Kindness begins at home

Examples of how seniors in Amica residences celebrate Random Acts of Kindness week

You know you’re in a caring community when there’s a spirit of helping others. That’s exactly what happens at Amica residences, where our residents are always supporting charities, food drives, community groups and churches. Yet we go all out with good deeds during Random Acts of Kindness Week each February. We know that research shows that being kind lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and boosts energy but the real reason we promote acts of kindness is because our seniors tell us they enjoy supporting their communities. “It’s important for them to continue giving back,” says Emily Skelly, Life Enrichment Coordinator at Amica London in southwestern Ontario. “They’ve spent their lives helping people, whether raising a family, in their profession or in the community. Just because they’re in retirement, that spirit doesn’t end. We try to give seniors an outlet to continue to give and maintain that sense of self-worth that they have something to contribute.”

Image for Conversations Article Kindness begins at home. Amica senior knitting.
Want to spread some joy? Take a few ideas from our residences:

Craft something cozy
When the residents at Amica London discovered that Alzheimer’s patients feel more calm and less anxious if they have something to occupy their hands, they decided to knit hand muffs and donate them to St. Joseph’s Hospital. The therapeutic muffs keep hands warm while offering visual and sensory stimulation. The sewing group at the residence is also making teddy bears to donate to the local children’s hospital.

Support animals
In memory of their favourite pets, the residents at Amica West Vancouver are collecting essentials—from food and litter to toys and money—to donate to their local animal shelter.

Plan a deed a day
The residents at Amica Little Lake in Ontario cottage country have lots to look forward to: each day they’re planning a different act of kindness! That includes bringing treats to the fire hall, taking a bus trip to hand out gift cards for local eateries, and donating used winter clothing to the Salvation Army. “We encourage our residents to get involved with community outreach because it instills a sense of purpose,” says Rebecca Sims, Life Enrichment Coordinator at the residence. “It’s also great for their emotional health to do something nice for someone else.”

Send a sweet
Communities like Amica Beechwood Village in Sidney, B.C., are selling candy grams to residents and delivering them on Valentine’s Day. The proceeds from these gifts of candy, which include a special message from the sender, go toward the Amica Helping Hands charity to support underprivileged Canadian seniors.

Make a kindness “tree”
At Amica Somerset House in Victoria, residents will be getting ideas for random acts of kindness from a selection of cards hung on a tree branch. The suggestions include smiling and saying hello to everyone in your path (your smile could turn someone’s day around!); introducing a person by telling others something great about him or her; or announcing to a mom out shopping with her kids that she’s doing a great job and her kids are adorable (we all need to hear we’re doing a great job sometimes!).

Hide love letters around your town
The residents at Somerset House are also writing “Love letters to Victoria.” They’ll be jotting a story of kindness or a short comment inside note cards to be placed around the community. Says Life Enrichment Coordinator Kristy Brugman, “It’s a fun little surprise that will cause someone to feel warm and fuzzy, and a way to encourage the ripple effect of kindness.”

Offer a valentine
The team at Amica London is delivering a hand-written Valentine to every resident on Valentine’s Day. “Some of our residents don’t have a special person in their lives anymore,” says Skelly. “This is our way of recognizing them and making them feel loved and cared for.

Find out how residents are enjoying great amenities, activities, flexible dining and personalized service at Amica residences. Book a personal visit today.