At Charles E. Smith Life Communities, our philosophy of compassionate care has its roots in our century-old mission, vision and rich tradition. It’s a philosophy grounded in the genuine relationships we form with residents and their families to the lasting contributions we make to the larger community. Small wonder, then, that Thanksgiving Day is a celebration at our community we look forward to every year!

Thanksgiving is a marvelous holiday that brings friends and family together to celebrate the blessings we have in our lives. When a family member has moved to independent living, it can be a bit of a change, especially if your loved one was the host for your customary family gatherings. However, there are still ways that older adults can celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving in a fulfilling, enjoyable way – even after moving to an independent living community. With a little creativity and planning, older adults can enjoy Thanksgiving easily and spend time with family and friends.

Celebrate with the community.
One of the wonderful things about the lifestyle in independent living is that the community comes together to celebrate events big and small. Around the holidays, our independent living residence, Ring House, is filled with decorations, fun programs and delicious meals. This allows residents to gather together in a low-stress, worry-free way as the community takes care of planning, cooking and cleaning. All you have to do is enjoy.

Start new family traditions.
For years, you’ve had Thanksgiving traditions that you’ve loved and cherished. While some of these can be adapted to a new situation, why not go a step further and start a new tradition with your loved ones? This can be anything you like: having a board game competition, planning a fun activity or even dedicating your time to helping the less fortunate. Whatever you choose, you can be sure you’ll make new memories to be thankful for, as well as start a potentially beloved and long-lived tradition for years to come.

Open your doors and your hearts.
If the traditional Thanksgiving meal has always been a time for big family gatherings where people come and go, eat and drink, laugh and enjoy each other’s company … well, there’s no reason why you can’t continue that if your loved ones are in a senior living community. Although independent living housing isn’t quite as large as a family home, communities often have common areas or special dining rooms that residents can rent out to hold large gatherings. Often, you can also order Thanksgiving feasts from the culinary team members, making Thanksgiving both delicious and easy. You may even be able to have them create a favorite family recipe while they’re at it (and, of course, cater to any dietary restrictions). While you’re bringing the family together, you may want to extend invitations to new neighbors and friends in the community, especially if they don’t have plans during this holiday season.

Notes of gratitude.
Thanksgiving isn’t normally associated with the giving of gifts – it’s more about coming together to break bread and share fellowship. However, if you’re in independent living and may not be able to see everyone as you generally did in the past, sending a gift (even something as small as a handwritten card) can be a nice reminder that you’re thinking of the person and that you care about them. It’s the perfect time to show them how thankful you are for them and just how much they mean to you.

Don’t forget to decorate.
Thanksgiving is a fun season to decorate for because so many of the season’s accents can be found just outside your front door. Leaves, decorative gourds, pumpkins and delicious-smelling candles are all things that can be used to easily bring a cheery fall feel to your Thanksgiving celebrations.

Thanksgiving is always a special time for residents, friends and family, and this celebration and connection shouldn’t fall by the wayside simply because you or a loved one have moved to independent living. Instead, look at this as a new chapter and a chance to be thankful for the life you have, as well as the opportunities to create new, meaningful memories that will last a lifetime. For more information about Ring House independent living residence, please contact us today by calling 301-816-5012.