My sister loves being with people; she was an elementary school teacher for 40 years. She had been very lonesome since she had never married and was living alone in a town house for several years, and she hadn't been doing much. Before Kensington opened, I went several times and got to know the people, and my sister and I got very familiar with them. She arrived to open arms, and they knew us already by name. They gave her a 2-room unit with living room, hallway, bathroom, mini kitchenette, and bedroom (no doors). When she saw it, she said "It's a real home!"
She is the youngest person at Kensington and she is still able to make friends. They call her "The Ambassador"- if she sees someone sitting alone, she will walk up and befriend them. She's got people who absolutely adore her around her all the time. She has made a lot of progress; she talks way more clearly, although she still doesn't remember peoples' names. But there is a joy about her that wasn't there for a couple of years, and it's all because of that place and the people. They are always aware of her needs- for example, they know what she likes to eat in the dining room. Whether it's dining, reception, or the caregivers (I call them the Women In Blue), everyone knows her by name. If I'm with her in her apartment and there's an activity going on, they come and get her.
They have activities all the time: there are two movie showings every day, the facility is right across the street from the park, and they have even gone on field trips to museums. Every Wednesday they have happy hour, and they bring in a rolling bar and they have hors d'ouvres in the back, right at the foot of the mountain. They bring out a piano and everyone sings old show tunes from musicals of their day. People can even bring their dogs, and that means a lot to people who love their pets. My sister used to love going to Starbucks, she would drive there every day. Now, someone walks her down the street every day so she can still get her Starbucks. Who does that?! The caregivers are so amazing. They are always laughing and hugging with the residents like they are family, that's how much they care for these residents. And I see them doing that for everybody, not just my sister! There's always going to be a good ratio of residents to caregivers.
I am so so happy for her, and so happy that I don't have to do it all anymore. The caregivers are professional and knowledgeable. They've been trained well, and they certainly know how to treat these people! It is the most incredible thing I've ever witnessed. I have people come just to visit or just to see it, and no one can believe what they see. When I went to other places before Kensington, I would see people sitting around in wheelchairs with no one paying attention to them, and it would just make me sad. But there is nothing sad about this place! I call it the Ritz Carlton of senior living! You just want to be there because it is so lovely. And the food is good!
It's so wonderful, I can be there and not be uncomfortable. It's a delight to be there, everything about it is comfortable. My sister says to me, "I'm so happy here." She will never be lonesome again or need to find something to do. This experience has been just as wonderful for me as it was for her!