Staff Stories - July 26, 2022
By Sonali Saini, Goodwin Living Intern
For the summer of 2022, I had the opportunity to intern for Goodwin Living. During my internship, I recorded the stories of current residents who are “legacy” residents, people whose family members lived in one of our Life Plan Communities before them.
These residents have so much to share with us, and Goodwin Living values their stories and experiences. In the set of interviews that we conducted during my internship, one in particular stood out to me.
Andrea Baumann is a legacy resident who currently lives at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads (GHBC). Both of her parents and her aunt lived at GHBC in the early 2000s, and Andrea visited them often during their time there. She shared her own experiences as a resident as well as her family’s experiences at GHBC.
Andrea’s parents made many happy memories living at GHBC. One of their favorites was of coming to the GHBC ballroom every Friday night, when they would dance to music played on a record player.
“One of my mother’s favorite stories to tell was of another resident they saw who would bring his wife, who lived in the Terrace, to the dancing,” said Andrea. “She remembered how to dance, so he was able to pick her up for the dancing, and they would dance for an hour before he would take her back to the Terrace. It shows you that you can have lovely things happen when you can stay together even though you’re in different places in your life.”
Andrea remembered her parents would always come home with the biggest smiles and tell her about how they danced the night away with each other as well as the other residents. This experience made their time living here that much more special.
For Andrea’s parents, this was exactly what they needed to get out of their new home. Being in a place where there were constant activities that were going on was a big selling point. They could go out and meet other residents and GHBC team members and feel like they were part of the community. “It was just the right thing for them,” said Andrea.
There were many features that drew Andrea to Goodwin Living when the time came for her own move. “I never considered any place else,” she said. She valued the amount of care that residents receive and now appreciates the housekeeping that helps her in maintaining her own apartment home.
One of the biggest advantages for Andrea was revealed when her husband had a medical emergency and needed additional care. “I was able to go see him every day when he spent six weeks on the nursing floor and five weeks in assisted living,” she said. “After that he could come back and live with me in our apartment.” For Andrea this was a huge bonus—knowing that whenever she wanted to see her husband she didn’t have to leave home as they were both still at the same campus.
Andrea also appreciated how much of her husband’s recovery could take place at GHBC. “He got training for how to walk with a walker; he could do that here. He also needed to have several blood checks, which he could do here. That part is so wonderful, that everything is available here.”
When Andrea came to view her apartment for the first time, she was looking for a sign that GHBC was the right fit for her and her husband. As they were looking at the apartment she realized that something else looked familiar. Then it clicked: the corridor they were in was the same corridor as the one in which her parents had lived! Less than a month later, Andrea and her husband moved into their apartment knowing that GHBC was indeed the right fit for them!
At first, Andrea was a little nervous that GHBC would not feel like home. She quickly came to realize that was not true. As she grew comfortable with the community, she started to feel as though the other residents and team members were just like family to her.
“They told me it would take about a year to feel like this was your home,” she said. “I didn’t believe it, but almost exactly a year later I was coming out of the elevator and thought, ‘This feels like home!’”
Goodwin Living offers more than a roof over residents’ heads. Those who choose to live and work here are treated like family and made to feel at home.
The Goodwin Living Foundation is just one example of the way Goodwin Living takes care of those who choose to spend their time here. The Foundation offers things like the resident support program, which helps residents stay at their chosen Goodwin House Life Plan Community if they run into unforeseen financial circumstances that would stop them from being able to afford to continue living there. The Foundation also supports team members through programs such as the Citizenship Application Fee Program, which helps team members who are not currently U.S. citizens to obtain their citizenship by covering the application fees. Residents participate in this program as well by offering to help team members study for their citizenship test.
Andrea and other residents are glad that this support is offered to those at Goodwin Living as it shows that this is a place where all people should be able to feel safe and comfortable, whether they are living here or working here.
“I like what they’re doing,” said Andrea. “So much has been given to me, and I try to give back.”
It’s thanks to the Foundation, and the generosity of donors to the Anderson Fund, that I had the opportunity to intern for Goodwin Living and hear stories like those that Andrea shared with me. I loved getting to see the history of this organization through the stories of residents and their loved ones who have lived here before them.
Sonali Saini is a rising junior at Old Dominion University studying communications and public relations. She strives to work as a journalist that seeks out and reports on important stories that don’t receive the attention they deserve. During the summer of 2022, Sonali worked as an intern for the Goodwin Living Foundation and the Goodwin Living Marketing & Communications Team.