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 is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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