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Maryland retirement homes November 22, 2017

Encourage multigenerational interaction at your family Thanksgiving gathering

Thanksgiving is Americans’ second-favorite holiday, following Christmas, according to a national Harris Poll of a cross section of adults in 2015.

Travel statistics back that up, with Thanksgiving also coming in as the second most popular holiday for both air and land travel. The industry trade group Airlines for America predicts that a record 28.5 million people will fly this year during the 12-day period November 17-28—an average of 2.4 million air travelers every day. Millions more will travel by car, bus or train to their Thanksgiving destinations.

This tells us that, despite staying connected through social media, people still love to be with family and friends for the holidays. For many families, Thanksgiving is one of the few times of year when several generations can get together to catch up on news, laugh and reminisce. Seniors look forward to these gatherings as much as anyone, whether they live in their private residence or at a senior living community.

At Country Meadows, we welcome visiting families over the Thanksgiving holiday. We invite families to dine with their senior loved ones, and each campus has rooms that families can use for private family get-togethers.

If you have a loved one with dementia, be sure to prepare your children to know what to expect. If they can better understand Grandma or Grandpa, they will relax and enjoy themselves more. Here are tips on talking to your children about dementia.

Activities that everyone can enjoy

Planning activities that can be shared and enjoyed by people across generations can help ensure that everyone has a great time on Thanksgiving. Here are a few ways to add meaning and fun for all ages represented at your Thanksgiving celebration:

  • Observe traditions. Include long-standing family recipes and share family stories. Sing familiar songs. (For those with dementia, family traditions and foods that they have enjoyed since childhood can be a source of recognition and comfort.)
  • Give thanks. Encourage each person around the table to name something for which they are especially grateful.
  • Exercise. Take a family walk before or after dinner. Walking together encourages talking together, and it’s a great opportunity for adults to exercise and kids to release energy.
  • Have fun! Play games or do puzzles. Search online for Thanksgiving-themed games and crafts. With input from GoodHousekeeping.com, here is a trivia game that will educate and entertain:
  1. How many days did the first Thanksgiving last? (three)
  2. Sarah Josepha Hale, who advocated for Thanksgiving as a national holiday, is credited with writing the words of what beloved children’s song? (“Mary Had a Little Lamb”)
  3. Which U.S. president declared Thanksgiving a national holiday? (Abraham Lincoln in 1863)
  4. How many balloons appeared in the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924? (none)
  5. About how many turkeys are cooked for Thanksgiving each year? (46 million)
  6. What percentage of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day? (88%)
  7. Which U.S. president began the tradition of pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving? (George H. W. Bush in 1989)
  8. Do all turkeys gobble? (No, only males gobble. Females cackle.)
  9. The Butterball Turkey Talk Line answers about how many calls each Thanksgiving? (100,000)
  10. Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for which non-retail profession? (plumbers)

Family life at Country Meadows Retirement Communities

On Thanksgiving, all our campuses will serve a full Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings during lunchtime. Relatives are welcome to make a reservation to join their senior family member at a family table or special room if one is available.

If you’re thinking of choosing a retirement community, we would like to tell you all about Country Meadows and urge you to visit any of our family-friendly Pennsylvania or Maryland retirement homes: Mechanicsburg, York-South, York-West, Hershey and Wyomissing PA; Frederick, MD and five more in Pennsylvania. Whether you’re considering a senior independent living community, an assisted living or a personal care home or memory support, please contact us to learn more about our caring retirement home communities.

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