Ask Yourself: “Who Needs My Empathy Today?”

Contemplative senior man looking into distanceThe holidays are a special time, but they can also be a lonely time. Everything about this season can be a reminder of people and days gone by. Right now, it’s especially important to be aware of behavioral changes that might signal a resident is feeling sad and/or lonely.

For instance, if someone who is usually upbeat seemed subdued, or even grouchy, he or she may need a little extra kindness. Imagine yourself in that person’s shoes: How would you feel during the holidays if you had lost your spouse or friends? Would you feel a little blue remembering holidays in your family home when you no longer live there?

Taking the time to start a conversation or inviting residents to participate in activities can help prevent isolation that leads to deeper sadness, so be proactive. Stop, look, and listen for signs someone needs extra empathy during the holidays.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy Heilman MS, DTR: Cindy Heilman has over 25 years of experience in enhancing hospitality, and food service standards. She is the CEO of her own company, Higher Standards LLC, and creator of Kind Dining® Training. Her unique background in restaurant ownership, in hospitality and healthcare food service, in working as a Dietetic Technician Registered and Healthcare Specialist at SYSCO Foodservices, led her to the development of her exclusive program that improves relationships and lives of aging residents through the dining experience.

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