As seniors get ready to move into a Senior Living Community or any other senior facility, there is a sense of hesitancy, reluctance mostly due to their independence. In the article ‘How Can Older People Play a Bigger Role in Society?’ by The Guardian, Roger Newman states that his concerns, “…are the usual things like health, mortality, money, etc, but having a feeling of significance is also important” – and seniors will get that feeling of significance the more they stay involved with their community. Recently, Dalton Chamber of Commerce President, Rob Bradham, visited Royal Oaks to talk about the six pillars to the ‘Believe in Greater Dalton’ campaign. One of the pillars was Community Pride – a sense of pride that radiates from our residents living at Royal Oaks. They love stating that they grew up and live in Dalton and also why is it important for them to stay involved.
In the same article by The Guardian, Anna McEwen talks about how seniors stay involved, “Older people have a wealth of skills and experiences; they have lived through situations others cannot even imagine…They have also contributed for many decades” – contributions to churches, schools, parks, scholarships – to give back to the community that supported them. McEwen goes on to talk about more ways to increase community pride throughout different age groups – “Intergenerational work is a great way to break down barriers between groups of people. For young people to appreciate the experiences and skills of older people and vice versa so that we foster greater understanding between groups of people.” Family members of seniors often live in the same local community, so not only are they giving back to the community, they are giving back to family and friends of the family. Everything stays rooted in something they are familiar and comfortable with, all while moving into a Senior Living Community that may seem so foreign. But, soon we learn that our neighbors in Retirement are just like us – giving back to the community, staying involved, and breathing in the fresh air of community pride.
When seniors are involved they feel that sense of importance and community pride, but mostly they realize that as they take that next step to move into a Senior Living Community the connection with their new neighbors isn’t that unfamiliar. They are just like them – staying involved, staying connected, and wanting to make the community a better place.