November is a time to pause and reflect. Whether it’s for Thanksgiving or in preparation for the end of the year, these shorter days help us dig a little deeper. This year is no different., but this year is different. So many elements of life appear to be at a crossroads. From the economy to politics, everything seems to be at a tipping point. Even X, formerly known as Twitter, can’t get it together so the URL remains the old name. Sheesh! But as we take stock of the past year, three things seem to be universal. So, if you’ll permit, here’s what we should be thankful and grateful for and why we’re blessed to be part of the greater senior living community.


Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. – Oprah Winfrey

Being thankful means understanding that no one accomplishes great things alone. That’s never more true than within a senior living community. From the newest resident to the most senior member of the team, every person has a meaningful role to play. While many communities have an official day to thank each group, let’s not forget to say thank you when someone offers us kindness. Let’s thank one another for the gift of their presence. It’s a powerful way to honor those who often go unseen.


Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust

While giving thanks can brighten someone’s day, being grateful helps us appreciate all the good we have in our own lives. Studies have found that people who actively practice gratitude have significantly higher levels of happiness and psychological well being. Plus, they are less likely to be stressed or depressed and have higher levels of self esteem. Take a moment to think about those community members who brighten your day. Maybe it’s the caregiver who always has a smile to share. Perhaps it’s a member of the culinary team who creates delicious meals from ordinary ingredients. Or it could be simply sharing how much you love your role within the community. We all love seeing gardens in bloom. So take a moment (or two) to be grateful for the hard work that others do.


Having a place to go is a home. Having someone to love is a family. Having both is a blessing. – Donna Hedges

As we pause to reflect, there are as many blessings as there are stars in the sky. It can be easy to count our personal blessings, but this Thanksgiving, let’s count our community’s blessings. These are challenging times, so offering a warm welcome, high-quality care and a nurturing environment shouldn’t be taken for granted. Whether it’s a birth family or found family, a family home or a community home, having family, friends and a home are blessings.

Life is complicated, and it isn’t a bed of roses. There are very real problems, at home, in the community and the world, that we need to solve. Let’s make being thankful, grateful and feeling blessed a part of every day instead of a single Thursday in the month of November. And if we do:

I can no other answer make, but, thanks, And thanks, and ever thanks. – William Shakespeare