I take the left turn into my mother’s assisted living community and start up the long winding driveway funneling me toward the main entrance. A rolling green lawn is on my left accented with an idyllic looking white picket fence and pleasant looking pine trees on the right. The building is sprawling but fits seamlessly into the local landscape.
As I approach the guest parking in front of the main entrance, I hear and feel the low thump thump thump of my tires hitting the cobblestone pavers. When I get out of the car and walk to the door, it’s hard to miss the farmers porch (more of a patio but you get the point) lined with inviting white rocking chairs and nice planters full of local flowers scattered about just right. The chairs face the parking lot but somehow still look like a nice place to sit and relax. I remember the first time I came to look at the place. It kind of felt like I was walking into a nice hotel–not an assisted living community.
Bright and clean
The entrance way is beautiful. It’s bright and clean–building on the tone set by the exterior. The ceilings are high and there are comfortable sitting areas every where you look. It’s five years old and still fresh. The dining room, the movie ‘theater’, the library, Mom’s apartment–they all have a bright and fresh feel.
Mom’s lived here almost a year now. I visit often and appreciate the look and feel of the building and grounds every time. As her son and caregiver, I’m never not worrying about Mom. So every time I walk in those doors I’m reminded of how nice it feels there and breathe a little sigh of relief.
But the people make it special
All of that’s great (really) but what pulls it all together–and makes Mom’s assisted living community truly great–is the people. And their smiles. That’s what makes it the right place for Mom. As Lindsay says in this post:
“It’s the people that matter, not the amenities.”
When I leave at the end of a visit, I feel comforted. Even if she’s having a bad day, I leave feeling happy about where she is because:
- I know she’s safe
- I know the people really know Mom
- I know the people really care
The team at Mom’s assisted living is courteous, friendly, and detail oriented. They’re detail oriented as it relates to ensuring the community operates smoothly, but more importantly, they’re detail oriented as it relates to knowing their residents. The effort they make to get to know the resident–who they are now, who they were in the past, who they are in totality–is beautiful. This is how they make Mom feel at home.
Details and Smiles
Even more simply, the staff smiles. Every person on the staff smiles. All. the. time. It creeped me out at first. This can’t be genuine. We’re new here so this is an extension of the sales process I thought. It’ll fade. I was wrong. It’s legit.
Perhaps it’s trained, maybe it’s hired, but either way the smiles are powerful, reliable, and difference making. If Mom comes out of her room, she knows she’s going to encounter nice, warm, and contagious smiles. Whether Mom realizes it or not, this has an impact. I see it every time I’m there and I’m thankful.
So after a visit, when I feel the thump thump thump of my tires on the cobblestone as I head toward the exit, it feels like I’m leaving a nice hotel. But it’s way better. Because of the people and the way they care.
That’s what makes Mom’s assisted living community so great.
Can you relate?
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