Moving to senior living doesn’t mean giving up a sense of community. John and Eileen Bray live at Heritage Homes in Watertown, Wis. They enjoy excellent neighbors, and a calendar dotted with brunches, social calls, cocktail hours and housewarmings.
“I always said no matter how good a home you had or how big a house, or how much money you’ve got — if you don’t have a good neighbor, you’ve got nothing. And they’re all good people here,” said John, who resides in Independent Living at Heritage Homes with Eileen, his wife of 65 years.
The Brays don’t simply appreciate neighborliness. They create it. Each evening at 9 o’clock, John walks the halls to check doors for magnets, a sign that the resident is active and feeling well. If there’s no magnet, he knocks to check in.
“In the morning at 9 o’clock, if the magnets are still out, then I knock and see if somebody fell down,” said John, who has been doing the optional good-neighbor checks for about 12 years.
Over the years, he has also delivered the paper, called Bingo, fixed burnt out lightbulbs and bartended resident cocktail hour.
“We always run social hour. We have a drink or two and just visit,” said John, who appreciates the camaraderie.
Eileen worked a small general store at Heritage homes, helped in the kitchen and aided in decorating Heritage Homes for the seasons. The Brays have slowed down a bit since moving in 16 years ago, but they continue to gather for dinners, house warmings, social hour, Bible study and worship services. Both like to tinker with the computer, and they make birthday and anniversary cards for all the neighbors.
He and Eileen are very active, but they aren’t the only resident boosters. The events, programs and meals that are a regular part of the social life at Heritage Homes take many hands. Like Evelyn Herbert, JoAnn Moldenhauer, Karen Holzhueter and Judy Kohls, who prepare breakfast for their neighbors and friends at Heritage Homes.
“Residents really care for each other here at Heritage Homes,” said Administrator Barb Butler. “As team members, we work hard to create a welcoming home. It’s people like the Brays who add that special touch. They are always more than willing to pitch in.”
When they need a break, they can relax. With outstanding modern amenities and ground breaking technologies, Heritage Homes has the chores taken care of.
“A lot of times it’s kind of nice to just sit,” John said.