A group from Greystone spent time with senior living providers at last week’s Presbyterian Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (PAHSA) Spring Conference in St. Louis. We particularly enjoyed keynote speaker Jack Haberer, who shared his thoughts on keeping and expanding connections in an era of disconnecting denominations.

This session left us thinking about senior living and the role it can play in maintaining connections. Too often seniors are forced to leave their homes to find arrangements that better meet their needs. Senior living communities allow elderly residents to stay close to family and friends, as well as the affinity groups that have become an important part of their emotional support systems.

Since 1982, Greystone has worked with providers on more than 150 communities. In these 30-plus years, we’ve seen a number of communities that helped affinity groups maintain connections with their constituents:

  • The Legacy at Willow Bend in Plano, Texas (sponsored by a Jewish organization)
  • Santa Marta in Olathe, Kan. (sponsored by the Archdiocese of Kansas City)
  • Arbor Oaks in Bryan, Texas (sponsored by Methodist Retirement Communities)

Faith-based organizations aren’t the only ones maintaining connections through senior living. Masonic Homes of Kentucky just opened a beautiful new independent living community (called Miralea) on its campus in Louisville. Redstone Village, founded by retired military personnel, is completing the fifth phase of its community in Huntsville, Ala.

These communities’ real secret to success lies in openness. The Legacy welcomes non-Jewish residents, just as Santa Marta welcomes residents of all beliefs, faiths and backgrounds. You don’t have to be Methodist to move into Arbor Oaks, Masonic to move into Miralea, or a member of the military to make Redstone your home. This openness provides communities with so much more than a bigger marketing window — it allows them the ability to meet new faces and to share their mission and values.

 Stuart Jackson, First Vice President, Planning and Finance