I HOPE this is the future of senior living communities!
If you have been following my blog you should know that my feeling on what really needs to be changed in senior living is to have younger people living (not working or visiting) alongside the elders. Less segregation by age and ability.
Take a look at this story about a minor league baseball player who got “placed” in an assisted living community instead of the more typical host family scenario.
This story illustrate the importance of purpose in all of our lives. Look at how one small change to this community has given new purpose to the entire community. Its exciting to see how the stigma of this community has changed by simply adding one new resident.
This quote from the article says alot about the state of senior living, but it also says alot about how easy it is for us to change our “system”.
Eighty-four-year-old Meda Dennis, who has been living in the center for four years, said Faiola’s arrival is the most exciting thing to happen since a good Elvis impersonator showed up.
“It’s been quite exciting because he’s young and new and interesting and we’re old,” she joked.
Josh and his teammates think he is lucky because he has a nice apartment with a washer and dryer, but simply by moving in he has given an entire community new purpose. The support and love that he will recieve by delivering such a gift should have his teammates wanting to sleep in the hallways to grasp on to some of that mojo!
Why should this stop with one resident? What if we reversed the scenario and created a “dormitory” for minor league players that also happens to be the home for some elders as well. Can you imagine the reception that a new player would receive on move in day when he is being sent down from the majors or his first day in a new city? Better yet, put the community right next to the ballfield and let the elders help with the stadium operations! Now its not a “old folks home” anymore, its a vibrant and unique community where the residents support each other and have a purpose.
Josh is a headline grabbing story, that I have no doubt is being discussed in a few Hollywood boardrooms as I type. I hope that every minor league sports team starts looking at the senior living communities in their area for similar placements for their players. The same thing can be accomplished with the integration of less noteable residents.Think of all the other programs that might be created for exchange students, foster children, college interns, business people on extended projects, individuals going through a divorce or separation could provide residents with purpose and benefit from the wisdom and support of the elders.
Cindy Griffiths-Novak the catalyst of this project is my hero!