There are so many questions, from folks who are thinking about moving to a Brookdale Community, with the word “People” - Such as: “Will it be easy to meet people?”, “Do people eat dinner with the same people?”, “Do people have their own parties?”, or “Do people eat all of their meals in the community or do they go out?”
I could not help but hear the lyrics to the song “People” as sung by Barbra Streisand in the musical “Funny Girl”. *
People who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world…
Well, I really do understand the anxiety that prompts such questions. I also think that people who are able to move to a Brookdale CCRC are indeed among the luckiest people.
I can only address these issues with respect to the community in which I reside. Therefore, I cannot stress too much the importance of visiting, for at least a few days, any community to which you may move.
When a new resident moves in, our Good Neighbors (there is at least one in every wing) visit. The director of resident services provides a tour and often makes introductions to others who may share the new resident’s interests. Meeting friends is often as easy as sharing an elevator or asking directions. A smile usually helps. A frown might elicit a “Can I help you?” The most direct answer is to tell you that I have made more friends here than any other place I’ve ever lived.
Dinner arrangements are variable. Quoting Frank Sinatra, “Do it your way”. Some have arranged different companions for each day of the week. Many are more casual and join others when they arrive at the dining room. We often call (or are called) to make individual dinner dates with friends. There are tables of 6-10 who regularly get together. There are groups that arrange a monthly dinner. There are couples who, as Greta Garbo would say, “vee vant to be alone”. There are also a few individuals who wish to dine solo. There are others who stay in their condos and order their meals for pick-up. I happen to think that dinner is one of the best times for socializing. We are often still at the table talking long after dessert. There is never any hurry. Single people have more reason to worry about this issue and are, therefore, not neglected. We do have a large table for ten, hosted by a resident volunteer, which new singles are encouraged to join. It does not get used very often. Usually within a few days, a new resident has met at least one person they would enjoy joining for a meal.
Hosting parties or before dinner cocktail hours? Some do, some don’t.
Go out for dinner? Some do, some don’t. Sometimes our activities department arranges a dinner out at an ethnic restaurant, or a dinner theater, etc. for a busload of us. That’s fun, too.
Well, Bon Appetit all you lucky people!