When making the move from living in a single-family home to a senior living environment, some worry about the adjustment needed to live among other people. 

In this episode of Senior Living LIVE, guest Brandt Ross reminds us that meeting new people and blending into a community is a situation we've likely all experienced many times before, and is very positive and necessary. He and host, Melissa Lee, discuss the upcoming webinar, Senior Living LIVE: Living with Strangers, and overcoming the adjustment to living with others. With the right mindset, becoming a part of a new community and meeting new people can be fun--as Brandt says, "a stranger is a friend you've just met."

Watch the recording for more information, and for details on how to view the full webinar.


Video Transcript

- Hello everyone, and welcome into Senior Living Live. My name is Melissa, and we have got one of our favorite guests joining us today. Brandt Ross. Brandt, how are you?

- I'm doing . All things considered, we're good.

- Excellent, excellent. Well, of course, if you're watching many of you already know Brandt, of course his webinars that we've seen so far over the last couple of months are wildly popular. Aging in Place is an Illusion, that two-part series is already up and running right now on www.seniorlivinglive.com. So we'll be adding to that. Coming up in a few days with a new webinar, Brandt, a very important topic to discuss for this upcoming webinar, How to Live With Strangers. How did this topic become its own webinar?

- When Jenny and I first moved in, through the Renaissance, we saw that for most people, it was a difficult adjustment at first. And we were fortunate we moved in and started eating here. Earlier on we lived locally, and we had our condo up for sale. But we had a chance to meet the people that were here and so on. And the more I realized that it was to be a difficult adjustment for most people, I realized we've spent our whole lives, meeting these new people and meeting and living with strangers, from the time we went to school, college, work, new family, and so on. We're always damping to strangers. And I kind of, looking at it this way, a stranger is a friend you just met. And it's so important for us to stay engaged, and learn how to adapt to strangers. We did it all of our lives. So it's really not anything new.

- Yeah, that's great advice, and I know that you really go into depth about this in your webinar which I think will be excellent for those who are wondering that exact question. How do I live with strangers? Which kind of leads to the next question, Brandt, how do you find common ground with someone, or a group of people in the middle of a pandemic?

- Well, it's obviously more difficult and the circumstances are, I would say this, they're protective. Mission, my opinion for all of the seniors is survival. Is to stay safe and stay secure. That being said, we are gradually starting to create socializing activities, maintaining masking, and distancing and so on, so that we're now able to mingle at a distance, with people and get engaged in social activities. We're obviously doing a lot of Zoom activities, but we're now starting to do a combination of Zoom and personal contact and so on. So gradually it's getting better. We're starting, dining again with groups and so on. So it becomes a little bit easier now.

- And I did like that you pointed out that one way that if someone's looking to move into a senior living community that they can, find out maybe what's this environment like? How was the vibe, so to speak at this particular community or that particular community? A lot of these communities have Facebook pages or they have their own website. Can you glean information from that?

- Oh, absolutely. I mean, in fact, I think it's a prerequisite for anybody thinking seriously about moving into it. They should look at the websites of every property with their age group. The important thing is to start, as a sequence of priority. Number one, where do you want to be? Where do you want to live? You wanna be living near family members. So that will give you an opportunity to pick those properties, that are in that boundary line. You want to be in a high rise, or you want it to have lots of green space. You can make those determinations from websites. You can look at the rooms, you can look at the measurements, you can get an idea of what rooms, what properties have, whatever you want in terms of, you want a swimming pool or whatever it may be. You can get a lot of information, so that by the time it gets down to, you should have, your top two or three or four properties, that are on your menu. And then you can make arrangements for these or those. It certainly makes the process much easier.

- Yeah, and really in this pandemic, thankfully we have technology that we're able to turn to and that is just one more piece of technology that we're able to utilize. Great advice there. One thing you did mention too, about the coronavirus but I think this can be its own topic as a whole, with or without the coronavirus, and that is how do you know that the community you think you're going to select or that you are choosing is safe and secure?

- I think my concern goes out to the single women and widows, who are really in a sense isolated and limited, and need obviously some degree of social contact. And again, I would say the insecurity. we're in a safer world. They do everything they can to protect us, And when I say protect us I'm also talking about the security aspect. Because for single women going outside, doing shopping, or going to a mall or anything like that, there's a risk and exposure there that I think is extremely dangerous. That's maintained because we control the shopping, we help you, go shopping trips and so on, grocery or whatever it may be. And I think the safety factor is so critical. We're all old people because we are so vulnerable to falls and things like that.

- Yeah, and I think that the crux of all of this is really that at the end of the day, we all need to be with people. That is human nature. And I know that you really and very strongly believe in this from a personal perspective, from personal experience and what you have seen within your senior living community the past six years, right?

- That's correct. I can't say enough about that. Even, I think the part of Zoom programming, and I much prefer obviously the personal engagement, but even the Zoom programming, the part of it that I enjoy most, because many of the programs I do about history and folk music and so on, is the discussion that you have. It's just the schmoozing, before the program starts, or afterwards when people ask questions. That's the interaction that I love. Because people, whether they knew it on a chat line, or they make a personal comment, you're interacting and I just think that's so critical to our health. Mental and emotional health, and physical.

- Well, Brent Ross as always one of our favorite guest speakers on Senior Living Live, and you've got another fantastic webinar, I'm sure that will be well attended, by people wanting to check out the next topic you have. It's wonderful to hear from somebody who has experience living in a senior living community and can share that experience with others. So we are looking forward to it. It is called Living With Strangers, your newest webinar, and you can watch it September 17th at 2 O'clock PM Eastern time. Brandt, once again, thanks again for your time.

- Thank you.

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