A new year arrives like a clean, white, blank open page. It is yours to write on, to paint, to scribble, to create your own story. But it is not without history – we are the sum total of all the years that we have lived. We carry with us the hurts of last year, the successes and failures of all the previous pages. But we do have the power to rewrite some of it. To kiss and make up, to forgive and forget and to reconnect, also to start a new story.

In our world of care for older people, we are co-creators in the lives of those we care for. We can help write a new story, relook at old stories and perhaps reinterpret some of it. It is our caring hand, our smile, and our hugs that will help to create new stories that might just replace the sad ones.

Be mindful. In every Care Home we are given the privilege and opportunity to make a difference through the relationships that we foster. It is not about the plate of food or the medicine that we dispense, but about our being there, our mindfulness of the importance of connecting, of just standing still for a moment, of acknowledging each other and of truly being there in that moment.

Be creative. Life can so easily become a routine of chores and tasks. Get out of the box, no in fact throw away the box! Challenge the routine, put that ice cream in a cone rather than on a plate, have a picnic or a braai or a midnight feast. Dress up, dance, sing, go crazy!

Write a new story.

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