When it comes to quality of life in a senior living community, independence is key. While changes in health might affect how much we can do on our own, the truth is that most of us still want to be in charge of how we live day-to-day. For residents at Golden West, being involved in the community is much more than just an issue of staying social.
Our resident committees not only give people a way to channel their passions, but a means to have input to the inner-workings of the community. This is what separates resident committees from social clubs. While clubs serve an important purpose for giving people a way to come together over their interests, committees meet to collaborate on goals within the community. This empowers residents to think creatively about the community and streamlines resident feedback to staff.
“We have 250 opinions here.”
One of our longest running groups, and undoubtedly one of the most integral to the inner-workings of Golden West. Resident Council is comprised of departments heads from other committees and meets monthly to share updates about the community and hear resident concerns. “Residents didn’t always want to get involved as much, but there’s been a shift,” Director of Programs Jill Moore said. “Now, they want to be in charge.”
Community Share and Recycling Committee
“We want to make it so more residents feel that recycling can be a way of life.”
Started by residents Linda Johnson and Peper Gisi, the Recycling Committee seeks to get more residents on board with recycling and composting. Since forming the group two years ago, they’ve made great strides in educating fellow residents about how Boulder County handles recyclables and have even been able to get dining services to transition to compostable takeout materials. Recycling isn’t a habit for all residents, so Linda and Peper team up to spread awareness and make themselves available to answer questions. “We do this thing at each resident council meeting called a ‘recycling moment,’” Linda said. “I make an announcement to remind them about what we do with paper, or what classifies as plastic. It’s made a difference.”
“It’s a wonderful way to meet new residents and welcome them.”
As Chairperson of the Floor Representatives, Glo Keller is one of the first to know when a new resident is moving into Golden West. She works directly with 28 floor representatives for all 24 residential floors at Golden West to ensure everyone feels welcomed in their new home. Since Floor Representatives are in charge of delivering residents’ monthly statements and newsletters, Glo primarily works one-on-one with each representative to make sure all items are distributed in a timely manner. The committee meets quarterly to stay connected about updates on each floor. “I just like being involved with all the residents, knowing who’s here,” Glo said. “I like welcoming new people as they come in.”
Community Food Share
“It makes a huge difference in a lot of people’s lives.”
Golden West offers residents a couple options for getting fresh groceries at no cost: Elder Share and Community Food Share. While Elder Share is a government-sponsored program delivered once a month, the Community Food Share brings a mobile pantry directly to Golden West for about an hour twice a month, allowing residents to pick from a variety of fresh food donated by local vendors, grocers and farmers. Linda Johnson is the primary contact for the food share and is in charge of getting residents “signed up and lined up.” See organizes everyone’s paperwork so those who need the pantry can access it. “We have between 45 to 65 people going through the mobile pantry on a particular visit,” Linda said. And, according to her, it’s still growing as more residents learn about the service.
There’s something for everyone.
“We have so many different activities going on here… committees open it up for everyone to take part.”
The many committees at Golden West make it possible for residents to be involved in the changes that matter most to them. From the Program Committee, which meets once a month to come up with ideas about new activities or events to host, to the Art Group, which meets to discuss future art events and what to display around the campus, and many more, residents are empowered to have their voices heard on nearly every facet of life at the community.