Little By Little

For almost a month, on one social media site or another, you likely came across 1, 4, or 10 of your friends and co-workers sharing the same video – a group of residents banging on bright green exercise balls to Bruno Mars’ popular song Uptown Funk. This video is wonderful. There is a reason everyone was sharing it, liking it, and kept it a popular viral video for so long. It shows creativity, connection, and joy. But it is only the latest in viral videos that come from our care communities and organizations. We watch them in awe. They make us smile and maybe even cry happy tears, but what are we doing with the information we are taking in when we watch these videos? Are we yet again only observers of someone else’s work? Or, are we learning from these videos that cause us to pause and then create our own “viral moment?” In connecting with senior care life enrichment specialists and managers to have conversations about the work they are doing, the video and its lessons have all but vanished from our lives. 

I have this dream, vision, goal, that we can reach a point in our care communities that these videos are no longer moments of viral content but daily joy. It will take some effort, courage, and imagination on the part of all who work in the senior care industry. If you are working in one of these care communities and do not take action towards the creative, what I am about to say is going to be harsh, “Quit your job! You are not fit to work in the activities or life enrichment. I mean it! Quit your job if you do not take action after sharing these videos on LinkedIn or one of your other social media accounts, or end up liking and commenting every time you see it show up. We have no room for complacency.” See, told ya it was going to be harsh. I mean it with the greatest amount of respect for the purpose you were uniquely created to live because if this is you, we likely need you in a different area of the industry or workforce in general. 

If you want to take action but don’t know how to start, gather your entire staff together to brainstorm one thing, JUST ONE THING, that you can do differently, better, and with increasing joy in your community this week. Not everything we do is going to be perfect or mind-blowingly amazing, but little by little, if we are doing only ONE THING as a result of an inspirational video or a resident request, we will create a community that is filled with staff working as the best version of themselves. We will assist our residents in living enriched lives, and families will become our greatest cheerleaders. They will act in thanksgiving for the love, creativity, compassion, and joy you helped provide their family members in their final chapter of life. Then, in turn, your families will become your greatest sales and marketing team, and your employees will want to work for you, giving of themselves in beautiful ways.

This is not a pipe dream or ignorant shout-out, but something that can become tangible, a ripple effect of small, little moments. It doesn’t require you to reinvent the wheel, but take action on the inspiration of what others are doing. Get your entire staff involved, get your families (the forgotten community members) involved. Can you imagine how humane, loving, joyful, and impactful it would be if we opened up our hearts just a little bit to the great power of our imagination and how it can be applied to our daily life? To care?

What will you do with the inspiration you find?

Now go on your way! Create! Take Action! And if you find yourself stuck, give me a call. No, really! 920-268-4554. Give me a call, and I can help you!

Published by Kathryne Fassbender

Creative Gerontologist, Speaker, Catholic Innovator. I am also the granddaughter of someone who lived with Vascular Dementia.

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