Getting Involved in a Senior Living Community
“I read and write Yiddish, and when talking to other residents I found that they were interested in learning too,” said Ruth, who lives at Landow House Assisted Living in Rockville, Md. “I organized a Yiddish club, and took leadership of it. Out of the 60 residents who lived here at the time, 28 showed up for the first meeting!”
Ruth said the experience of bringing people together made her realize how to break down resistance to change and truly accept her living situation.
“Don’t fight it, accept it from the heart,” she said. “I know it’s difficult because we all get sentimental about the last place we lived.”
Ruth lived in her home in Garrett Park, Md. for nearly 55 years until, after knee surgery, the property became too difficult for her and her caretaker to maintain. A long driveway that needed to be shoveled, lots of woodland and a four-story home became too much too manage.
“At that time, my kids and I sat down together and talked about what I was going to do,” said Ruth. “We all decided I should go into assisted living.”
Once she made the decision to seek senior living options, the main question for Ruth was not when to move, but where to move.
“My son in California wanted me to move near him, and my two daughters in New Hampshire wanted me to move by them,” she recalled. “I didn’t want to create any friction between them so I decided to stay put right here near my own home.”
After her first husband died when her children were ages four and nine months, she moved to California to be near his family. After working for several years in public relations, she met her second husband, a writing correspondent from Washington who was working in the area.
“He wooed me long distance,” she said, laughing.
She moved to the Washington area when her husband’s work brought him back there, and the family settled down in Garrett Park. They had another child together, and lived a very happy life in the house, said Ruth.
Her children helped her move many of her things from her old home in the Landow House. Her shelves are lined with family photographs and souvenirs from the travels she made throughout Europe, Central Asia and China with her husband.
“I trust everyone.” said Ruth of her community.