"Seasoned" Friendships; Making Friends In Assisted Living

 "Seasoned" Friendships; Making Friends In Assisted Living

Per the U.S. National Archives, a Captain’s Log is a listing of the daily activities of a U.S. Navy ship; in Star Trek, it was also used to record the general thoughts and reflections of the Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. I’m not a Navy Captain, but am the Air Force equivalent, so I’m using this vehicle to record my observations and reflections as they relate to my position as the owner of Assisted Living Locators – Nashville. I’ll be updating this blog with regular entries, and as new observations hit me. I hope you enjoy it, and perhaps learn something new about the world of senior living.

"Seasoned Friends"

I am truly blessed that I regularly communicate and see many friends I’ve known for several decades. I learned the value of “seasoned” relationships (in the senior living industry you hesitate to use the term “old”) from my parents whose friendships began in their earliest years. Those of you who know me and my reason for starting Assisted Living Locators – Nashville are aware my Mom passed away a couple of years ago. Her memorial service was filled with people who had loved my Mom throughout her life: high school friends, church friends, neighbors, and co-workers. They enjoyed her because she was a happy, caring, and fun person, and because she spread joy to everyone she met.

I was reminded of her impact on others last Saturday as I was watching a Nebraska Cornhusker football game with the Nashville Husker Alumni Club. A few people I went to high school with happened to be visiting Nashville and came down to our watch party at the Tin Roof 2 in Franklin. I had not seen any of these people for decades, but I knew them in high school so was very happy to see them. They all gave their condolences for my Mom’s passing, which I appreciated, but one of the guys, David, went further. He made a special point to tell me how he remembered my Mom being kind, friendly, and fun, and how she made the things she was involved in more enjoyable. David had likely not seen my Mom for thirty years, yet he still remembered her spirit. His sharing that with me was a true gift.

Tim tuttle and Friends at the Tin Roof 2.

A "Laurel Boy"

My Dad also knows the value of long-term friendships. As a matter of fact, he’s the subject of a chapter in a short book about growing up in Laurel, Nebraska, written by Jon Ericson, one of his childhood friends. Laurel Boy, Lessons Learned. (Available on Amazon:) Chapter IV, titled “Gary,” details both an ill-fated football game and a trip across Northeast Nebraska and memory lane Jon took with both my Dad and my Mom. Through the words you can feel the love my parents had for their friends and for each other. Everyone they met, and continue to meet in regard to my Dad, are the beneficiaries of their warmth and love, as am I.

Portrait of promo booth for Laurel Boy, a book by Jon Ericson.

Segue to later this month where my Dad is moving into a senior apartment in Nebraska. After Mom’s death, Dad has continued to live in the same apartment he and Mom had for several years. He’s maintained his positive attitude and has been able to get along well - heck he’s still been working - but even with a lot of help from my brothers in the area, it’s time for him to move into a place designed for seniors. Thankfully and wonderfully, he’s very excited to move into a place where he’ll have people his age to socialize with. My Dad will be missed in his little town, however. My brother Mike told me he mentioned to a member of the local volunteer fire department our Dad was moving to a senior community closer to Omaha. Mike was somewhat surprised, but certainly gratified, that the guy was genuinely sad to hear Gary would no longer be coming by to eat lunch at their weekly fundraiser. Still making friends; still spreading joy.

Shout out to Harmony Brentwood

Per my standard practice, I wanted to throw a shout out to one of my partners in the senior service industry here in the Nashville area, and the shout out for Harmony at Brentwood is related to making friends.

I recently had the privilege of touring Harmony at Brentwood with a client family I was working with. During the tour it became clear my client was a social, engaging gentleman, but since he hadn’t been living in Middle Tennessee, he had no friends in the area. Anna, the Marketing Co-Director, quickly identified this, correctly surmised just what kind of guy my client would want to hang out with, and took us to an apartment to meet my client’s first new friend in Nashville. The tour went on longer than typical, and it centered on one, already occupied, room, but the result was predictable. My client is now a happy resident of Harmony at Brentwood, and his son and daughter-in-law are excited to have him living nearby. Kudos to Anna and the whole staff for making him feel welcome in his new home, and thank you for making my job both easier and more fulfilling. Friendships are important, even essential, throughout our lives and it is critical senior communities are adept at nurturing these relationships. Harmony at Brentwood certainly excels in this area.

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