Mary wasn’t the kind of person who liked to mingle. She was an introvert. Socially awkward, by her own admission. She struggled to meet new people and any time she was forced to attend a gathering where she didn’t know anyone, it would be a stressful time leading up to the event. When it came time to consider assisted living, she tried to avoid talking about it with her daughter.
She believed that once she was guided into that decision, it would mean a long, lonely time spent in a place she didn’t want to be, surrounded by strangers who would constantly come and go.
Throughout most of her life, Mary didn’t have many friends. She had a couple of really good friends, one of whom she knew since they were both young kids. But beyond that, there had never been a parade of people visiting on a regular basis. Not many outside of family, that was.
Then she moved to a quality assisted living facility.
It took a number of months for Mary’s daughter to finally convince her to move. She was nervous. She honestly believed she was about the spend the bulk or her final years of life living in a home, isolated and cut off from the rest of the world, the rest of everything she knew.
The first couple of days there were a bit of a blur, though. The staff at this assisted living community were incredibly responsive, friendly, and outgoing. Even though Mary figured she would spend the bulk of her time in the room, they were there to encourage her to check out the facility, see the movie room, hang out in the atrium, check out some art classes going on, and even head down to the dining facility.
Within a few days, Mary was struggling to remember the names of all those incredibly friendly and kind men and women she met. Over time, she gravitated toward a couple of women in their 80s -just a few years older than her- who shared a passion for cross stitching.
Spending hours in silence, save for a random question about children, grandchildren, spouses, life, and more, they enjoyed each other’s company. In time, Mary realized that these women were some of the best friends of her entire life.
That thought brightened her days, and her life. Sometimes, the people we meet later in life can be just as powerful a force in life as those held onto from our earliest days. And assisted living offers that opportunity for men and women of advancing years.