It feels like the summer has just started, but unfortunately the time for me to say goodbye has come. These past seven weeks have gone by so much faster than I expected.
I am so thankful and blessed to have worked alongside coworkers who were willing to let me take part in their role in the company and with residents who were willing to open their home to me.
Life in Good Life Senior Residences is always changing
Being an intern and working with Good Life Senior Residences, I learned quickly that the tasks I would be doing were going to change every day. At the beginning, there were some tasks that were challenging or made me anxious about coming into work.
However, in the end, those were the ones that impacted this experience the most, pushing me to understand that I want to continue working with the aging community long-term.
One of the things that I was nervous about was connecting with the seniors individually. Even though I was apprehensive, I was able to build relationships with the residents by going on their shopping trips, as well as attending a special outing with them.While these events were great, I most enjoyed hanging out with the residents at the houses.
The more time I spent with the residents, the more I got to see how Good Life Senior Residences brings the seniors together.
The Good Life residents are a family
By spending time at the Pat Crowley House and Nathalie Salmon House, I was able to gain a new understanding of the residents who are living in Good Life Senior Residences. The seniors have their own bedrooms, but there are communal living spaces that bring them together.
I’ve taken joy in noticing the residents becoming a family when they come together in these spaces. The residents become a support system for each other and talk about difficulties that they are going through, as well as laugh and have fun together. I was able to see many moments where the residents were bonding--both at the houses and out on special events.
It was apparent that the residents care for one another; they trust each other and use one another for encouragement. One senior has been struggling with happiness and feeling depressed at times. Good Life Senior Residences has been a big help for her.
We were able to assist her in making an encouragement book. She picked out quotes that we wrote down for her to read when she is feeling down. One quote she chose was, “Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.”
Good Life Senior Residences is a way this resident—and others--can find encouragement in friends.
My favorite outings with the residents
The Good Life residents always look forward to going on outings. This summer, I was able to experience the Clark House Museum with the residents where we learned about the history of the oldest house in Chicago.
We also took a relaxing day at the movies. These were some of my favorite moments because I was able to see the residents interact with each other. I feel lucky to have experienced the excitement about the activities that we were doing.
The Good Life Senior Residences provides individuals that need housing with a home, allowing them to live in a community that becomes family. I’m thankful that I was able to be part of this family, even for just a short period of time.