Legacies Project- Johanna Van Dyke

This summer, we’ve partnered with University of Virginia’s radio station, WTJU in celebrating their bicentennial. The university stands as a reminder of Thomas Jefferson’s legacy, and made us think about our residents and their legacies, the stories they will leave behind.

When we sat down to talk with our residents about what stories they want to share, we heard everything from memories of being a child on a tobacco farm to what it was like to live in a coal shack. We also heard advice for happy marriages and having adventures. But we heard funny stories too. Johanna Van Dyke of Commonwealth Senior Living at Chesterfield shares stories about her eccentric grandfather:

We love hearing these stories, and actually, the life stories that we hear shape the experiences our residents enjoy. When we know that some residents love animals or grew up on a farm, we’ll be sure to schedule trips to a local petting zoo or have therapy animals visit the community. These life experiences help us customize our Sweet Memories neighborhood so that we’re creating life stations and activities which might trigger memories and give our residents a feeling of being successful.

Stories like this may only make the average person smile, but for us, they give us a treasure trove of ideas for creating joy. To learn more about our Sweet Memories neighborhoods or to find a community, click here: https://www.commonwealthsl.com/living-options/memory-care/