By: Katie Holterman


Senior Director of Clinical Programming & Development

I met Joanne on the very first day of college. We were moving in at the same time and were both apprehensive, excited, overwhelmed, and tired. Her mother—outgoing and protective—marched into my dorm room and said to me, “Please be my daughter’s friend because I’m not leaving here until I know she is okay and has found someone to be by her side.” Joanne laughed, both because her mom is funny and because she was mortified. And, I laughed, both because her mom is funny and because I was relieved that I didn’t feel alone!

The same day as my college move-in, my grandmother was moving into a new place as well. She was leaving her home of 53 years and moving into a new home at a nearby assisted living community. She called me later that week to see how I was settling into college, and I asked her how she was feeling. She said she felt apprehensive, excited, overwhelmed, and tired. Hmmm…that sounded familiar. We got through our separate transitions together, navigating the newness of it all from miles apart. I like to think I helped her settle in just a bit. 

At Legacy, we are honored to be able to help residents settle into their new surroundings when they move into one of the sites with whom we are lucky to partner. As part of our SMILE program, we work together with our communities and offer residents a way to ensure they are integrated into the community safely and happily. We work with the resident and the community to screen the new environment and help the resident acclimate to their surroundings, and we provide tools and resources to ensure safety in their new home. We view furniture placement, lighting, and overall environment. We ask about their daily routine to ensure they can maintain familiarity. We get to know our residents’ likes and dislikes, and we work together with our community partners to develop social interactions that will be meaningful and interesting. 

We also know the overall statistics surrounding new resident move-ins. We know that, according to the CDC National Center for Health Statistics and National Center for Assisted Living, 29-64% of residents will need some amount of help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, walking, or transfers. We realize that residents come with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s/dementia. We know those important statistics so that we can apply that knowledge to help maintain a resident’s independence in their new environment. 

We understand the importance of all these factors, and we are excited to help residents adjust to their new environment. Because we know they may feel apprehensive, excited, overwhelmed, and maybe even a little tired. But, we are there with them to manage through all of that, help them be okay, and have someone by their side.

Are you a senior living provider and interested in learning about how our SMILE program can impact the residents within your community? Contact our business development partner by clicking the email below. We’d be more than happy to share more information about how this program can impact the lives of your residents.