Today the Good Life Coordinators are taking over Senior Moments from H.O.M.E.! I am the coordinator at Nathalie Salmon House (NSH) and Maggie is the coordinator at Pat Crowley House (PCH).
Maggie and I have been a part of the H.O.M.E. family for nearly a year. With my background in social work and Maggie’s in gerontology, we may have thought we knew what we were walking into, but we have learned a lot about what the Good Life is all about.
If you’re familiar with H.O.M.E. and our Intergenerational Housing program, you may think you know the Good Life residents, but you have no idea! The seniors of Good Life are full of surprises and no one knows that better than we do! If you are thinking about spending time with our residents at the Good Life Senior Residences you should know these 5 facts first!
1. Our residents have vibrant active lives
Good Life residents have more active social lives than these two 33 year olds do! Our residents are always on the go – shopping, going to the latest movie, taking in plays, concerts, and vacationing. Some residents love museums, some art history, and some residents are into culinary adventures.
Our residents receive help with cleaning, cooking, and laundry, but there is so much more to them. Good life residents have a lifetime of experience to share – some of our residents are chemists, law students, hair dressers, nurses, singers, band members, veterans, seamstresses, and much more!
2. Community is alive and well in the Good Life
There seems to be a lot of bad news about people not getting along – well that’s not the case here! At Good Life our residents, Resident Assistants, cooks, coordinators, and everyone else involved in H.O.M.E. are actively contributing to our thriving intergenerational community.
Residents enjoy weekly outings to places like the beach, movies, and museums. PCH residents also have movie afternoons with popcorn and candy. At the Good Life NSH, residents have regular community run activities like book club, Purls of Wisdom (a knitting and crafting group), game day (we usually play bingo), religious study group, and Fitness Fridays!
Residents host a monthly Community Dinner that is full of sing-a-longs, laughter, live music, and great food. The latest gathering was at my house. My family and I had so much fun enjoying our community that my husband wants to make it a yearly event.
3. Our residents love good food and meeting new people!
Looking to volunteer but not sure what you can do? Want to connect with 12-15 senior citizens and 4-6 young adults who live with them?
One of our most popular volunteer opportunities is “Guest Chef”, this is where an individual, family, or a group of volunteers come to cook a meal for our residents and spend some time getting to know them. This is such a fun occasion, everyone at the Good Life loves when a Guest Chef comes to visit!4. Intergenerational living is a trip!
Resident Assistants like Madya, a 29 year old DePaul student have built strong bonds at the Good Life Senior Residences at Nathalie Salmon House. Madya has a slew of inside jokes with Mable, a 76 year old retired nurse, the two can often be heard giggling over coffee and sweet rolls in the morning.
Madya has a weekly meeting with Ana, a 69 year old resident assistant turned resident to work on her knitting skills. This college student is getting an education inside and outside of the classroom. She is learning about community service, how society views and treats older adults, and that friendship knows no age.
PCH’s youngest resident, Henry, is having a very exciting childhood. This two year old is growing up around seniors and he is loving it. Henry is not alone, NSH has several families with young children who live in the building. They have the opportunity to create bonds and relationships with people 60-90+ years older than themselves.
Their parents are able to watch their children interact with the seniors and also watch what a big impact these little people have on the older generations. I can see the change in residents when my two year old twins visit the Good Life residents of NSH. Even the residents who never want to smile just light up around the kids. They bring so much joy.
5. We want you to be involved
Speaking as 33 year olds – it seems that the hardest part about getting older is feeling as though you are being forgotten. H.O.M.E. works hard to give low income seniors a voice and ensure that they can remain independent for as long as they can. We tell their stories, we fight their fights, we walk with them through their lives, but it is hard to do it alone.
H.O.M.E. and the Good Life Senior Residences rely on volunteers to help lift some of the burden off seniors in Chicago. If you have a talent, passion, gift, or even a pet – come share them with us!
Our seniors need community involvement and volunteering is a good for you!
Did you know that you are never too young to volunteer? The Good Life loves when families come to visit our residents – everyone has a great time and seniors are the best at holding babies!
Do you want updates and tips in your inbox every week? Remember to subscribe to Senior Moments from H.O.M.E.