April 10, 2017

Assisted Living Residents Support Homeless Veterans

We certainly are a busy community at the Estates on Admiral’s Hill Assisted Living in Chelsea. One of our primary goals is to engage our residents in fun, innovative and meaningful activities, helping to make the transition to an assisted living as smooth as possible.

To this end, we can measure our success when our “welcoming committee” elicits wide smiles from our new residents. For example, we fill beautiful baskets with handy toiletries, stationery, and accessories, in an effort to provide all the comforts of “home.” In addition, one of our talented residents always makes a thoughtful and personalized card for every new member of our extended family. It is essential to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. This is the first of many interactions that enables our new residents to experience, first hand, our loving and supportive community.

In short, the committee’s goal is to bring happiness to others. This past winter, we wanted to expand our influences outside of the assisted living campus and reach the surrounding community. The underlying question for the committee: what area do we focus upon?  I have a friend who hosts an annual supply drive in honor of her late husband who was a veteran, and thought this could be a timely initiative, especially with the cold weather and holidays approaching. When I mentioned this concept to our residents, they enthusiastically embraced the idea. From there, it just took off!

The committee immediately reached out to the entire Estates community including residents, family members and staff. Everyone genuinely wanted to contribute to such an important cause. Plus, after the staff saw how passionate the residents were about this project, they too got caught up in the excitement. Before we knew it, gloves, hats, deodorants and toothpastes were stacked on top of the donation table. We had hundreds of items piled high for our homeless veterans! The warm feeling that we all felt was priceless; the sense of unity transcended words.

There and then, we decided to do it all over again next year. Of course, we’ll set a higher goal for next year’s drive. And we’re exploring options for other initiatives. Stay tuned for another new project!

This blog is courtesy of Yari Velez, Executive Director of the Estates on Admiral’s Hill in Chelsea, Massachusetts.