Diversity in Our Communities
Why Diversity is a Key Element of the Aegis Living Difference
Our assisted living and memory care communities are highly diverse—both in the people we serve and the staff who care for them. Our residents are from different religions, cultures, nationalities, and lifestyles. And the staff in our communities come from over 50 countries that span the globe. The languages spoken, the backgrounds, traditions, and cultural norms are a melting pot within our walls. We believe in the value of a diverse population that can learn from each other.
Culture can be a significant way in which someone defines who they are as an individual. Therefore, at Aegis Living, we celebrate the differences that make up our communities. There are a variety of ways that we do this daily through activities, excursions, recreational programming, lectures, religious services, and celebrations. Seasonal holidays or heritage months are an excellent opportunity to share and experience a culture.
Days leading up to the holiday, for example, Chinese New Year or Shabbat, residents make traditional decorations, research the country of origin, share stories about their travels, share details about their culture in a discussion activity, or host cultural entertainment, music, or dancing. Our chefs will make special dishes or host a dinner with food from a specific country or region. Life Enrichment directors will use these holidays to celebrate and honor individuals within the community
These holidays become an immersive cultural experience enriched by authentic storytelling and the sharing of traditions by our residents and staff. By exposing our residents and staff to elements and traditions of both their own culture and others, we promote a sense of belonging in the community.
A Community of Respect
Our philosophy at Aegis Living is to treat our residents as if they are part of our own family. This love and compassionate care for our residents, their families, and our staff are what sets us apart. This means that our homes are welcoming of all people from all corners of the world, all different backgrounds, creeds, races, sexual orientations and gender identities. And, that is something we are immensely proud of. That rich diversity makes us a better company, better at what we do, serving residents, and better human beings.
In 2017, Aegis Living created an original collection of short stories in film sharing our love of diversity in both our staff and residents. This project was called the Wisdom Diaries. We believe that diversity is a key part of the shared human experience. Sharing our unique stories can lead to empathy and a stronger sense of community. We not only respect our differences but also identify our similarities and appreciate how our staff and residents are alike. We believe the more we learn about each other, the wiser we become.
A Community of Equality
In the past, some LGBTQ+ seniors who have moved into traditional senior housing felt forced back into the closet after living openly for years. Many seniors, who don’t want to experience discrimination, would hide their orientation when moving to an assisted living community. LGBTQ+ oriented assisted living communities are growing across the U.S. But with the surge of baby boomers who are reaching retirement age, acceptance of diversity and lifestyles is expected by this enlightened generation. So, LGBTQ+ seniors can feel comfortable living their golden years in an assisted living or memory care community that is not specifically for those who are LGBTQ+.
Aegis Living firmly stands behind every resident and staff member, regardless of their gender, race, disability, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or age. Our communities are designed to welcome all people. We do not offer specifically dedicated LGBTQ+ communities, but we do offer loving and compassionate homes for all seniors who need assistance. Our staff is trained to handle the unique needs of seniors and provide care with dignity and respect.
“At Aegis Living, we celebrate diversity every day! Every team member is appreciated for who they are and what they bring to the table. From our leadership team, staff members, and our residents, it is in the fabric of our culture and who we are as a company,“ said Vince Wadsworth-Stansbury, Marketing Director.
Culturally Authentic Communities
At one time, it was unheard of that an immigrant family would move their elderly loved one or parent to an assisted living or memory care community. Families often feel conflicted and guilty when the concept of moving a relative into an assisted living or memory care community clashes with their cultural expectations. But this attitude is clearly changing as more culturally authentic communities open for niche markets.
Aegis Living opened their first Asian-inspired community in Fremont, California with massive success in 2001. Opening under the brand name of Aegis Gardens, this unique community has had a waiting list for apartments. In 2018, Aegis Gardens opened a second location in Newcastle, Washington. Besides the carefully curated interior and exterior décor, applying Feng Shui principles, chef-prepared Asian cuisine, and engaging traditional activities, the multilingual care staff ensures that residents are clearly understood and able to express their needs. Some seniors feel comforted when surrounded by familiar sights, sounds, and tastes of home.
“The demand for this type of housing reflects the changing attitudes among Asian families on how they best care for their elderly parents. Our residents want to retire and live among other seniors who share their same rich culture and ethnicity,” said John Carpentier, Executive Vice President Operations for Aegis Gardens Newcastle.
Aegis Living wants every resident, family member, and staff to feel welcome and included. We encourage you to take a tour of one of our communities to meet our staff, ask direct questions, and observe how our residents spend their days and interact with the care staff. Our communities are made up of a rich fabric of backgrounds, personalities, and ethnicities that make each community unique and a possible good fit for your loved one. Contact a community near you to learn more.
Additional Resources: Lake Union (Seattle)
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