With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is in the air, and you can get a jump start on spreading joy and affection by participating in Random Acts of Kindness Week (RAK), February 11-17. During this seven-day celebration, participants are urged to make that extra effort by helping others, partnering with local community efforts, and making sure to spread the word on how love, compassion, and – of course – kindness can help make the world a better place.
According to the Random of Acts of Kindness Foundation, the event is “simply an opportunity to leave the world better than we found it and inspire others to do the same.”
Formally recognized in 1995, the seven-day RAK celebration plays upon the idea that kindness can be contagious. From schools to private companies to senior living facilities, RAK Week allows individuals and organizations to not just help others, but to encourage friends, colleagues, family, and friends to do the same.
For the senior living community, RAK Week can help forge stronger connections between caregivers, residents, and the community. For many older adults, isolation and a sense of aimlessness can lead to depression, anxiety, and a whole host of other health issues. For caregivers and families, providing care and support for an older family member or patient can be stressful and alienating.
Events like RAK Week can help seniors – and the people who care for them – feel happier and healthier. It is well known that helping others isn’t just beneficial to the recipient, but also brings joy and satisfaction to the giver. In fact, studies have shown that doing good for others can considerably improve mood and boost emotional well-being by reducing isolation, shifting perspectives, and triggering similar behavior in others.
In other words, happiness can be contagious!
One of the most essential aspects of RAK Week is that every effort, no matter how small, can have a tremendous impact. For seniors who may not have ample financial resources or who lack mobility, RAK Week is a chance to participate in a broader community effort without requiring a substantial commitment of time or money. Some activities appropriate for senior residents include sewing or knitting items for a local homeless shelter, reading to children, or sending thank you notes to volunteer organizations (like the local food bank) and first responders.
For senior living communities, RAK Week can be a time to encourage group activities, reach out to area schools and organizations for partnership opportunities, or even just hold a small celebration for residents. A potluck with visiting family members, a small concert, or even a game night can add just a little extra spark to the week and make residents feel more connected to the world around them.
Currently, the RAK Foundation boasts 15,708 registered RAKtivists from 87 countries ranging in age from 14-89. These world changers are educators, business executives, children, and – of course – retirees. They may come from diverse backgrounds and live wildly different lives, but they all have one thing in common: a commitment to spreading kindness and motivating others to do the same.
To learn more about Random Acts of Kindness Week, please click here.