A successful Senior Citizen Apartment community will create relationships with neighbors to build a supportive environment or a network of its residents. While the active individuals categorized as senior citizens have no interest in housing that is typified as a senior center, congregate living or what might be referred to as the old folks home. They are likely to look for an apartment community with a reputation that has created its own neighborhood.
The third point in our series about today’s Seniors, tying into the letters in the word BINGO; is a look at the community atmosphere, our Neighborhood and Networks. Previous posts have suggested an understanding that Seniors see themselves as “better than” rather than older than. We’ve acknowledged the importance of an Individual and Independent lifestyle.
Ties To A Neighborhood
The need for relationships remains the glue that cements friendships. They choose to live close to friends or family. They don’t want to move because their “friends are here.”
Multi family providers can create relationships with neighbors when they support this community atmosphere.
Connecting With The On-Site Team
This includes the relationship with the office and maintenance teams. When an individual has confidence in the staff that provides the interior, exterior repairs as well as the administration of their lease, they can have confidence that they don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of or ignored.
However, its important to acknowledge these are not “mandatory” resident attendance events. We are not requiring participation to community potlucks or bingo. It’s maintaining a bistro location for quick coffees. Setting up a internet cafe to answer questions and give coaching. Small group activities will encourage the interactions that build friendships.
Depending on the size and layout of the community common areas, creating niches and nooks that foster small group get togethers instead of “everyone report at 9 a.m. for the community exercise group.” Even the scheduling of these events has changed. With many individuals still part of the general work force, activities during the evening and weekend hours may be better attended than the M-F 9 to 5 scheduled.
As a community leader, we are creating a variety of opportunities for our residents to connect with each other. We are not trying to force participation in planned activities. Some suggestions that support small group interaction might be:
-small dinner preparation ideas.
-DIY Crafting Projects
Something as simple as a neighbor introduction could be a first step in this relationship building. Whether in an apartment community or a brick and mortar neighborhood individuals can go “years” without meeting a neighbor based on lifestyle practices and an expectation that the other person should make the first move.
Reinforcing this neighborhood/network environment offers many benefits to an apartment home community. The connection of friends and neighbors is a strong influencer to an individual renewing a lease. While we realize the value when an individual moves in to our community, the long term value starts to build when a lease is renewed. Supporting an environment for individuals to connect with increase the connection of relationships which in turn increase the likelihood for renewals.