This past April, a new resident, Joan, moved into the Pat Crowley House.
After living in the same apartment for 23 years, Joan and her adult son were searching for a new place to live when their building was undergoing foreclosure.
Joan discovered intergenerational housing through a program called Intensive Case Advocacy and Support for Self-Neglecting Seniors (ICAS), when H.O.M.E.’s case manager arranged for Joan to meet our Good Life Coordinator.
Once Joan’s son, who has a developmental disability, found a new job and was able to move to an independent living residence, Joan began by living at PCH for three weeks on a trial period. She must like it because she’s still there!
Joan, Photo by Emily Frank
A big move and a sense of belonging
When Joan first arrived at PCH, she admits that she was “kinda nervous.” She considered herself a “loner” since she was used to living on her own. She also wasn’t used to hearing neighbors wake up so early, but she came to the conclusion, “I guess you have to beat ‘em or join ‘em!” So, she’s started to wake up early with them.
Joan decided she wanted to stay at PCH because there’s a “real sense of belonging.” She enjoys the community at PCH and says, while it’s an adjustment getting used to different people, “There are such nice people here. Each individual is so different.”
When Joan comes home from work, she exclaims, “Hello! I’m home!” Then she shares events from her day with other residents. Though she’s happy that she still has the independence to come and go on her own as she pleases, she really appreciates that at PCH she never feels alone. Even if a person doesn’t show up to dinner she notices that others check in to make sure the person is doing well. She says this is good in case there has been an emergency.
Making new friends: The Three Musketeers
Over Joan’s first few months at PCH, she has grown close with two other residents and they now refer to themselves as the Three Musketeers. They constantly giggle and sing with one another. Joan says that they tell people, “No, we’re not drinking, but it sounds like we are!” Having these two close friends “makes [her] feel good”.
The three of them often talk to one another about their lives and she feels helpful being able to lift their spirits. One example where Joan felt loved was when her friend took her to her first day of work so that Joan could familiarize herself with the route. Joan said, “I felt like a toddler going to school. I wanted her stay with me!”
Intergenerational Housing feels like home
At PCH, Intergenerational Housing is in full bloom as a young family just moved in on the third floor. They have a son, Henry, who is 20 months old. Joan enjoys when he comes down to visit early in the morning and plays in the backyard. Joan expressed that the “Three Musketeers” have offered to babysit, since they all have experience caring for children.
Joan also praised the Resident Assistants at PCH saying they are “really good, always ask if you need anything”. She mentioned how hard they work and she said, “I get tired just watching them.”
She feels especially close with the Resident Assistant, Konrad. She tells us, “One day he was saying that his legs were tired and I told him he should take a nap—and he did! I asked if he felt better, and he did. Mama knows! He listened to me. I feel like I’m with my son, even though I could be his grandmother.”
Joan’s first few months shows us just how much our unique Intergenerational Housing program feels like a family.
Overall, Joan says, PCH “feels like going home” and as soon as one moves in, “you get a feeling right away…feels good.”
Click below to find out more about how H.O.M.E.'s Intergenerational Program is benefiting the seniors.