When we think through the benefits that an assisted living community can provide, we’re quick to land on things like safety, nutritious meals, increased activity, and assistance with health issues and daily living. These are indeed big and important things! But a conversation with Danbury resident Wif Doerfler and one of his sons, Jamie, revealed benefits that are less obvious.
Wif moved to Danbury Wooster in the fall of 2018. Just two weeks into his move, he marched up to Rachel, the Sales and Marketing Director, because he had something important on his mind. With that, Wif set the course—he made it apparent he was interested in having meaningful conversations with the staff, and he says the staff has responded in spades!
Engaging with the staff has made Wif’s world so much broader than it was when he was living alone. Being around people who are in the midst of their careers and in all different stages of life—getting married, having babies, raising teens, caring for grandchildren, preparing for retirement—is stimulating. Wif gets to share in their joys and empathize with their trials. Jamie and his brother, Steve, have a standing breakfast date with their dad on Wednesdays. “We used to do breakfast at Dad’s house. Now that we meet at Danbury, we still have one-on-one time, but we have the added fun of interaction with the staff,” Jamie explained.
Wif raised six children, worked until he was 77, and always prided himself in being self-sufficient. Naturally, at first it was hard for him to be comfortable receiving help from the staff. His uneasiness lessened when he realized his new environment gave him an opportunity to be a helper too. Wif now has a daily mission to make the staff and residents laugh: “I’ve got the same sense of humor I’ve always had. It used to aggravate my wife. She was strong and loving, but not prone to being funny. I’ve found I’m good at making the people here laugh…this is a good place to be to help other people.” So feeling useful again is a huge benefit for Wif. He relishes the declaration that Rachel made: “We’re never going to forget the day you moved in here, Wif!”
Jamie and his siblings like the “feel” of their dad’s residence. “The environment here is light and lively; the way they do things tends to breed a happy feeling. We looked at a lot of places, and you don’t see that everywhere.” Jamie also said it’s nice that conversations about housework, worry, and isolation are things of the past. Now when he and Wif get together, they can just relax and enjoy each other’s company.
Wif has a lofty goal: “I will know the name of everyone here before I die. That’s a promise I made to myself, and I’m working on that.” Odds are, he will achieve his goal!
Does Wif’s story ease some concerns? Would your parent enjoy the hidden benefits of living at Danbury? Check out the resort-style living that we provide by scheduling a tour at one of our locations across Ohio.