Last week I was walking through the lounge at Sunridge Gardens when the family member of a new resident called me over for a chat. To my surprise, she casually dropped the F-bomb.
‘I love it here,” she gushed, “It’s such a beautiful FACILITY!’ The F word! Our least favourite word, and yet one we hear all the time. So, I’d like to propose one more New Year’s resolution for 2023: let’s stop using the F word and use the C word instead.
If someone prepared you a delicious homemade meal, would you thank them for the ‘nutritional sustenance’? And if you were admiring a beautifully-restored 1965 Ford Shelby Mustang, would you tell the owner you liked their ‘machine’? Then why would you refer to a retirement living residence as a facility?
Let’s agree to stop using the F word when describing retirement homes and senior living residences and instead use a richer word: Community.
A little Google search reveals two definitions for ‘Community. Together they capture what we’re creating in Bria Communities, and what most retirement communities are aiming for.
A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
A feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals.
We associate the word facility with washrooms, rec centres and hospitals. Those are great places, but they don’t capture the vibrant life in Sunridge Gardens—or any other senior living residence.
In our homes, friends dine together without having to do the shopping and meal prep. Families gather in beautifully curated spaces without worrying about cleaning up before and after. Card players come together for evening games without having to drive themselves home. Seniors enjoy fitness classes without having to buy a gym membership. There is a beautiful feeling of fellowship. The kind that comes from sharing life together in the same place.
Everyone wants to live in a community. None of us want to live in a facility. Let’s resolve to clean up our language in 2023 and say goodbye to the F word and hello Community.
Image by jcomp on Freepik.com