Episode #48 - Learn about what the Director of Lifestyle Options role is within the Retirement sections at Schlegel Villages as Erin Davis & Doug Robinson welcome Branka Matijevic to the Green Bench. Branka is a relationship-builder, and community-builder, proud to support green bench conversations, and a fantastic DLO at The Village of Wentworth Heights in Hamilton.
Helping seniors and their families not only to choose the right living environment but to help new residents find community, trust, friendship, and a real sense of belonging.
"No matter what age, there is always a chance for love to bloom." - Erin Davis
As a Director of Lifestyle Options, Branka's role is to get to know individuals considering moving into a retirement community such as The Village of Wentworth Heights and working closely with the Hamilton community to highlight what the Village offers.
Her father's was living with Alzheimer’s and the way she was able to love and relate to him during this challenging time has helped her relate to people who are going through similar experiences.
"It has changed my life completely being able to sit on the green bench and meet so many interesting people." - Doug Robinson
"Having a level of responsibility is important as we get older." - Branka Matijevic
"Older adults have so much that we can learn from. It's great to watch the community gather this power and knowledge from the residents on the green bench." -Branka Matijevic
"We're turning things around. We are having younger people take the time to sit down and to learn from elders on the green bench." - Branka Matijevic
History of the #ElderWisdom campaign
In 2016, we began a campaign to end ageism in our communities by highlighting the wisdom and talents of seniors all while using the #ElderWisdom tag on social media.
- 2016 - Throughout June, we brought the green bench to 13 cities across Ontario where local seniors shared their wisdom with
key influencers and community members.
- 2017 - On June 6, 2017, 80 seniors shared #ElderWisdom on the green bench with students at 16 different high schools across Ontario.
- 2018 - In June, 41 seniors from 19 villages participated in #ElderWisdom in 15 cities with the green bench.
- 2019 - Throughout the month of June, 50 seniors shared their #ElderWisdom in the community for 49 hours on the green bench. A Twitter chat with Ron Schlegel and Instagram experience was held on social media as well!
- 2020 - During June, Seniors Month, residents from Schlegel Villages share their #ElderWisdom digitally through our Stories from the Green Bench videos and our LIVE Facebook events on Tuesdays.
- 2021 - Our focus was on this Podcast.
- 2022 - Green Benches returned to the community visiting 6 locations across Ontario hosting over 114 hours of conversations with 44 Schlegel Villages residents.
Ageism is a form of discrimination, often experienced by older adults. Our elders have a great deal of wisdom to contribute to their communities. However, societal norms marginalize seniors, treat them with disrespect, make them feel unwelcome and generalize as if they were all the same.
Ageism robs seniors of choice, independence, dignity and negatively
impacts their quality of life. Let’s use social media to end ageism and celebrate the great things seniors have to offer by sharing #ElderWisdom.
"My wish is that people would have more compassion, patience and to be more inclusive to all ages." -Branka Matijevic
"What I've seen to be most important is the relationships not just amongst residents, but with team members and residents. We've become one big family." -Branka Matijevic
Cultivate The Ultimate Team Member Experience
At Schlegel Villages, we have an amazing culture that stellar team members want to be a part of. We care about our team members as much as we care about our residents. As one family, we learn, grow, and move forward together. We are passionate and find fulfillment in making a difference in people’s lives. Our caring community honours and encourages well-being, and team members are appreciated in personally meaningful ways. Through mentorship, ongoing support, and education we are empowered to go beyond the status quo, and unleash our full potential.
“You can be you while being a part of our family.”
"What the elders see while sitting the young ones standing on their toes won't see." - African Proverb
Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast on any network and share your thoughts on social media using the #ElderWisdom tag to help others find us.
The Green Bench is a symbol of elder wisdom. Physically or virtually, the bench invites us all to sit alongside a senior, share a conversation, or give and offer advice.
It challenges the stigma seniors face; the ageism still so prevalent in society. It reminds us of the wealth of wisdom our elders offer and in doing so, helps restore them to a place of reverence.
"The greatest untapped resource in Canada, if not the world, is the collective wisdom of our elders." -Ron Schlegel
This podcast is brought to you by Schlegel Villages, retirement & long-term care homes in Ontario, Canada.
#ElderWisdom | Stories from the Green Bench is produced by Memory Tree Productions
Learn more about our host, Erin Davis, at erindavis.com
Learn more about #ElderWisdom at elderwisdom.ca
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