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Gratitude at The Hickman: Celebrating Relationships and Community

November 28, 2023

Gratitude. It’s one of those things that strike our hearts a little more this time of year. Of course, having an entire holiday devoted to giving thanks doesn’t hurt. It’s more than that, though. As we see each year drawing to a close, we begin reflecting on where the years have brought us, how the ups and downs and everything in between have shaped who we are and how we see the world. Experts suggest that holding a grateful outlook yields a bounty of benefits: it breaks up negative thought patterns, replacing them with positive ones; it leads to greater happiness and life satisfaction; and it’s self-fulfilling in that the more you practice being grateful, the more likely you are experience gratitude in the future.

So, in the spirit of this season of giving thanks, why are our residents grateful? Not surprisingly, their gratitude is inextricably tied to people—to the meaningful relationships that made them who they are today and to the relationships that make up their everyday community today.

Gratitude for Family

Our residents remember with gratitude their parents and older generations, those who taught them lifelong values and rooted them in a foundation of love. “My parents […] instilled good values like looking at both sides of a situation and being flexible,” Eileen B. recalls. Josie L. also remembers life with her dad, which she gratefully remembers at 96 years young. Our residents cherish their families, however large or small, and the time they spend together. In a previous blog post titled ‘The Hickman Residents Reflect on Parental Guidance,’ our residents shared heartfelt stories and insights about the valuable life lessons they learned from their parents. You can read that blog post here if you’d like to explore their reflections on the wisdom passed down through generations.

Gratitude for Community

A common theme amongst the residents of The Hickman when it comes to gratitude is an appreciation for the tight-knit community in which they live, where residents and staff look out for each other and develop friendships that enrich their lives. Bill G. sums it up perfectly: “I am grateful for the people who live here and work here.”

Eileen B. describes her experience forming a dear friendship at The Hickman, which is undoubtedly a significant source of her gratitude. “When I first came here,” she says, “a resident who is now a good friend gave me knowledge on voting. She is very smart and helpful.”

As Nora M. puts it, “The smaller community makes it feel more family-oriented,” and she is thankful. “The group of residents and staff form not only a community but also a family, who care deeply about one another,” explains Pat B. “The connection I have with my fellow residents makes me feel comfortable and happy.” Josie L. similarly shares that “all the aspects of our community have contributed to my sense of gratitude. I am very happy, content, and appreciative.”

The residents’ gratitude extends to the staff members of The Hickman, who provide excellent care. Ann H. is “happy for the very caring staff and thankful to be included in all the activities.” Dick W. is thankful for the staff, who he describes as “very pleasant and understanding.” Gary G. enjoys how they never fail to cheer him up!

While our residents here at The Hickman are grateful for their families, friends, and the community in which they live, suffice it to say that we are incredibly grateful for them – their smiles, their stories, their laughter, and who they are as individuals – for it is they who make The Hickman not just a place to live and work, but a place to call home.