For a lot of people, September signals another “start of year”. It’s a good month (along with January) for setting goals, forming new habits, or getting rid of old habits. It’s a time to clear the slate, begin again, hunker down, start fresh.  September can be a month to ask ourselves questions like: “What do I want for this upcoming season?” or “What do I hope to have accomplished at this time next year?”  

One positive thing you can take on in September, is a new habit.  There are a lot of ways to create a new habit, but here are some that research says work wonders. First, accountablity. Find someone who wants to create the same habit as you and work together, or just know that you have to check in with someone every time you do or don’t do the desired thing. Another way to start a new habit? Scheduling. Put it in your calendar. Set reminders. Make it part of your everyday life. Another good way to start a habit is to know yourself well. Know what motivates you and what discourages you. Know what kinds of things get you out of bed and know what you need to push through to the end of something. 

Fall is also a season of starting over, freshening up, getting back on good routines. This is true for individual people, businesses, and homes. This can also be true of assisted living homes. Here are five ways that memory care and assisted living homes can begin with a new slate in September:

  1. Clean and Organize. A lot of people think that a big clean is more of a spring thing (spring cleaning!), but getting organized in the fall is also a common occurrence! It’s time to clean out the shelves, reorganize the furniture, find the areas of assisted living homes that work best and the areas that don’t seem to be used as often or seem too cluttered.  Clear out the bookshelves, keep them up to date with new and exciting books.  
  2. Spruce up the gardens for fall.  A lot of senior care homes have outdoor or garden areas where their residents can spend time or walk around. Even gardens that are well-kept year round can use some sprucing this time of year. Add a few plants that do well in autumn or sprinkle the garden with pumpkins and squashes.  
  3. Decorate for the fall season. This is the time of year to indulge in oranges and reds and yellows. Garnish the assisted living home with pumpkins and leaves. Add cinnamon candles to the hearth and apple pie to the menu. Take advantage of the natural outdoor world to provide you with indoor inspiration: sticks and pieces of wood and leaves found outside can add a lot of beauty inside. 
  4. Take a look at the activities calendar. What do residents really like?  Which activities attract a lot of people and which seem like they are barely attended? Brainstorm some new outings or events that could be fun permanent additions and come up with some fall-related activities. Memory care residents may like a trip to the pumpkin patch or just a walk outdoors to enjoy the changing of the seaons.
  5. Update the menu. Now is the time to look over what typical meals of the day include and see if there are ways to update or improve upon what is there. Can you add more hints of fall flavors to the meals? Try a pumpkin soup or a chicken chili. 

Assisted living homes are as good of places as any to reinvent and reimagine themselves at the start of a “new year”. In the month of habit-forming and organizing, now is the time to take a look at who you are and attempt to find the best version of yourself.