National ALF week

What the heck is ALF week? It is NOT a celebration of that goofy sitcom with an alien puppet from the late 1980s, but it is a celebration from the National Center for Assisted Living to promote wellness, awareness, and well-being for the seniors who live in assisted living facilities. Even if you are caring for your senior in their home, your home, or have some help caring for them in their place, you can benefit from this year’s ALF week theme “Spark of Creativity.” The theme is meant to get everyone’s creative juices going including residents trying new artsy things and caregivers checking out innovative methods to improve care and community living. Focusing on seniors, how can they dive deeper into their creative side? Participating in art therapy can enhance cognitive and sensory-motor functions, boosting self-esteem, growing emotional connections with others and quieting distress. If you’re a family caretaker, consider trying art projects with your silver Picasso like busting out the family photos and making a collage or bulletin board/mood board. A hot art trend is painted wooden boards with sayings like “family,” “peace,” “live simply.” And certainly, part of ALF week is thanking any professional caretakers in your family’s life. This includes the special caretakers associated with Granny Nannies! Another crucial piece of the ALF celebration is encouraging caretakers to feel more comfortable to express their ideas and opinions on how to make the overall caregiving experience more positive and valuable for all involved: the patient, the family, the facility and the caregiver. This holistic approach is bound to pay off.