Putting the Joy into Residential Living

Entrance to Barclay friends residential living

“I 100 percent believe that we [in senior living] have this unique opportunity to create joyful, amazing, compelling experiences,” wrote senior living thought leader Steve Moran in 2019. He went so far as to propose that care, food, transportation, life enrichment, and amenities should be secondary to the number one priority of senior housing providers – delight.

At the height of the COVID pandemic, safety and protection were arguably the most pressing concerns among stakeholders in the senior space.

But now that the overwhelming majority of residents and staff in senior living are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (and the general U.S. population is nearing 40 percent, as of this writing), perhaps it’s time to revisit the foremost goal of delighting inhabitants of senior communities. Indeed, a senior living preferences survey found that consumers in senior living rank quality of life above everything else, including cost or surrounding neighborhood.

At first glance, the concept of joy in senior living may seem oxymoronic. Despite the dramatic improvements in senior living over the past several years, many people still perceive the industry to mean one thing: the end of independence.

One Size Does Not Fit All

A brief discussion of the different types of senior living is helpful here for the sake of understanding. While the lexicon may vary among states, there are the basic segments of long-term senior living (as opposed to short-terms options such as rehab or respite care):

  • Skilled Nursing – The highest level of senior care, skilled nursing is appropriate for those who not only require assistance with activities of daily living (ADL’s), but also 24/7 nursing care and/or supervision.
  • Assisted Living – Often mistakenly believed to be synonymous with skilled nursing, assisted living offers help with ADL’s, such as bathing, dressing, medication management, etc. Residents in assisted living are generally active people who remain relatively independent and do not require medical attention around the clock. In Pennsylvania, this level is called Personal Care.
  • Memory Care – Memory care offers specialized care and support of older adults with significant memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia. Often, memory care is in a separate wing of the community with higher levels of security.
  • Independent Living – Residents in independent living are self-sufficient and do not require help with ADL’s or regular medical attention. They choose to reside in a senior community for reasons such as relief from household duties, greater social engagement, and opportunity to enjoy abundant activities in a safe, secure environment.

The Barclay Friends Residential Living Difference

“Independent living” and “residential living” are terms that are often used interchangeably in the state of Pennsylvania; however, they are not one and the same. At Barclay Friends, independent living is referred to as Residential Living. There are two key differences between independent living in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and Residential Living at Barclay Friends:

  • In a CCRC, residents whose needs change or become greater as they age are required to move to a different part of the campus.
    • At Barclay Friends, residents can stay in their same apartment if their needs change or they require more care and support.
  • In a CCRC, couples are separated in different areas of the community if one person needs greater assistance than the other.
    • At Barclay Friends, couples with differing needs can continue to live in the same apartment together, which can be a monumental comfort to both parties.

It’s Freeing – and Delightful!

Residential Living at Barclay Friends is about freedom

  • Freedom from the physical and mental toll of home responsibilities such as shoveling (the average annual snowfall in Pennsylvania is about 40 inches), mowing, cooking, cleaning, and expensive home repairs.
  • Freedom to enjoy beautiful one-bedroom or studio apartments and common areas, outdoor grounds and resident-grown gardens, all in a lovely neighborhood in West Chester borough near the best of dining, shopping and cultural attractions.
  • Freedom to savor delicious, fresh and healthy meals prepared by a chef in first-class dining accommodations, with none of the work.
  • Freedom to maintain strength, mobility and agility with fitness and exercise programs designed with fun in mind.
  • Freedom to come and go as one pleases, with plenty of parking for residents and visitors.
  • Freedom to delve into boundless hobbies and activities, perhaps for the very first time.
  • Freedom to make new and meaningful friendships with fellow residents and staff.
  • Freedom from fear about safety and protection, with 24-hour nursing staff in case of an emergency, secure premises for residents and their guests only, and continuing COVID and other health protocols.
  • Freedom from worry over changing needs, assured by unchanging residences and couples remaining together.

Residential living at Barclay Friends

Preston is open and accepting applications. Come see how delightful Residential Living can be!