Senior residents are usually retirees in the category of 55 years old on up. Having reached that age, a senior citizen has a great deal of experience in life and work. While raising a family, living life, and laboring through their jobs, they’ve seen many ups and downs.
In this season of life, your senior residents embrace retirement as a respite from work or because an aging body is insisting they slowing down and enjoy life. For seniors, support comes from their retirement funds, savings, or family. Naturally, community and solid relationships with friends and family play a big role in the care of our seniors.
So, how can your mobile home community better care for its senior residents?
Seniors in distress
In the state of Washington, about 80 seniors reside in Halcyon Mobile Home Park. It’s their home. Believing the owner’s promise that the park would never be sold, they invested in renovating their homes without concern for the future. Being low income, the park was a blessing to them all — up until now.
Because the park owner recently died, the property is up for sale. A developer is looking to buy it — such a sale would require the eviction of everyone in the park. While the homes themselves are owned by the residents, the property they sit on is at the whim of whoever owns the property.
Unfortunately, this puts the senior residents in a predicament. Rather than enjoy their time in retirement, they are now stressed with the possibility of being homeless.
“Nobody has a clue where to go,” said one resident, Eloise Micklesen. “I mean some of the people have been here 30 and 40 years and they’re old — they’re 70, 80, 90 years old.”
“When you live in a community that you serve and you look after and get up and at night when they got emergencies and go to hospitals, and you hold their hands while they’re dying –you can’t just walk away from it,” she continued.
Taking care of senior residents in mobile home communities
For these residents, the uncertainty is heart-wrenching and sure to elicit anger and fear. And one can understand why — the prospect of being evicted without a plan is frightening. This is a worry that no one should carry with them after a long life of hard work.
So we’ve seen the trouble that’s arisen in the aforementioned story. What are some practical things that can be done to care for senior residents in a mobile home community? And how can we “protect” them from such tragedies and other dangers?
In caring for your senior residents, one big thing you can do is – plan ahead. What checks and balances have you put in place for their well-being after you’re gone? Should the sale of the park be mandatory, what can you do to ensure it goes into the right hands? Speak with a real estate attorney and get their take on the best way to go about it, according to your location.
Keep in constant communication
Keep a door of communication open. To show you care, you need to take initiative and reach out. Once your residents trust you, you’ll be more approachable. They’ll see you as more than a landlord — they’ll see you as someone who truly cares.
This will help you better understand their needs and find opportunities with their best interest in mind.
If things go south, go above and beyond
Let’s say you’ve done all you can for your senior residents, but things simply won’t pan out well. For whatever reason, you have to sell to a developer.
What can you do to help your seniors have a smooth transition? First, ensure they have enough time to plan and move. You should also be involved in helping them seek out a new home. Look up options in the area and provide them with that list. And let their loved ones know you want to help and that you’re deeply sorry it’s come to this.
Show you care.
The past is the key to the future
It’s true. You value your senior residents because of the mere fact that they are human. And a glimpse into the past only increases your appreciation for them. Your senior residents have lived much and seen much. They are an invaluable source of wisdom and knowledge in any community.
A community without seniors is certainly lacking something special. We wish you the best as you care for your residents.
In a similar vein, have you considered the ones on the other end of the age spectrum? Kids — they bring a sense of fun and vibrancy to any community. They are every community’s future. Check out our tips on how to run a mobile home park that’s kid-friendly.