In honor of Independence Day, I started thinking about what Independence means, and why we put such a high value on it in senior living.
As a country, it seems obvious in retrospect that the colonies wanted the ability to choose their own destiny which they believed was unique and different from the King of England. There seems to be quite a few similarities between the values our forefathers had, and the continued values we place on independence: freedom, control, and destiny in our communities.
In the senior living communities we serve, there are frequent discussions that revolve around independence. Resident rights, mobility and access, quality of services, and the respect and dignity of our elders. The bottom line is that the services we provide could be tied to maintaining independence for the residents we serve.
As far back as our memory goes, many of us could remember the lessons we were taught growing up: “be independent, think for yourself, follow your own path, we are all unique, if Johnny jumped off a bridge would you follow him?” This value of thinking for ourselves has been engrained in our DNA.
If we think about the way we position our senior living communities, our design is resident centric. What this means is that everything we do, we do from the perspective of the residents we serve. We do our best to make them feel like they are in their own home. We create menus based not only on dietary needs but the expectations of the residents. Our facilities are designed to be easily accessible so our residents can navigate independently without assistance. Our activities are determined to help our communities enhance their intellectual pursuits, artistry, knowledge recognition, and ability to stay connected with the broader world.
Everyone wants to be in control of their destiny, so we spend great amounts of time focusing on Resident Rights. This effort is designed to remind of us the respect and dignity that we must have at the forefront of our culture to provide the most comfortable home we can for those that have given us the responsibility to care for them.
Most residents chose our particular home because it had the closest environment and amenities to what they loved about being in their own home. They chose your location for many reasons, but it was tied to the deep emotional desire to feel like it could be their home. And they could see themselves going to dinner to meet new people, engage in activities with likeminded people and generally fit the criteria of remaining as independent as health would allow.
Our residents may have a few health issues and need some assistance to remain independent, but it does not mean our residents value independence any less. They may value it more.
So, as we think about Independence Day and why we celebrate, let us use it as a reminder to always keep our resident’s wishes at the forefront of our minds and processes. We all deserve to be independent and in control of our destiny, but some of the people we care for need our help to maintain theirs.
Thank you for all you do keeping our senior communities safe, independent, and thriving!
The PRIME Services Team