The Summer of 2020 has brought changes and new experiences to all our lives. Face masks and hand-sanitizer are our new everyday essentials, along with hand-washing and socially distanced gatherings. With these new changes we have all adapted and reworked our lives and spaces to reflect our new normal. Within this time, we at H.O.M.E. have been looking at how we can alter and redesign spaces within the Good Life Residences to make them more enjoyable and comfortable for our residents, how we can support social activities while maintaining social distance. A challenge, no doubt! And while our Leadership Team worked to develop and implement a fundraiser to redesign the Nathalie Salmon House Garden Room, the housing staff at H.O.M.E. was putting together their own project: the Concerned Resident Association.
Inspired by the collaborative approach of the focus groups facilitated by Alt Architecture in the planning of the garden room rehab, the housing staff at HOME wanted to create a concerned resident association to continue this streak of inclusion and activity. Since the Focus Groups ended in July, the Concerned Resident Association (CRA) has met twice so far to strategize and brainstorm together to ensure the garden room, as well as all elements of their home fulfill their current and future needs.
The residents’ concerns and plans include:
- Mask wearing in all parts of the building when not in your own apartment
- Limiting the number of people in the elevator
- Picking out a new patio set to facilitate safe distanced outdoor socialization
- Activities like:
- Line Dance Class meeting twice a week
- Movie night twice a month
- Chair exercise class meeting once a week
- Socially distanced BBQ’s
The residents are continuing to brainstorm other activities they would like to lead and see in the building. Along with planned activities and new rules/regulations, residents elected four floor leaders that will meet with the housing director, property manager, and maintenance supervisor monthly to address resident concerns and ideas.
By empowering our residents to become involved in the process of rehabbing one simple (but mighty important) room an entire movement was created! We at H.O.M.E. are overjoyed that these last few months our residents have uncovered the resiliency and power that lies within us all: our voice. The seniors who have felt empowered to take on these new roles as active participants in the Good Life Residences embody H.O.M.E.’s vision of older adults living independent and socially engaged lives.
With the winter months coming quick, the CRA will continue to meet and advocate for improvements to increase their safety and comfort at home, and the staff of H.O.M.E. couldn’t be more proud to be of service.