Arbor Terrace Shrewsbury Executive Director Meghan Windrem has been part of The Arbor Company team for nearly five years, with 20 years of experience in the senior living industry. Her previous positions include being a social worker and nursing home administrator. What she believes these roles have in common is a compassion for the human experience and for living life to the fullest at every stage.
When asked about what people should look for when choosing a senior living community, Meghan said: “It will vary with every family depending on their needs, but what makes the difference is having testimonials from current residents and families to know firsthand whether the community will feel like home and will provide the quality of care and living desired.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, residents were active participants in the development of the monthly engagement calendar, so they were always excited about planned activities. This type of mental and physical activity, and the deep connections formed, promotes life and liveliness on new levels.
Meghan says the greatest mistake families make is focusing on what is perceived will be lost in transitioning to senior living instead of fully understanding the many gains for the senior, such as greater independence and engagement.
“What families often fail to consider is that the change in dynamic after they have become part of our community allows the family members to relinquish the role of caregiver, which frees them up to connect with their seniors in more profound ways,” she said. “Renewed independence on both sides is actually the gift of senior living.”
Meghan’s favorite memory while serving as executive director is being convinced to act in an Ellen DeGeneres-like cooking demonstration skit, along with the then-engagement director, to entertain residents and staff. Her supporting actor stood behind her and posed as her “hands” in the making of a dish, which led to spills, thrills and lots of laughter from the audience.
“Every resident showed up, and I was able to come out of my normal, more serious demeanor for a while and take a moment to laugh at myself for their enjoyment,” she said. “My family also got a kick out of later watching the video, which was a way of sharing my special connection with the residents and at-work family with my family at home.”
Loving life, stepping out of your comfort zone and encouraging Arbor Terrace Shrewsbury residents to do the same is how Meghan and the team make this senior living community feel like home.
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