In August 2017, a postcard arrived about an event at Brandon Wilde. We had never been here despite living nearby, didn’t know anyone who lived here, thought only rich people could live here (and we are not), and had an impression of “snootism.” I almost threw the postcard away, but I checked with Richard because the offering was a seminar on healthy aging. That had great appeal to me, and it struck a chord in him, so we showed up, and the rest is history.
By September, we revisited many times with an emphasis on personal care and skilled nursing — key considerations for us — had paid our full down payment, were on the waiting list, and were able to use the facilities here. Having access to the fitness classes, evening events and holiday buffets created a structure of relationships for us such that, when we finally were able to move in on Sept. 29, 2019, we were already a part of the fabric of the community. Six months later — lockdown. Those two years of access mattered greatly to us in understanding Brandon Wilde — pre-COVID — and helping us be well integrated. We were also able to support residents who lost spouses and loved ones during the pandemic — not necessarily because of the pandemic.