But sometimes people who must live in assisted living or nursing homes feel worthless and become depressed because they don't think they can do anything to make a difference in the world.
Expressing gratitude to a staff member can brighten that person's day, and perhaps they'll go on to do something else as a result that wouldn't have happened otherwise.
Other residents, especially grouchy or depressed ones, need some personal contact even if they seem not to want it. Just a comment now and then with no pressure to respond might help to cheer them up a little bit.
New residents often value having someone welcome them.
And people in facilities like that usually have time for prayer, which really can make a difference.