More Than a Retirement Home: Aging Parents and Why Intentional Community is Vital as We Age.

More Than a Retirement Home: Aging Parents and Why Intentional Community is Vital as We Age.

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Posted: June 4, 2021

When you think back to your high school or college years, one thing typically rises to the top of anyone’s memory bank: relationships. There are classes and events and extracurricular activities, but the true joy found in our late teens and early twenties is centered around real life human interaction. In fact, many individuals struggle in the years after college because they’ve made some of those “friends for life” and making similar friends is just tougher in the day-to-day grind of adulthood. The years go by, and some relationships dwindle. But some stay the same. There is even a term these days—”no new friends”—that harkins loyalty among those who have experienced the highs and lows alongside one another. We reach our 40’s and 50’s and think “Is this it? Is my circle of friends now the friends I’ll have forever?” Well, we like to believe “yes and no.” The following blog post is about aging parents and how new friendships are possible later in life. It’s a post about intentional community, and surrounding ourselves with individuals who are running in such a way that they might win the collective prize. And it just so happens, the retirement home at St. Anthony’s is bent on reaching that prize as one.

So what exactly is that “prize” at hand? And how are we so confident that St. Anthony’s is a place where the community thrives together? We are passionate about these kinds of questions because our twenties and thirties are a great season for making friends, but our sixties and seventies can be as well.

The answers to each of those questions are below, but we wanted to start this post with a little hope surrounding a normally bleak outlook on retirement homes—that they’re lonely and lack opportunities for new relationships. To address one set of fallacies is to open a new door to our mission at St. Anthony’s: “With a servant’s heart, we are here to enrich the lives of those who have pioneered our past.”

 

A Forward Focused Retirement Home

You might see a lot of slogans out there for retirement homes: “Not your average retirement home” or “more than a retirement home.” And we agree that there are a lot of great retirement home options out there—both in Kansas City and beyond. But we’re not really concerned about slogans as much as we are focused on our people.

Relationships are what we’re after, and if there’s ever a goal we possess as a staff and leadership team, it’s that Kansas City would know St. Anthony’s by how we love one another. In addition, we hope another quality sets us apart in the weeks, months, and years ahead: that we are forward focused and present minded. What do those two phrases mean? Let’s break them down. 

“Forward focused” means we recognize all of our residents’ pasts—their lives, families, memories and accomplishments. But we don’t dwell on them. Rather we see their time at St. Anthony’s as the start of a new chapter. One that we can focus on together. Once we undergo this pivotal shift in perspective, we can all come to the table each day with a common goal—to get better alongside one another, with a new set of friends and family in order to make new memories and accomplish so much together. Which leads us to “present minded.”

“Present minded” is what allows “forward focused” to stand as reality. We, as a staff, don’t take a single day for granted at St. Anthony’s retirement home, and we don’t expect our residents to either—every day is a gift from God! We like to honor Him in our actions and the way we speak with one another. That’s how we stay present, and that’s how we move forward together as one.

 

Reaching Goals and Becoming Our Best Self

As for those new accomplishments and memories to be made? Well that’s just the fun part. Here are a few activities our residents LOVE on a daily basis. If you have any questions about any of these or wonder if anything is missing from the list, just contact us today! We’d love to walk you through our full suite of activities and others we plan on adding in the future.

  • • Working out at the St. Thomas More Fitness Center
  • • Grabbing a drink at St. Peter’s Pub
  • • Attending St. Anthony’s Chapel to pray and worship
  • • Strolling through our Visitation Gardens
  • • Playing with pets
  • • Treating oneself at the All Saints Salon & Spa

But as you might guess, the list doesn’t really stop there. Why? Because we know you can’t confine the dreams and aspirations of aging parents to any game or set of afternoon activities. We like to converse with our residents and ask them the following questions on a regular basis:

  • • What are you passionate about?
  • • What goals in life do you still want to accomplish?
  • • Who have you seen enter their older years with courage and vision?
  • • How can we help you reach those goals in this season of life?

We believe those questions create for an open dialogue that is, again, set on that “forward focused“ mentality. Even for aging parents, their best days are ahead of them. So we like to approach our work accordingly.

 

Running to Win the Prize

Lastly, we must confess something. At the beginning of this post, we didn’t give you the whole truth—we didn’t tell you our whole mission statement. We gave you the first line. But here is our mission in full:

“With a servant’s heart, we are here to enrich the lives of those who have pioneered our past. Guided by the Holy Spirit, our mission is to ensure residents live an active lifestyle with purpose and peace of mind.

And with that, we round out this post with the “prize” we know is at hand. The Holy Spirit is our guide, and the end prize is to hear “well done, my good and faithful servant.” Our goal is that our residents would sprint to that finish line, and one day hear “Well done!” But before that day comes, we have some good news for you.

At St. Anthony’s, we believe the best days are ahead. Whether you’re in your thirties, fifties, seventies, or 100’s . . . there is nothing or noone to say the best days and friendships are behind us. Each day is a treasure—a prize in itself. And if there’s one thing we promise anyone who steps inside our gated community, it’s this: this isn’t a retirement home.

It’s one more stepping stone unto the best days of your life.

 

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