“You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.”~ Albert Einstein
Jerry Morris moved to Peachtree Village in Roswell, New Mexico in March of 2015, he was from Alamogordo New Mexico and was not too crazy about moving to Roswell where he felt like he was giving up his independence. His daughter lives in Roswell and for various reasons, she felt like having her father closer would be great.
Jerry adjusted to living in a community setting and he was enjoying the benefits Peachtree had to offer – from planting a community garden, tending to hens, even placing first in the Eastern New Mexico State Fair for growing the largest pumpkin.
Little did Jerry know that he would find love again.
In the summer of 2017 a caregiver with Visiting Angels, Betty, walked into Peachtree Village and the rest is history. Jerry and Betty formed a friendship which then quickly turned into something much more.
In December of 2017 Jerry popped the question and on January 3, 2018, they got married.
We always tell prospective residents and family members when they visit our community that this is a place where we encourage the residents to continue living their lives with the benefits of independence, purpose, concierge services, security, friendships, adventures– and yes, you might even find love here!
About the author:
Mary Beth Lawrence is the Executive Director at Peachtree Village Retirement Community located in Roswell New Mexico, and a part of the Compass Senior Living family. A graduate of New Mexico State University, and an excellent leader and businesswoman, Mary Beth has a passion for elderhood and honoring and enriching the lives of seniors. She has created a culture of mutual caring and respect, personal growth, and purpose for the residents and her team members. Mary Beth is an inspiring example of a True North Leader, guided by goodness, loyalty, faith, and fun.
Annie teaches us that hearts can bloom suddenly bigger, and that love can open like a flower out of even the hardest places. Annie is a beautiful woman who has experienced trials, struggles, loss and has found her way out of the depths. It’s about overcoming obstacles; that’s the key to happiness.
Giving Life A Second Chance: Believing In Yourself And The Power Of Love – Annie G.
I often think about how I got to where I am today and how somehow everything that has happened, big or small in my lifetime has made me a better, happier, wiser and stronger person.
Now, this is coming from someone who’s lost a parent, struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts among a boatload full of other things. If you have ever heard the saying, “you can learn and grow from every experience,” I want you to know that this is indeed true.
When I look back to some of the hardest moments of my life, I can tell you that honestly each of these experiences has taught me some of the most important things you’ll ever learn:
Love can heal.
There are good people out there if you allow them in.
Memories of loved ones live on forever.
You cannot love anyone until you love yourself.
You alone are good enough.
Words can kill.
Friendship is sometimes bitter sweet.
You cannot please everyone.
And most of all, never settle or give up because life is a journey full of roadblocks and failures but the best comes when you refuse to let one closed door break you down and acknowledge that there is a purpose for everything.
When people ask my age, I say, “I’m 14 turning 15 in September!”
Whenever I tell people my story, they often ask me “Why are you so resilient? How can you be so strong? What makes you so positive?” I usually laugh or smile in response. The truth is sometimes you don’t have a choice.
When you fall into really bad situations, you cannot waste a second feeling sorry for yourself. You have to survive, build a wall around yourself and push on.
Whenever people ask me, “How did you get through losing your dad at such a young age?” I always say “Sometimes you don’t get through it.” There were so many days when I couldn’t get out of bed. I was a mess always breaking down and other times I felt nothing at all. Grief spiraled me into so many different directions. Sometimes I felt like I wasn’t living, just floating around like a lifeless fish.
For me, I found peace and happiness through the kind hearts of friends, teachers, counselors and other who kept me going.
Even though I still struggle with grief and many insecurities, I find so much joy in knowing that I have a purpose. I am meant to do amazing things, not just because that’s what my dad wanted, but because I know that I am good enough.
I want anyone out there who may be at a bad point in their lives or have been through similar experiences to know that life isn’t all a dark cloud.
There is light at the end of every tunnel and sometimes the rainbow you were looking for was right in front of you all along. Never ever give up on yourself because I promise you that there are people out there who care.
You are meant to be who you are. So never give up on your dreams or your goals.
Picture this – all of the hard stuff you’ve gone through is not what powers the stove. They are rather minor parts of the elements on the stove top that allow you to run smoothly. Their experiences do not define or dictate who you are. Never forget your past or where you came from but use them as motivation to be a better person.
Thanks to the Author:
We are grateful for the wisdom of Annie and the gift of her life-lessons.
In ancient times, the Elders carried the wisdom of the tribe. In today’s world that tribe is fractured and dispersed, as families are more transitional, and may not have elders to call upon. The world needs the wisdom of our elders more than ever!
The Elder Wisdom Circle is an online inter-generational program pairing advice seekers with a network of seniors (“Elders”) who provide free and confidential advice on a broad range of topics. Their mission is:
Provide an opportunity for all seniors to utilize their life experience and wisdom to help others.
Offer thoughtful and helpful advice to younger generations.
Elevate the value and worth of our senior community.
I encourage you to ask advice of the elders around you. If you work in senior housing, you have a lot of opportunities to learn. Or you may meet an elder at the supermarket or in your church. Most are willing to support your growth. You may be surprised to learn that elders are still growing, and learning and evolving…just as we all are!
If you are an elder, I invite you to share your wisdom as a True North Elder in this forum as well. You may contact me by email to submit a story.
I love tech. I love what we can do with it. I love the access to information and people. I’ve come to rely on it to get through my day and keep me on track–it enriches our lives in so many ways. Except, when it doesn’t. I don’t want to admit that sometimes, just sometimes, technology is not a good thing. At any age, I believe there is such a thing as technology for technology’s sake.
Technology in senior living is taking off. You can see the products developed for memory care and a host of innovations that could actually improve our lives as we age. Our own company is implementing technology such as electronic medical records and care plans–allowing each member of the care team to chart progress notes in real time and more closely monitor elder health and well-being. Peachtree Village in Roswell, New Mexico helped a resident attend her granddaughter’s wedding via Skype® because she couldn’t travel herself. It’s amazing how connected we can be in the digital age!
Senior living providers were slow to implement these changes. Now that they see the value, though, the largest of the providers are quickly scrambling to show how they are safer, faster, and more innovative with the tech. They’re implementing the latest and greatest technologies for you and your loved ones–they promise that they are the place to live because they have the screens, the remotes, the sensors, and the “flashing lights.” In the process of “getting on the bandwagon” have we stopped to ask is this helping? Or, are we achieving the goals we set out to achieve?
Many of the technologies developed for seniors–whether at home or in a community setting–are keeping elders safer and engaged longer. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that elders are demanding at least wi-fi in senior living communities. There is no doubt that technology needs to be a part of the modern aging experience. It hasn’t even been a part of the aging experience long enough to know what too much really looks like. We don’t know if we’ve fully reached the tech for tech’s sake threshold. But, do we really want to find out?
Here are 5 questions every senior, family, and senior living provider must ask before buying or implementing that tech:
What problem are you trying to solve? Technology is inherently born out of trying to solve a problem such as labor cost, physical demands, lack of information or communication. Be wary of solutions looking for a problem to solve.
What does success look like? The technology should enhance or enrich the lives of the elders or families or employees. If you think it will, what outcomes do you expect to have?
Is there demand? More and more elders and their families are looking for communities and living arrangements with wi-fi. They may not be looking for a screen to replace a human to interact with them during mealtimes.
Are your customers willing to pay for it? You may think that it’s a worthy investment, but do your customers? Technology has a price tag. Whether you increase the rent to cover it or not doesn’t matter as much as the perception that they are paying for it. If they think it’s useless to them, they may not be so hot to write the check.
Is it single or multi-purpose? Alton Brown, the Food Network star and kitchen master, is a staunch proponent of multiple use tools. Anything that only has one use doesn’t make it into his kitchen. Tech can be the same way–if you can only use it for one small action, you’ll quickly find that the next one developed has multiple good uses and stays useful longer (i.e. the flip phone vs. the smartphone).
About the Author: Amira T. Fahoum is the Director of Marketing and Director of Operations, Northwest Region for Compass Senior Living located in Eugene, Oregon. Her path to senior living started when she simply decided to be open to possibilities in life. Possibilities are what led her to eight years of learning the senior living industry in roles ranging from Administrative Assistant to Director of Sales and Marketing to unofficial IT coordinator. Possibilities also led her into the world of education technology for almost three years. Now, on her journey with Compass, she has found true reward in working with the people that care for others. She lives in Eugene with her husband, Michael, where they enjoy golf, travel, and volunteering.