Building Resident Friendships

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My understanding of these women and their lifestyle evolves with every visit. Recently, I felt like I understood the lives that these women (and men) lead in senior homes. But this makeover revealed to me that there is always something more than the eye can behold at the first and second glance.

Although Atria is filled with an incredible staff and accommodations, it's difficult for these women to call Atria their home. Last Tuesday, I had the chance to talk with and paint a new resident's nails.

Before painting her nails, I talked to a resident who had been at Atria for quite some time now. She pointed the new resident out and told me to be sweet to her as she's "new." I asked her why she didn't talk to the new resident herself.

For the first time, I realized that these women were just as shy as I could be with girls my own age. They were embarrassed and scared of the different environment. The part that struck me was that there was still a mutual understanding between these women despite the lack of oral communication. It hit me that all these women went through the same phase of loneliness when they first came to Atria.

It took a lot for the smiling women that I see today to smile and enjoy their residence. I hope that through these manicures, the ladies can branch their friendship and overcome their shyness in order to make new friends and accommodate one another.

- Rebecca K., Chapter Vice President from New York