Wanting to provide seniors living at The Cardinal at North Hills with opportunities to share cultures and learn about different holiday traditions, Susan Drury-Rohner, wellness director at the senior living community, organized opportunities to celebrate all holidays this time of year. Residents who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa came together with residents who wanted to learn more about their customs. It was an educational, lighthearted and meaningful experience for all who chose to be a part of the celebrations.
“Get-togethers for all faiths were planned for all levels of living here at The Cardinal,” said Drury-Rohner. “While we put together a myriad of other festive events like ornament making, Christmas caroling, cookie decorating, church services and other crafts, we wanted residents to experience other cultural traditions. It was fascinating to try traditional holiday foods and play timeless games associated with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Having this cultural understanding helps us look at the varying, complex and evolving relationships between people, communities and culture. As the world becomes even more interconnected, the understanding we have for each other's religions, politics and heritage will determine how well we respect each other and work together to achieve harmony.”
Independent living residents, memory care residents and assisted living residents celebrated Hanukkah on December 13 with the Raleigh-Cary Jewish Family Services. They sang traditional songs, learned about the menorah and candle lighting and played with dreidels. On December 20 independent living and assisted living residents will gathered for Kwanzaa “Edutainment.” During this program, Dr. B. Angeloe Burch Sr., executive director for the African American Dance Ensemble, explained the meaning of Kwanzaa. In addition, he was accompanied by musicians and dancers who entertained the residents.
“Many of our residents have customs they shared with their families and friends for several years, some a lifetime,” said Tom Ford, executive director of The Cardinal at North Hills. “We strive to give residents opportunities for new and enriching experiences and hope that together, as a community, we can create new traditions that we cherish with each other.”