In early March Prairie Gate opened in Council Bluffs, the 4th PHS community in Iowa. Residents started settling in and getting to know each other. Forming bonds of friendship over conversation and doing good works, they decided to call themselves the "Busy Bodies."
In a group interview, the Busy Bodies reminisced on an incredible year of challenges and blessings. Laughter filled the room when Dorothy, a resident, opened the story by saying, “I moved in on March 5. Everyone just welcomed us, and we had a good time together, because there weren’t very many people and we could just do whatever we wanted to.” She added, “But in one week we were shut down because of the virus.”
Dorothy continued, “We are all very careful, and others have moved in since. Let me tell you, it’s a big blessing to move in here. I’m glad there’s more people to be around, because we are good, fun Busy Bodies!”
The mornings inspire conversation among residents. Another resident, Betty, explained, “Every morning, right after exercise, we go to coffee." She added to resounding group laughter, "And you’d be surprised what comes out during coffee."
A resident named Marilyn says living in community makes a big difference. “We get to talk and listen to other people’s stories.” Speaking of other Busy Bodies, she said, “I love how wise they are. Whenever we see a barrier or are feeling we need something, they’re there for us. The people who live here have had many experiences, and so they understand being a person of a certain age.”
When asked what they’ve learned from each other, Sarah, a resident, blurted out, “Most of our secrets!” And everyone responded with nods and laughter.
But, as the name implies, these Busy Bodies do so much more than talk. Resident Shirley said, “We couldn’t think of a better name than Busy Bodies for being who and what we are.”
Betty explains further, “We have a lot of games and crafts, and we laugh all the way through. We even incorporate the staff into some of our shenanigans.” For example, in November, the Busy Bodies threw a pajama party after their morning coffee. While wandering the campus in their bathrobes and slippers, they posted sticky notes with handwritten words of gratitude to staff and others.
Housing Advisor Amy Muller replied, “Being on the receiving end of those fantastic notes, I can tell you on behalf of all staff, we had tears… We are honored to work in your home.”
Sarah reflected, “We’re becoming a close-knit community. Prairie Gate is where we care for each other and get together to have fun.”
Shirley added, “One reason I moved here was to be part of the group. I was isolated, and I needed company. And I found it here.”
Much more awaits Shirley, the Busy Bodies and all who live at Prairie Gate. Amy reflected, “So much of what they were hoping for has yet to materialize. We just can’t wait …. But we keep in mind those things we do have that we’re so grateful for, including each other.”
Watch a recap of the virtual interview with the Busy Bodies here:
If you're interested in Prairie Gate, want to schedule a tour, or have questions about our other communities and services, Contact Us today. Our housing counselors welcome the opportunity to talk with you, be your resource and learn what matters most to you.
Building your community: making friends in senior living
Restored woodshop invites conversation and community