To “Make our People Happy”

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses, indoor and foodIt seems that a number of the things we do here are, as we sometimes put it, simply done “to make our people happy,” that is: to help provide joy, satisfaction, or fulfillment to our residents.

(In case you’re new to this blog, I serve at an assisted living-type facility.)

This motive led me to our activity room kitchen yesterday afternoon when I was relieved at the front desk by our evening receptionist.

With the hot, muggy weather we’d been having, I hadn’t touched the oven for quite a while.  Now with beautiful, cooler temperatures, baking was no longer out of the question.

Some of our ladies really love to bake.  They enjoy getting “their hands in there” and taking part in activities they once undertook to look after their families.

It can be a bit challenging to keep two or more ladies busy while measuring out ingredients and sometimes having to run to get something I need from elsewhere in the building (like an egg from the main kitchen or cooking spray from the conference room pantry as was the case yesterday.)

Nonetheless, I do it because “it makes our people happy.”  They so enjoy it and thrive on being part of this project.  The other residents savor the chance to have home-baked special treats as well.

It is so neat to be able to say: “Would you like a cookie?  We [here mentioning helpers by name] made them this afternoon.”  It is uplifting for me to be able to “lift them up” and credit them with making something that so delights their fellow residents.

I find that letting older people, now retired, have a chance at some real, productive work does them a lot of good (physically and emotionally).  I have seen it many times.

IMG_2168Tomorrow, I will put this philosophy into practice again (out of necessity, if nothing else).  We received about 100 more pounds of rhubarb this afternoon, and it’s not going to cut up itself.

Sr. Chistina M. Neumann

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2 thoughts on “To “Make our People Happy”

  1. Needless to say, ten times as many people enjoy eating these “creations” as do assembling them.

    My mother subscribed to the theory that “Too many cooks spoil the stew”. Therefore, I was only allowed in HER kitchen if invited. Mom was one of those cooks who didn’t really have a written recipe. It was important to keep her mind on what had and had not been added. My asking what she was making or could I help, was reason enough for beheading, let alone participating in the cooking!


    • How much rhubarb?!! We as a family were gifted a carrier bag full at the the start of the summer. I bagged and froze it but it only lasted a couple of meals and two jars of jam. It’s both my daughters favourites for crumble. I now have rhubarb envy 😉
      I try and involve my children in cooking but it is a lesson in patience that’s for sure. I always end up in equal parts of “never again” and “I should be doing this more often”! I would probably have made much much more effort to involve a boy in cooking, as I am keen my girls don’t grow up to be expected to do housework, cooking, washing, etc (unless they want to), and I hope they marry someone who does at least 50% of it… but I think I may have gone the other way 🙂
      The kitchen is the centre of a home, and a community. If it’s warm, welcoming and happy, it raises spirits.


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