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Resident ambassadors standing around a piano.

Gatesworth Stories —

Retirement at Its Best

Making any move is a big adjustment, and that’s definitely true for the transition to a senior living community. While the change comes with exciting opportunities, ease of mind and new social connections, it can still be a daunting prospect. The Gatesworth understands what a big decision this is for its potential residents. The senior living community is dedicated to creating a welcoming and engaging environment so older adults can enjoy life and continue to thrive.

The Gatesworth launched a resident ambassador program last year. The goal was to connect outgoing residents who are passionate about the community with interested guests and new arrivals. “When you’re making a life decision like moving to a senior living community, it makes a world of difference to know that others have not only survived making the leap but are happier because of it,” event and entertainment director Janine Lawler says. “The leasing staff could tell them this. I could tell them this, but it means so much more coming from someone who is in their shoes. It’s such a joy to see the sense of community that resident ambassadors help create.”

Resident ambassadors have a variety of responsibilities, including meeting with visitors, mingling at marketing events, offering tours of their apartments and attending activities with new residents. They also meet monthly with staff to provide feedback on the program. “I’ve had several new residents comment on how welcome they have felt upon move-in, and that is largely a result of the resident ambassadors,” Lawler notes. “The Thursday Welcome Table, in particular, has been a hit for both ambassadors and new residents. Ambassadors share their knowledge and experience, and new residents have the opportunity to start building those connections that make a community.”

Marlene Rosengarten was asked to be one of the first 10 resident ambassadors for the program. She and her husband, Marvin, have lived at The Gatesworth for two years. She loves how engaging being a part of the community has been and is excited to share that experience with more people. “I’ve been so happy here,” she says. “If we had stayed at home, we’d just be existing, but here, the calendar is always so full—sometimes it’s hard to choose what to do. The Gatesworth was the perfect choice for us. It is a big move, and I wanted to help new residents adjust.”

Rosengarten has enjoyed getting to meet more new people. Each resident ambassador is given a business card with their photo and phone number to help connect with others. She notes that she has gotten to know people from across the country thanks to the unique networking opportunities provided by the program. “Resident ambassadors are able to reach out to people in special ways,” she notes. “I try to answer all new and potential residents’ questions and help them realize they aren’t alone. One of the most important things about The Gatesworth is the people. The leadership and staff are always available and happy to help, and the community is so welcoming. It’s a wonderful place to live.”

Text based on an interview by Stephanie Wallace in Town&Style

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