Making your new community your home.

Even under the best of circumstances, moving can be a challenge. A seemingly endless number of details in planning and in packing can seem a bit daunting. And no matter how much help we have during the move, we often feel anxious about getting it all done. Everyone living at Willow Valley Communities has moved and everyone does get through it. The boxes get unpacked, the pictures get hung, and a new routine is established.

Moving to a community like Willow Valley Communities can be a little unique. As enjoyable as it is, community living is a change in routine for most people that can take some getting used to. As liberating as purging clutter and unneeded items can be, the process can be intimidating. Sometimes just finding a new hair stylist, grocery store, church, or dentist in a new city can also feel overwhelming.

For each individual, well being is multi-dimensional and complex. To share experiences, ideas, and tips, Willow Valley Communities has organized its New Resident Discussion Series. Each group is made up of about 10 new Residents from as new as two weeks to about a year, who meet once a week for six consecutive weeks sharing their experiences, trials, and triumphs, as they navigate their new life at Willow Valley Communities. Tyler Heidelbaugh, Willow Valley Communities’ Resident Life and Wellness Coach, facilitates the discussions, along with Manor Resident, Charlotte Smith. The initial idea to begin such a group came from Charlotte, who draws from her experience and education in both psychology and social work to help to facilitate the group. Residents meet at The Clubhouse in a casual group setting, and talk about their experiences transitioning to their new home and community.

Residents who join the group appreciate meeting others in similar situations, providing support, and gaining a fresh sense of community. Participants of the group share discoveries and help each other — and at the same time help themselves. “People thrive on helping others,” notes Tyler.

With a different topic each week, the group discusses the transition to a new way of life at Willow Valley Communities. Tips on rightsizing, adapting to a new community and lifestyle, staying connected to family and friends, exploring the city of Lancaster, health and wellness, and more are shared throughout the series.

The group bonds over time, and experience has shown that even after the six weeks are over, they find they still enjoy getting together socially to continue the conversations. Tyler has found after working with several groups that Residents succeed when they keep an open mind, suggesting that participating Residents, “be willing to put yourself out there and find your own niche.”

He relates a story about a particular resident that is a good example of how the New Resident Discussion Series works: The resident’s turning point in the transition process was when he stopped doing things he “had” to do and started doing things he “wanted” to do.

“When he opened up the Renaissance magazine and started listing the things he wanted to attend, instead of a to-do list, that’s when he knew Willow Valley Communities was home.”

Interested in learning more about our award winning senior living community? Give us a call to schedule a personal tour at 877.503.0774, or visit our webpage to Plan Your Visit and come see just how beautiful your life could be.

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