Yesterday Greg and I had the opportunity to observe people in action. People who manage a retirement community here in our area. They were gracious hosts and showed us what they do to make a safe and comfortable environment for senior adults age 55 and older. It is an independent living community, filled with many amenities, love and warmth.
The facility itself is large and beautiful – but what was impressive to us – were the people who live there. Everyone was happy, in good humor and eager to meet a new friend. When we first walked up to the facility a couple of older gentlemen sitting outside the front doors flirted with me right in front of Greg,- telling me that I had made their day – so cute 🙂 Greg got a real kick out of it and teased them back, which they found very endearing. We walked in to the large lobby where an art display was in progress. The artist was a sweet lady in her 80’s that got started with art lessons at age 69! There was wine and cheese and a display of her pictures with everyone milling around. And we found to our amazement, someone we had known from a staff position at a nearby church about 5 years ago. Greg had baptized this man and he had remembered the experience with fond memories. It was great to talk with him and find out he had been in this facility for 19 months and LOVED IT!
In this unique independent living facility – the live in managers either make or break any feelings or atmosphere for the senior adults. It was great to witness that this management couple was doing something right. This kind of lifestyle is certainly not for everyone, but the rewards can far outweigh the drawbacks – because like church work – it is about people. It is about ministry in the truest form – serving people.
Our unique perspective was in witnessing the dynamic of happy people living with a group of people who thrive on love, attention and time.
I think we are all like the people who live there. We thrive when someone takes a special interest in us – someone who makes us feel special, our needs are important – and someone who really listens and understands. It is a shame to think that we must become senior adults to have people pay attention to us in that way.
It is a lesson to all of us on this side of retirement. It is a great reminder that life is short. Enjoy each day as it comes. Live each day to the fullest. Listen to others. Make others feel safe in your company. Make others feel wanted and special. Love on people. Watch what happens. See people blossom right in front of your eyes.