Just who would let a young ballplayer move into an assisted living?

I had nice conversation the other day with Cindy Griffiths-Novak the owner of The Belvedere Assisted Living, the pioneering assisted living residence that was host to a minor league baseball player this summer.

I was pleased to learn the Cindy is a follower of this blog, and when I asked her if she was planning to host another ball player next season, she replied that some of our postings have inspired her to think about other people or groups that might make ideal “non-traditional” residents. She said that the residents are very excited, especially since the experience with Josh were so positive.

As Cindy started the process of applying to be a host family, she stated “I was a little skeptical. I was concerned about who are we were bringing into the community and the safety of the residents”. She shared that of her thoughts were quelled by the Lake Erie Crushers management and how much screening they do for their host families and players. The Crushers instill in the players how important their behavior is in the community on and off the field. “The safety of our residents in my primary concern.”

Cindy stated, “I really wanted a married player because I figured it would minimize the potential of a wild single ball player disrupting the community.”

Cindy said that Josh and his wife really embraced the situation. “I don’t know a lot of young people that honor and respect elders like Josh did. He is a really smart kid and is the cream of the crop. It was his sensitivity and the way he was raised that made it a great experience.”

In the end, the experience exceeded everything Cindy ever imagined. “Baseball is as intergenerational as it gets.”

“We called Josh the rock star because the residents would gather around him anytime he was in the community. However, when Josh was in his apartment the residents and staff honored his privacy and gave him his downtime.”

Cindy has worked in senior living and long term care for many years, in addition to The Belvedere, her family has owns several long-term care centers. Over the years Cindy has been frustrated at all the negative stories in the media surrounding the long-term care industry, “It has always been my goal to try and get some of the positive stories out there.”

Cindy had some more great news; she just found out that Ohio Assisted Living Association will be presenting her with an award at their annual conference this year.

I am honored to have made the connection to Cindy. With her passion and leadership, I am confident that there will be many more positive stories coming out of The Belvedere in the future!

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