Resolutions for the new year

Adelaide Wood has big plans for 2019: play crib every Thursday so she can finally earn an elusive title.

“I’m going to start practising crib more and more so I can beat this fellow, John,” says Adelaide, 89, who lives at St. Joseph’s Auxiliary Hospital. “He calls me ‘crib champion,’ but he really is the crib champion.”

She admits that New Year’s resolutions are usually made to be broken, but not this year.

“I’m going to try to keep them. I’m going to try very hard to beat John at crib,” she adds, laughing.

As a new year approaches, people often discuss making resolutions, usually focused on improving physical fitness, learning new skills or developing good habits. For people living in long-term care, opinions vary on the value of resolutions.

St. Joseph’s resident Aaron Thompson, 44, believes resolutions are not just for January 1.

“I figure every day is a day for self-improvement. There’s always certain things like I’m going to lose weight or I’m going to start exercising. Well, why would you save it for New Year’s? Why not do it now?”

Aaron is in good company. Sister Marie Rose Hurtubise, 85, who lives at Youville Home in St. Albert, has a similar approach.

“I never make resolutions because I prefer living one day at a time and doing my best that day.”

Sister Rose-Anne Gauvin, 82, finds resolutions helpful. She writes them down and checks back later to see how she’s doing.

“I try to keep them. But if I don’t, I reread them and then after that I say to myself, well I can try again. Oftentimes, it’s just a reminder that I need.”

Sister Rose-Anne Gauvin writes down her resolutions and refers back to them throughout the year.

St. Joseph’s resident Donna Pierce, 83, says she’s had some success with resolutions in the past, particularly when it came to tracking expenses.

“Putting down how much money I spent on meat every week—that worked. It was getting less and less,” says Donna, laughing. “But I had to see it in money terms. I couldn’t just put down 10 pounds of roast beef.”

This year, she plans to tackle something a little more fun: learning to dance. That’s an ambitious goal considering an illness recently forced her to relearn how to walk.

“I never could dance,” she says, jokingly. “Now I have a reason, not being able to dance properly. I’ll try it again when my legs get stronger again.”

And sometimes New Year’s can be an opportunity to reflect on the past and recognize the joy we have in life. For Adelaide, 2018 was a difficult year. Her son died of cancer, she fell and broke her wrist, then got an infection and was on IV antibiotics for 42 days. But with five children, 15 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren, she has much to look forward to.

“When my grandchildren come and I haven’t seen them in a while, oh, it’s a joy.”

Contribute to The Vital Beat

Have a story to share about health care? An idea for an article? We value all contributions.

Submit an idea