Residents Develop New, Lasting Friendships in Senior Living Communities
Years ago, before I was involved in the senior living business, my Mom Marilyn would talk of her sister Harriet — 17 years her senior — whose husband had passed and was living away from her Chicago home and family in Marco Island, FL. Marilyn and sister Lorraine tried to get Harriet to return home and live in an assisted living or retirement community so she would not be so isolated living alone, even with caregivers. At the time, my mom and aunt recognized the value of socialization in keeping their social sister vibrant and engaged.
Now that I am involved in running an assisted living Houston, TX retirement community, I am more convinced that my Mom was right in wanting sister Harriet to move to an active independent living communitiy. My Mom believed that that seniors are better off if they reside in a retirement community that provides the opportunity to sociaize and interact with their peers in many settings — three times daily at meals, during weekly entertainment events, at various activities, lectures and religious services, and just during a stroll around the community. My Mom thought that her sister would be more active than if the family paid for caregivers and spent most of her time alone, without peers in her apartment.
Read the Houston Chronicle story about the Golden Girls of Treemont Retirement Community. These four ladies (see above photo) have only recently moved to a retirement home within the year. As single women,residents Camille Scalise, Betty Davenport, Elizabeth Jahn and Ethyl Van Tine (in photo on left after "winning" an April Fools joke), immediately bonded, forging an enduring friendship and have now become the community's "welcoming committee." They enjoy each other's company and want to share their joy with new residents (Marie Lynn Hayes above) who move into this retirement community in Houston, TX.
One might also be interested to hear testimonials from seniors who made the decision to downsize and move to an independent living community. One resident Helen talks about the value of being social with one's peers:
Helen: I enjoy going to the dining room 3 times a day. I think the most important thing is just being around people. Some people don’t come down to eat 3 times a day. They say they’re not hungry. If they aren’t hungry, let them come down sit at the the table and just drink a cup of coffee and visit and be around people. I think that’s very important.
There is much documentation on the value of social interaction and friendships in keeping seniors happy and content. Active Activities Programs are key to resident happiness in retirement communities. Please make sure you ask about such programs when you tour senior living Houston TX communities. Click to read about Treemont's engaging residents, your future neighbors!