IRVINE, Calif., June 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- After a year like no other, Americans have gained a new perspective when it comes to attaining joy in their lives. Comfort Keepers®, a market-leading provider of uplifting home care for seniors and adults who need assistance, will celebrate its third annual National Day of Joy on June 30, 2021. Comfort Keepers founded this national holiday, which occurs each year on the last Wednesday of June, to emphasize the importance of individuals finding joy, no matter their age, to boost their overall physical, mental and emotional health.
"Even before the pandemic, Comfort Keepers believed in the importance of joy and delivering hope, love and purpose to people we care for regardless of their age," said Carl McManus, Chief Executive Officer, Comfort Keepers, North America. "Even in the most difficult of times this past year, our network of compassionate, resourceful caregivers found ways to uplift, boost and inspire their clients – a practice that they will continue to embrace even when the pandemic comes to an end. For many of us, this past year became a valuable learning experience where we see the benefits of slowing down, connecting with family and appreciating the little things that bring us the most happiness."
National 2021 'State of Joy' Survey Each year, as part of the National Day of Joy, Comfort Keepers conducts a survey that polls Americans on their perspectives about joy, including specific activities that bring them happiness and evolving attitudes about joy in light of current events. The survey was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Comfort Keepers from April 29-May 1 and polled 2,000 Americans; 1,000 of those surveyed were 30+ years of age with children and at least one living parent, and 1,000 were people aged 65+. Highlights from the survey are outlined below:
Americans Find Joy in People – Not Places, Events or Things Last year's survey saw Americans missing dining out, travel and personal freedom the most. They looked at the pandemic as a circumstance that prevented them from doing everyday activities. This year as the country continues to open up, respondents find the most joy in connecting with family and loved ones over restaurants, traveling and even wearing masks less often.
Seeing family members (42%) and spending time with them (38%) brings Americans more joy than traveling (37%), seeing close friends (32%) or not wearing a mask as often (28%).
Seniors over the age of 65 prioritized seeing family the most (55%), compared to last year, when dining at a restaurant topped their post-pandemic to-do list.
People plan to see their loved ones as soon as they're vaccinated (45%), before attending a sporting event (20%) and frequenting the beach or pool (27%).
At the start of the pandemic, most Americans found the most joy in talking to family and friends via phone/video calls (24%) over watching a comforting TV show/movie (19%) and spending time outside (13%). In fact, 62% of Americans agree that talking with family members on the phone or video chat was the highlight of their weeks in quarantine.
When asked to name the first thing they can think of that brings them joy, many respondents named children, grandchildren or spouses.
Seniors have Mastered the Art of The Text and Use Social Media to Bond with the Grandkids Connecting with loved ones virtually became a fact of life for so many people during the pandemic- an activity that seniors mastered to keep up with the grandkids.
One in three people over the age of 65 now prefer texting to phone calls.
One in three seniors learned how to use social media and brushed up on their pop culture as a way to bond with the younger members of their family.
Those over 65 even have favorite emojis — the heart (43%) and the happy face (43%) are getting the most use. Other popular emojis for those over 65 included the beer emoji and assorted animals.
One in 10 have even surpassed emoji use and now send GIFs to stay in touch with their grandchildren.
Nearly one in five (17%) were introduced to Netflix by their kids or grandkids.
Pandemic Brought a New Perspective on Living Joyfully The pandemic will have a long-term impact on respondents' day-to-day lives with people seeing the benefits of slowing down and taking the time to appreciate all they have.
Four in 10 say they learned to "stop and smell the roses" and "savor every moment".
43% will now try not to "sweat the small stuff".
Two in five (42%) say the prospect of seeing family members again as the pandemic gradually recedes brings them the most joy.
80% of survey respondents believe the world needs more joy.
"Sometimes we get so caught up in our fast-moving lives that it almost takes a global pandemic to make people really slow down and appreciate the little things that bring us the most joy," said Alexis Abramson, PhD, Lifestyle Gerontologist, author and spokesperson for Comfort Keepers. "The National Day of Joy reminds us to find happiness in everyday moments and that embracing joy can improve mood, ease anxiety and help with our overall well-being. Our survey uncovered that connecting with family, spouses and friends brings us the greatest amount of joy over anything else, so let's not forget to reach out to our loved ones and remind them how much they mean to us."
The holiday falls in line with the overall Comfort Keepers' mission - to find ways to deliver joy, positivity and elevate the human spirit in their clients' lives every day at a time when 80% of survey respondents believe the world needs more joy. Now that we are emerging from the global pandemic, the holiday reminds people to appreciate the simple things in life that bring us joy and happiness to help get through even the most difficult of times.
The National Day of Joy is being celebrated in more than 100 locations nationwide where Comfort Keepers has a presence and will include both virtual and local celebrations and various social media extensions. To participate in the National Day of Joy Challenge, share three pictures of something or someone that brings joy on social media and nominate three people to take the challenge using #NationalDayofJoy. For more information about the National Day of Joy and Comfort Keepers services, visit www.ComfortKeepers.com.
About Comfort Keepers® For more than two decades, Comfort Keepers® has been Elevating the Human SpiritSM through its in-home care network for seniors and other adults by empowering them to maintain their independence and realize joy in the everyday moments. Comfort Keepers is a division of Sodexo, the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life. Sodexo serves 100 million consumers each day in 67 countries, through its unique combination of On-site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Comfort Keepers operates a franchise network that has grown to more than 700 locations around the world. In addition to providing services that focus on health care and senior markets, Sodexo's integrated offerings encompass more than 45 years of experience in reception, safety, maintenance and cleaning, foodservices, facilities and equipment management, and concierge services. For more information, visit ComfortKeepers.com.