“Family Gatherings & Aging In Place”

Family gatherings, such as at Thanksgiving, other holidays, milestone anniversaries, and birthdays, let us reconnect with those important to us and to observe how all of us are progressing along life’s journey.

Holidays bring us together

Many special occasions throughout the year – birthdays, anniversaries, important holidays, and various celebrations – are times for families to assemble and share in the togetherness and good times. Thanksgiving Day gives us a classic opportunity to gather and share stories, good food, and happy times.

It also gives us the opportunity to reconnect and assess – looking at how everyone is doing and how their needs (physical and emotional) are being met, with the emphasis on quality.

Thanksgiving is a convenient milestone

Some of us get together with family and friends quite often. Others rely on special occasions like major holidays for this to happen. We are able to arrange our schedules around these events with the proper planning. Frequently travel is involved.

As we celebrate the present Thanksgiving and reminisce about previous ones, we often think of other humorous (and those so not-so-pleasant) family incidents over the years. We mark the passage of time in terms of the holidays – from the current one to the previous one as well as earlier ones.

Regardless of how well we remember past events or if we witnessed them firsthand or through recollections of them, we have the current time to build upon going forward. In future weeks, months, and years, we can think back to this holiday and both what and how everyone was doing.

Aging in place up close

As we gather for this holiday time, we may notice some physical, sensory, or cognitive changes in ourselves or other family members since the last time we got together for a similar event. All of us are aging, some more apparent than others.

Do we notice or experience a little difficulty in getting around (mobility or balance), or are there times when the right word or phrase is slow in coming to mind? This may be difficult to accept since we have known everyone from earlier times when we likely were more active than we are now.

Safety and visitabilty are two aspects of getting together with family and friends that bring aging in place into focus. All of us need to be able to approach and enter our homes easily and to remain safe once inside. As vision issues, balance concerns, or other aging matters cause us to be less capable than in the past times we all got together, it causes us to recognize how we can help to provide for ourselves and our visiting relatives – and by extension the public in general.

This opportunity to see how our family (including ourselves) may have changed from last year to the present, or in recent years in general, gives us a greater insight into aging in place concerns – especially safety in the home.


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