What happens when you find out a resident in one of your affordable senior living apartments can’t afford a proper bed, mattress and blankets? What happens if, after that resident moves in, you learn he is sleeping on the floor?
If you’re a staff member at Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS), you spring into action and find the means to supply that senior with basic necessities and comfort. And that’s just what happened recently at our Walnut Court property in Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills neighborhood.
Through a generous donation by an anonymous donor to the Partners in Care Fund, which receives funds from the Good Samaritan Mission, the ERS annual fund, a resident with significant needs was furnished with a new bed, mattress and, most importantly, treated with the dignity he deserved.
Affordable living should be dignified living
No one ever wants to feel like a burden. That’s why many seniors of limited means don’t ask for help when they really need it — they’re afraid or embarrassed to call on friends or family members for financial support.
“Every senior, no matter what their level of income, deserves a nice place to live in their retirement years, and that’s what we strive for,” said Kathy Ison-Lind, Vice President of Affordable Housing and In-Home Services at ERS.
We understand that asking for help can be difficult. And we try to find ways of proactively stepping in to help wherever we see need, without waiting for our residents to ask. It’s part of our organizational fabric, as stated in four of our core values:
- Dignity: Recognizing the infinite worth of ourselves and others
- Integrity: Acting with honesty, trustworthiness and sincerity
- Ministry: Serving others with generosity and compassion as inspired by ones’ deepest personal convictions or faith commitments
- Person-Centeredness: Offering freedom, choice and purpose to those for whom, and with whom, we work
As our Walnut Court resident’s story shows, there are always opportunities to do more. And we’ll always seek them out.
A growing need for affordable senior housing
We at Episcopal Retirement Services understand that it can be hard for a senior living on a limited or fixed income to find affordable housing in Cincinnati. That’s why we have concentrated many of our efforts on increasing the number of independent living communities and apartments available to older persons of limited means.
As the Baby Boomers retirement wave reaches its peak, we expect that need to continue to grow. Many of today’s seniors simply aren’t well-prepared for retirement — especially after so many were financially impacted by the housing crash and the Great Recession of 2008.
“If you look at the growing senior population, every seven seco-nds, there’s one new 65-year-old in our country today,” said Doug Spitler, Chief Executive Officer of ERS. “So, incredible growth in terms of the senior population. And we know also that there’s [a] limited supply of senior affordable living communities in our country.
“Part of our obligation is to fulfill growing community needs,“ he continued. “Clearly, this is a growing need.”
Partnering with neighborhoods
ERS currently owns, manages or is developing 25 affordable living senior apartment communities in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. In addition to Walnut Court, ERS has renovated and repurposed properties in several Cincinnati neighborhoods, including Madisonville, Price Hill, South Cumminsville (near Northside), Evanston and Avondale.
These neighborhoods have significant populations of seniors with limited means. They’re older neighborhoods where buildings were available for renovation. And in doing so, we’re not only helping to provide vulnerable seniors with affordable living space, but helping to revitalize the community.
“A formula that [ERS] is using in affordable housing for seniors is partnerships,” explained Ison-Lind. ”We want the neighborhoods to want us to be there, and it’s important for our residents to be part of that neighborhood.”
In addition to our properties in Cincinnati, we’ve expanded elsewhere in the Buckeye State: Blanchester, Wilmington, Springfield, Cambridge, West Carrollton and Green Hills. We have a new property in Anderson, Indiana as well as Lexington, Kentucky, and plan to expand further in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
“It’s a good fit for us to extend our mission and serve this growing population,” Spitler explained.
Are you a senior in need of affordable housing, or a family member of a senior in need?
Contact us! Email our staff at email@example.com or call 513-979-2251 to inquire about availability of apartments at any of our affordable senior independent living communities.
We take great pride in fulfilling our mission to provide older people in the Tristate with the best solutions for retirement living. Get in touch with us today and find out how ERS can help you.