The Champions Sun in Houston, TX, featured an interview with Phyllis Smith and Penny Moore, both residents at the Hampton at Willowbrook Brookdale Senior Living, in its November 24th issue. In the article, Smith and Moore reflect on how their appreciation for the holidays has both changed and grown over the years -- the holiday spirit, they say, doesn't wane with age.
Smith says the Hampton at Willowbrook is "a fun place that keeps us busy," and notes that the facility has held about three or four holiday functions already this season. Both Smith and Moore indicate that while they're not able to maintain every family tradition they once cherished, assisted living has allowed them to continue to enjoy many holiday traditions as well as build new memories.
This year marks the first year both ladies will spend in their new environment; each has lived at the Hampton at Willowbrook for six months or less. Still, they've formed valuable friendships with neighbors and have enjoyed participating in the festivities. Some traditions, such as hanging lights and wrapping gifts, are still easily maintained in the assisted living setting. Others, such as having the family over for a holiday meal, live on in memory only.
Smith reported that she'd be leaving the facility to spend Thanksgiving with her son, and would likely travel to Dallas for Christmas with her grandchildren. She says she makes her own gifts -- beading, which her granddaughters especially enjoy receiving. She likes to stay busy, so hobbies and crafts are a welcome pastime.
A change in setting can be difficult for seniors, especially during the first holiday season since leaving the family home. But many seniors, like Smith and Moore, say the holidays are just as enjoyable later in life as they are at two years old.
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