Posted by Guide to Retirement Living SourceBook on 09/06/2017

Friends You Can Only Find Here

Friends You Can Only Find Here

On tours of Dunwoody Village, visitors often remark that it just “feels different” from other communities. That’s because our residents are warm and welcoming, and our employees are gracious and helpful. And it’s not just for show—the more time residents spend here, the more they come to see that friendliness, openness and inclusivity are an intrinsic part of the Dunwoody culture.

That starts the moment people walk through the front door. Often, the first person they’ll encounter is Peggy Bodkin, who has worked at Dunwoody for 37 years, most recently at the reception desk.

“Dunwoody Village is a wonderful, pleasant place to work. Everybody is kind and has a story to tell,” Peggy says. In fact, she feels so at home that she herself will be moving in over the coming year, as she downsizes from a 6-acre farm.

Once prospective residents sign on, a 29-member Hospitality Committee greets them. “I was impressed with the work of the Hospitality Committee when I first arrived. It meant so much to me that I offered to join and ended up becoming committee chair,” says Anne Harrison.

“I make an initial welcoming visit to new residents in their homes and then introduce newcomers at the resident meeting. Committee members reach out over the course of the first year to invite the new residents to dinner, and we have a lovely meal for all the newcomers at the end of the year,” Anne continues. “Never in my life have I enjoyed a volunteer job quite so much—the committee is great to work with, and I love that we are continuing this important tradition of making people feel at home.”

Some residents arrive already knowing friends or having connections in the Village, which fosters a sense of familiarity. Others find that Dunwoody offers a refreshing sense of change—with new friends who have an array of diverse backgrounds and experiences that make the daily social exchange richly rewarding. No matter how they come to Dunwoody, all residents quickly make friends.

“Almost every evening we dine with different people,” says Diane Ladner, who moved into a Penrose Carriage Home last year. “Or we call up someone to come attend one of the excellent programs, such as recently when we had David Kim, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Concert Master here, giving a concert. It’s a fascinating mix of people who have done very interesting things with their lives.”

The convivial atmosphere is apparent to everyone who lives at Dunwoody, including resident Fran Northrup who visited 14 communities before choosing Dunwoody Village as her new home. “There are no cliques here at all, which is extraordinary,” she says. “Because of the camaraderie and support at Dunwoody, people in the art studio encouraged me to learn oil painting. That camaraderie and support makes Dunwoody Village a very rewarding place to be.”


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