It’s a big change for the whole family when elderly loved ones move into senior living communities. However, senior care centers such as Aegis Living work to make their communities true homes for their residents. The company also strives to go above and beyond what is expected by the families and individuals themselves.
Rob Liebreich, the general manager of Aegis on Madison in Seattle, believes that the community’s mantra of treating people like family helps to make the transition to assisted living an easy one. In particular, this Aegis Living community aims to provide engaging social interactions for its residents, as was the case for Sonya and Peter Dunfield.
A 50th anniversary that won’t be forgotten
About a month after their arrival in April 2014, Liebreich learned that the Dunfields, a renowned ice skating championship couple, would be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on May 16.
Liebreich and the Aegis on Madison staff worked to make this an unforgettable day, and even reached out to people who the Dunfields had worked with as skaters and coaches, including Dorothy Hamill. Many employees of the community heard about the event and offered their help. One of the life enrichment members at the location, Curtis, contributed a pair of 1950s skates painted gold, which were used as the centerpiece for the decorations.
Everything fell into place for the party, and Liebreich said that Peter surprised everyone by dancing with his wife to their favorite song before enjoying dinner with fellow residents. The Dunfields even got a special treat when their son, who currently lives in Asia, surprised them by coming to the party to celebrate his parent’s marriage.
“I think those memories are indelible, and Sonya said [the whole event] made it such as big success for them that will never be forgotten,” Liebreich noted.
The couple’s celebration was made all the more important after Peter passed away just 10 days later. Liebreich remarked that the experience is a perfect example as to why it’s important to make each moment significant and positive.
Liebreich believes that because many of the residents don’t think certain things are possible, be it this type of event or even partaking in old hobbies, it creates the need to make them possible. Since Sonya wasn’t convinced she would be able to truly celebrate 50 years of love with her husband due to his health, the staff set to work to make it happen. It is with this attitude in mind that Aegis Living employees continue to find inspiration through the stories of the people that they help and work that they do.