Most people long to be “home” for the holidays.
By Tim Mitchell, Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E.
Most seniors will remember the golden voice of Perry Como singing one of his most popular hits, Home for the Holidays, which debuted in December of 1954 and went on to become one of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time. Originally recorded as a 78 and 45 rpm single, the song has been replicated numerous times by a variety of musical artists.
The words are graciously seared into our memories and we sing along with it every time we hear it played.
Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze
For the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!
(Be honest, you didn’t just read those lyrics, you sang them. If not out loud, you were singing in your mind.)
Eleven years prior, in 1943, Bing Crosby sang for the first time, I’ll Be Home for Christmas. Everyone knows the lyrics of this classic. “I’ll be home for Christmas – If only in my dreams.” This song was written and produced in the midst of World War II and it was a song every military person and their family probably sang with a tear in their eye as they longed to be reunited during the holiday.
Most people long to be “home” for the holidays. “Cause no matter how far away you roam, when you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze, for the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!” The older we get, the more this becomes our reality. We want to be surrounded by those we love and those who love us.
Psychologists even have coined terms to describe the affectionate bonds between people and places. “Topophilia” is one such term that literally means, “love of place.” “Rootedness” is another term used in psychology which describes the feeling of comfort and security that bind us to a place. For many, their home is their attachment to their reality and life.
Frank T. McAndrew, Professor of Psychology at Knox College, said, “Home, therefore, is a predictable and secure place where you feel in control and properly oriented in space and time; it is a bridge between your past and your present, an enduring tether to your family and friends.”
Professor McAndrew also stated: “Your fondness for a place – whether it’s the house where you lived your whole life, or the fields and woods where you played as a child – can even mimic the affection you feel for other people. Studies have shown that a forced relocation can elicit heartbreak and distress every bit as intense as the loss of a loved one.”
Our physical surroundings play an important role in creating meaning and organization in our lives. Much of how we view our lives and what we have become depends on where we’ve lived, and the experiences we’ve had there. Architecture professor Kim Dovey, who has studied the concept of home and the experience of homelessness, concluded that where we live is closely tied to our sense of who we are.
For these reasons, most seniors desire to age in their own home. They want to remain independent for as long as possible. However, it’s not healthy for them to live in isolation. They need social interaction for their own security and well-being. And, they want to be surrounded by family members and friends, especially on holidays.
How can a senior remain safely in their own home?
It usually takes a lot of work and planning by a lot of people depending on the dependency needs of the older adult. Family members are often perplexed by growing concerns as they watch their loved one(s) advance in age.
Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. becomes a very viable solution during this time in the life of an older adult. We have services and the expertise to help seniors remain independent in their own home while providing peace of mind to their family members that they will receive the highest quality of care. The PACE model of care not only addresses their medical needs, but also their social needs. Many participants receive care, not only at the PACE center, but also in their own home.
No senior should be isolated because they desire to remain independent. With the services of Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E., we are able to make their dream of staying home a reality. After all, there is truth to those Christmas song lyrics, “If you wanna be happy in a million ways, for the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!”
If you or a loved one desire to remain independent in your own home, call us at (269) 441-9319 to discuss how the services provided by Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. can set your mind at ease. Or, visit us at www.seniorcarepartnersmi.org.