Birthdays Are for Celebrating and Being Together

Woman resident celebrating her birthday with fellow residentsEvery year that a birthday rolls around can be a time of celebration and togetherness. Whether it’s opening gifts, reflections on the past year, or enjoying a good meal, Kendal at Granville sure knows how to throw a birthday bash! Not only is it a time to celebrate, but it also serves as an opportunity to be with others.

 

Celebrating Birthdays at Kendal at Granville

When Melissa Moore, Dining and Catering Manager, began her tenure at Kendal over 5 years ago, she was determined to find more ways to create experiences for residents around meal times. One of those is celebrating birthdays. At the beginning of each month, Melissa sends out an invitation to all residents who have a birthday in that particular month. They’re encouraged to bring a friend or spouse to dine with them in the Amelia Gathering Room. When they RSVP, they’re given a choice of entrée and selected sides, preceded by a soup or salad.

At the most recent birthday dinner, conversations and laughter could be heard before the meal had started! Melissa was handing out nameplates that marked what dish they chose. Seats were being taken at a table donned with beautiful flower arrangements and a bouquet of colorful balloons. On this occasion, there were 17 attendees comprising of the birthday guests and some spouses. Out of the group, there were some who have been to previous birthday dinners and a few that were joining for the first time! New faces are also something that’s often celebrated in the community and what’s better than getting to know someone over a great meal? The evening wraps up with traditional birthday cake being served while Melissa and the dining team sang out “Happy Birthday”. What a treat!

Avoiding Isolation by Being Together

Celebrating birthdays is just one of the many times residents come together to enjoy a meal.  On any given evening, residents will be in groups large or small enjoying one another’s company and conversation over a delicious meal prepared by our Dining staff. One of the emerging concerns regarding older adults is that they’re becoming isolated in the aging process. In a study conducted by Carla Perissinotto titled, “Loneliness in Older Persons: A predictor of functional decline and death,” it was found that up to 43 percent of adults ages 60 and older experience frequent or intense loneliness. Loneliness amongst older adults has been shown to have negative effects on health including risk for hypertension, premature cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, and infections (AARP 2018). Knowing statistics like these can be frightening, but the gained knowledge can be used to discover ways to beat the odds and improve your health! Continuing Care Communities, such as Kendal at Granville, provide the benefit of living in a community where it’s easier to build relationships and create opportunities to be around other people whether residents, staff, or visitors.  

Feeling a Sense of Community

It’s comforting to know that a simple, everyday activity such as eating a meal is proven to have added benefits when done with someone else. Not only is it encouraging to be with others, but it also serves as a way to connect with people by turning off the busy activities of the day and simply connecting with someone. Having programs in place such as the monthly birthday dinner create a community for residents and a sense of fostering connections. Feeling a sense of community at the dinner table is important to Kendal at Granville. Melissa and the residents hope to keep this tradition alive for many years to come!

 

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