If you live anywhere near Greenfield, you’re familiar with The Arbors at Greenfield. They’re the group of smiling seniors throwing candy from their bus to the crowd during the Annual Fair Parade in September.
Unless your parent, grandparent or other senior loved one lives at The Arbors, it’s unlikely you know everything these community-minded, active people do!
Amie Hanrahan, The Arbors’ regional executive director, says each community is different, and each Arbors reflects that diversity. The Arbors at Greenfield exemplifies the spirit of Greenfield, Shelburne, Deerfield, Whately, Montague, Gill, Colrain, Leyden, Bernardston, Northfield, Orange, Vernon VT, Brattleboro VT, Hinsdale NH and the surrounding area.
The Arbors at Greenfield Supports the Community
“The Arbors at Greenfield is all about being part of and supporting the local community. We understand the importance of being a part of a community and supporting local businesses. We are proud to be members of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) and regularly purchase locally grown produce and milk to serve to our residents, says Crystal DaSilva, the community's former marketing director who is now at The Arbors at Chicopee.
“We are committed to enhancing the lives of our residents, as well as the communities we serve, purchasing goods from local farmers, merchants and organizations, including milk from Our Family Farms and seasonal produce from Clarkdale Fruit Farm & Ciesluk Farmstand.”
She’s most proud of residents’ commitment to making a difference. “We are very proud to be ‘Seniors Helping Seniors’. We fundraise year-round to raise money for Lifepath’s Meals on Wheels program that serves Franklin County and surrounding hill towns. We also take the majority of the funds raised from our annual craft fair and bake sale to donate to Meals on Wheels in the winter.”
Participation isn’t enough to satisfy the go-getters at Greenfield, though; they work hard to excel at everything they do. “Our residents set a record last year by making several hundred Valentine’s Day cards to be delivered by Meals on Wheels drivers to shut-ins so every senior would receive something for Valentine’s Day. In fact, we have won the award of ‘Most Money Raised by a Business’ for 3 years in a row!” Crystal exclaims proudly.
The Arbors at Greenfield Supports Art
In addition to everything else they do, The Arbors at Greenfields hosts a large art show that features the work of residents, their families, and the local community. Keeping it local, their Annual Family BBQ hosts local favorite, the Greenfield Military Band, each year.
Crystal believes residents’ interest in the arts comes naturally, because of the “abundance of local talent and culture.” Many go with their families to the Annual Crafts of Colrain Open Studio Tour or The Shea Theater Arts Center (STAC).
“We strive to embrace the rich culture all around us — from hosting an annual art show featuring both local artists and residents from the community to the annual craft fair and bake sale to community concerts in the courtyard,” explains Crystal.
Intergenerational Activities at The Arbors at Greenfield
Intergenerational activities are important to residents of The Arbors, so the Washington State Preschool visits a couple of times a month for a story and snack time. A slightly older crowd, the Health Technologies class from Franklin County Tech School, plays Wii bowling or does hand manicures or massages for residents every other week.
Residents play a valuable role as a critical audience for local schools, such as Mount Hermon, Deerfield Academy, Greenfield High, and nearby music schools, as they practice for recitals and shows.
Just for the Fun of It
The climb up to the Poet’s Seat Tower may be a bit much for some residents, but they love walking over the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne. Concerts at Energy Park and picnics at Look Park are also popular jaunts. Every year, they take a river boat cruise on the Quinnetukut in Northfield.
Crystal maintains the real community consists not just of residents, but of their families and dedicated staff.
“Several of our staff have been with us since the doors opened. Having that level of consistency delivers a better quality of care and deeper relationships with our residents and their families,” she says.
Residents become like family to staff, and staff become like family to residents and their family. Crystal believes the love and caring expressed on all sides generate even more love and caring, which help residents thrive.
She explains, “The level of commitment and involvement from our families is unusually high. We are fortunate to have so many families that attend activities and special events. They truly are our extended family and jump right in to help serve drinks or cake; they form relationships with other residents, and love to have fun celebrating special events with us. In fact, many residents live at The Arbors because a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, or a family member lives or has lived at The Arbors.”
Most of our residents will tell you if they would have known much fun they’d be having at The Arbors Assisted Living Residential Communities, they’d have moved in earlier. When it comes to your loved one’s health, it’s not just about the safety of the buildings, the socialization, and the access to healthcare, it’s about the ability of senior adults to make a difference in their community and the world.