In the days before Governor Pritzker issued the shelter in place order in Illinois, I was overcome with feelings of insecurity. Stories of government mandated lock-downs and climbing infection rates had already begun to dominate traditional news outlets. On social media, friends shared pictures of packed parking lots and notes of relief for having scored a 32-pack of toilet paper the week prior. In the building I live in, a neighbor struck up a well-meaning, but unsettling conversation, “At least we’re young. We should be fine.”
Senior Moments from H.O.M.E.
Topics: community, senior living, intergenerational housing, senior independence, food security, senior hunger, Older Americans Month, senior health, aging in community, intergenerational relationships, senior isolation
As you may or may not know H.O.M.E. owns, manages, and maintains three residential buildings dedicated to intergenerational living, which enables low-income seniors to live in either individual apartments or shared living.
There is a saying about motherhood; The days are long and the years are short. In our current situation, quarantining in a house with twin four year olds, a dog that sheds and barks like it’s her job and a spouse who also works full time – the days are especially long. Almost five years ago, after years of trying and a very good doctor, I gave birth to twin girls, Adelaide and Isabella. My husband and I do not have a lot of family that lives in the state, so from the time we came home with our bundles of joy we were on our own island of overtired parents, a very confused dog, and two babies.
Every May we are given the opportunity to celebrate older Americans and focus on their contributions in our lives and communities. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the annual observance which began in 1963 offers a special opportunity to learn about, support, and recognize our nation’s older citizens. The theme for 2020 is “Make Your Mark”, selected to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities. Their time, experience, and talents benefit family, peers, and neighbors every day. This year’s theme highlights the difference everyone can make – in the lives of older adults, in support of caregivers, and to strengthen communities even in these unprecedented times.
H.O.M.E. is a special place for our family, and is so for reasons both unique and universal. In my 20s I was looking for somewhere to donate all my furniture when I moved. I don’t remember how I found H.O.M.E., but all of it went to the residents. Although I have given nominal and increasing amounts every year since then, I really knew little about H.O.M.E. until I finally visited.
Your support ensures residents in our independent living apartments get homes that come with all the amenities.
The Nathalie Salmon House Good Life Senior Residences is preparing to say goodbye to long time cook, and former resident assistant Brandon Melby. Brandon, his partner Kara (former resident assistant turned Good Life Senior Residences coordinator of the Pat Crowley House), and their two children Ethan (age 4) and Rayna (4 months) have been living in one of the four family apartments in the Nathalie Salmon House for the past 5 years.
Beth, Jason, and their now three-year-old son Henry moved into the Pat Crowley House in early 2017.
Like many growing families they were looking to move to a bigger space at an affordable price. When they found a listing for the third floor apartment at the Pat Crowley House it seemed too good to be true. After they came in for a tour of the apartment they were hooked on H.O.M.E.’s intergenerational housing model.
With a recent documentary as well as the upcoming film starring Tom Hanks, the iconic children's program Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood is having a renaissance moment. At H.O.M.E., we've been inspired by the show, too.
“Like cattle. They were just hauling them out,” said a certified nursing assistant about to lose her job of 29 years at a rural South Dakota nursing home in Mobridge, closing because it ran out of money.