KYW Regional Affairs Council
By Lynne Adkins
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — David Goldenberg (below right) knew it was time to move from his home to a senior community closer to his son and daughter-in-law, but that didn’t make it any easier.
“First night, second night, I stayed at their place,” he recalls. “And then I just made up my mind, ‘You have to put your foot in the water.’ And so that was it. I went — I came back.”
Teresa Altopiedi, director of marketing at the Watermark at Logan Square, says that’s a common first experience for residents at her senior facility.
“It’s like going to a college campus for the first time. They’re the new person on the block and they’re afraid of making new friends. They are afraid they won’t be accepted and afraid it is something that they won’t really enjoy. It’s a big challenge, a big change.”
To help, she says, most facilities go overboard welcoming new residents, so they can become part of the community as quickly as possible.
“The residents themselves have their own welcoming committee: different residents take the time to meet with new residents, introduce them to their friends, and in about a month they have 40 or 50 new acquaintances that they are doing things with.”
Altopiedi urges family members to visit frequently in the beginning, attend social gatherings and meals, and help mom and dad embrace their new home and lifestyle.
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Regional Affairs Council -- May 2012