Coming out of COVID with hope, perspective of how far we’ve come and how much more we know about seniors and resiliency, I give a shout out to Penniman Hill in Hingham, Massachusetts: a new LCB community to refresh our senses…..
I recently had an in-person tour of its Independent, Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities. I met a bunch of folks including some unlikely; staff in elevators, housekeeping doing their thing, Mike making custom pizzas for lunch --- it’s a happy place and it shines through; and not because its new.
I learned the art of “Touring with all 5 Senses” more than a decade ago while working with 2Sisters Senior Living Advisors. It’s their secret sauce not to be revealed here but trust that I arrived well in advance for early “recon” and conversation with the person who’s perfectly situated to know what gives and who’s who. You know, the real stuff. You guessed it; she’s positioned at the front desk.
I forget that senior living is still, despite all, a very young industry. Assisted living communities, and especially memory care, have become both works of art and works of science.
Penniman Hill has clearly benefited from being a student (or family member!) of both.
Penniman’s Independent and Assisted Living spaces are clever in their integration of open and private spaces. There is always someplace comfortable to be found for “alone time”. The décor features maritime maps you can get lost up in and conversation pieces that let you know that yes, you are in New England! Now that community dining is open the folks in operations have found an ingenious way of designing tables to reflect six-feet-of-separation while sharing the same conversations and the same meals.
While we wait for a cure, Alzheimer’s Disease is being slowly unlocked. LCB is working with neuroscientist and genetic engineer Rudy Tanzi, PhD, to roll out a programs to instantly assess brain health. At Penniman Hill, the space and layout of Memory Care is a love letter to elders for its quadrangle walking path, the combination of open and cozy spaces and brilliance of lighting that brings clear joy and renewal to the faces of residents. The total effect is uber-sophistication in simplicity.
It was odd. On my drive home it occurred to me that after a year of being surrounded by masks in every public space, the residents in Memory Care at Penniman Hill, while safely distanced eating lunch, were simply wearing smiles.
Leaving Penniman Hill I also realized I was leaving a happy place and for sure entering much happier times.