experience the warmth of Thanksgiving through customized celebrations, virtual gatherings, or community activities. It’s our aim to fortify family bonds and foster a sense of belonging, celebrating each stage of life with heartfelt gratitude and love.

Celebrate Thanksgiving with Seniors at Pleasant View Communities

Understanding the Spectrum of Senior Living Situations

In order to fully appreciate how we can make Thanksgiving special for every senior, it’s crucial to understand the variety of living situations our campus offers. These range from independent living, where seniors manage their daily lives with minimal assistance, to more supportive environments like personal care, which offers a balance of independence and care. For those with more complex health needs, skilled nursing and memory care provide comprehensive medical and personal assistance.

Each of these settings has its own unique characteristics and possibilities. Independent living allows for more autonomy in planning and hosting family gatherings, while personal care settings offer a blend of personal space and community activities. While more medically focused, memory care and skilled nursing care still provide opportunities for meaningful engagement and celebration.

Celebrate Thanksgiving with seniors with family visits

Thanksgiving in Independent Living: Autonomy and Community Engagement

For seniors in residential living at Pleasant View, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to actively engage in the holiday’s festivities, whether by hosting family gatherings or participating in community events.

  • Hosting Family Gatherings: Seniors in independent living can enjoy the tradition of hosting Thanksgiving dinner by inviting family members to their homes. It’s a chance to share recipes, cook together, and create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Safety and comfort should be considered, with modifications as needed to ensure ease of movement and accessibility. Involving grandchildren in the preparation and decoration can add a fun, intergenerational aspect to the day.
  • Community Involvement: For those who prefer not to host, participating in community events can be equally rewarding. Our independent living community organizes special Thanksgiving events, where seniors can join in communal meals and other festive activities. This is also a perfect time for seniors to volunteer, whether in organizing events within their community or in broader community initiatives, fostering a sense of purpose and connection with others during this season of gratitude.

Embracing Thanksgiving in Personal Care

Seniors in personal care at Terrace Gardens can experience a warm and festive Thanksgiving, with activities tailored to their environment.

  • Personalizing Celebrations: These residents can bring the holiday spirit into their living spaces with personal touches and help from staff, family, and friends. Decorating their rooms with Thanksgiving-themed decor like wreaths, table centerpieces, and wall art can create a festive atmosphere. Engaging in craft activities, such as making Thanksgiving cards or decorations, can also be a joyful and creative way for residents to mark the occasion.
  • Facilitating Family Connections: For seniors whose families cannot be physically present, technology provides a bridge. Virtual celebrations, where families join via video calls to share a meal, express gratitude, or simply catch up, are relatively easy to set up. This ensures that even if separated by distance, families can still celebrate together. Additionally, sharing stories and memories related to Thanksgiving can be a wonderful way for residents to connect with their past and share their heritage with others, creating a tapestry of shared experiences within the community.

Nurturing Thanksgiving Spirit in Skilled Nursing Care

In skilled nursing care at the J. Calvin Wenger Health and Wellness Center, residents may have more comprehensive health needs, but Thanksgiving can still be a time of joy and community participation.

  • Engaging in Facility-Organized Activities: Check with our skilled nursing facilities to see if they are hosting any special Thanksgiving events. These events are tailored to the abilities and needs of the skilled nursing care residents. These activities not only entertain but also stimulate cognitive and social engagement.
  • Encouraging Family Visits: Skilled nursing staff at the J. Calvin Wenger Health and Wellness Center encourage family members to visit during the holidays when possible. These visits can be a source of great comfort and joy for residents. Families can bring a sense of home into the facility by sharing a meal, decorating together, or simply spending quality time with their loved ones. Additionally, families might consider scheduling their visits around any planned Thanksgiving activities, allowing them to participate in community celebrations and making the occasion even more special.

Art is a great project for Thanksgiving with seniors

Thanksgiving in Memory Care: Nurturing Hearts and Minds

Celebrating Thanksgiving with seniors in memory care at The Meadows at Terrace Gardens involves special considerations to ensure their comfort and engagement. Activities should be simple, soothing, and reminiscent of past traditions to evoke positive emotions and memories.

  • Sensory-Engaging Crafts: Simple crafts like making Thanksgiving-themed decorations can be both therapeutic and enjoyable. Activities involving textures, colors, and scents, like creating a fall-themed sensory box, can be particularly engaging. Here are some other ideas. 
  • Familiar Music and Stories: Playing familiar Thanksgiving songs and sharing classic stories or poems can evoke happy memories and stimulate conversation.
  • Family Involvement: When possible, family member participation in these activities can be greatly beneficial. Even a simple video call can make a big difference in a resident’s day, helping them feel connected and loved.
  • Personalized Celebrations: Tailoring activities to each resident’s abilities and preferences ensures that they can participate in a meaningful and enjoyable way, making their Thanksgiving experience special and dignified.

Uniting Generations: Thanksgiving Activities for All Seniors

Regardless of their living situation, there are several activities that can bring all seniors together in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

  • Gratitude Projects: Creating a communal gratitude tree or wall can be meaningful for seniors across all living situations. Residents can write down what they’re thankful for on leaves or cards to display, which can then be hung in hallways or common areas. This fosters a sense of community and serves as a visual reminder of the many blessings shared by the community.
  • Intergenerational Story Sharing: Storytelling sessions where seniors share their life experiences, family histories, or past Thanksgiving memories can be deeply enriching. This activity preserves valuable family history and creates an opportunity for meaningful intergenerational exchange. It’s a way for all residents, their families, and PV team members to connect and learn from each other’s stories, fostering deeper understanding and respect.

Embracing Gratitude in Every Season

The essence of the Thanksgiving holiday transcends physical spaces and health conditions, and the many ways we celebrate Thanksgiving across different senior living environments illustrate this best.

Whether in independent living, personal care, skilled nursing care, or memory care, the spirit of Thanksgiving can flourish as long as it comes from the heart.

By adapting traditions and finding new ways to express gratitude and connection, we ensure that every senior feels valued and included during this time of celebration.

Thanksgiving is not just a day on the calendar; it’s a reminder of the enduring power of gratitude and community in enhancing our lives, no matter where we are in our journey.

For more information, give us a call at 717-665-2445, or schedule a tour and stop by for a visit!

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