By: Hadley Cottingham, Now Habersham
(Updated)- Joy. It’s one of those rare things in life that you get more of the more that you give. That’s why on Wednesday, June 24, Comfort Keepers is asking people to join in its National Day of Joy by committing simple acts of kindness.
The in-home caregiving service conducted a recent survey in which eight in ten people agreed the world doesn’t seem to have as much joy as it used to. During this time, Alan White, owner of Comfort Keepers in North Georgia, says that it’s important to remember the happiness of the members of our senior community.
“Many of [the seniors] are isolated from their family and loneliness is typically a challenge that seniors deal with in any circumstances,” says White. “And so for many of them it’s been particularly difficult; [according to] the survey results, six in 10 say talking with family brings them joy.”
The survey also revealed that what brings seniors more joy is “the little things,” like a hug from a loved one, time outside, family meals, a favorite song, or even a good movie. On the Day of Joy, Comfort Keepers’ goal is to bring the seniors in their care the things that make them happiest.
“It’s so important, particularly for seniors who might have been struggling with loneliness or medical issues. They might be homebound. They might be separated from their family,” says White. “We just wanted to take one day to really spread some joy among the senior population and in every direction that we can
“If we know that they have a particular interest or an affinity for something, we try to do that. We’re taking a lot of [our clients] flowers, but we’re taking some folks a Hardee’s biscuit,” White says. Some of the highlights of this year’s gifts include a portrait of a dog, a Corvette ride, and an Italian dinner. “It depends on what they might have mentioned to us as something that they would enjoy, and so we’re trying to do that.”
It’s not just the seniors in their care they want to bring joy to, though. They’re bringing favorite lunches to their caregivers, or Starbucks gift cards to their caregivers who always have a coffee in their hand.
“Some of [the caretakers] are getting other things, snacks, a book, but a lot of it is food-related, interestingly enough. That’s something that everybody loves’ White says.”We’re just going to have a lot of fun with this.”
During an international pandemic where the elderly are at the highest risk of contracting and experiencing complications of COVID-19, spending time with them might be harder than usual, but White encourages family members to pick up the phone and spend time in different ways.
“I think it’s important for people to keep in mind that seniors have all the same emotions and feelings as any of us. If they are, [isolated] due to [COVID-19] circumstances– restricted from that human connection, that can be bad,” White says. “We all have busy lives, but I think it’s important to remember the seniors in our lives and grant them some time– some ‘FaceTime,’ and stay in touch. I think that can really, really make a huge difference in somebody’s life. The things that don’t cost very much often can make a huge difference.”
Making time for a small act of kindness can mean the world to a loved one, and the National Day of Joy is a perfect excuse to do it. However, White
“You’re really going to make somebody’s day, and it’s not just tomorrow, the National Day of Joy. It’s really any day,” White says. “We hope that by doing this event or spreading the word about this particular day, maybe that’s going to spill over into many other days throughout the year.”