The annual LeadingAge Texas conference is a time that non-profit providers like MRC look forward to each year. The event attracts hundreds of senior living professionals who share best practices and learn from one another during the four day event.
One of the highlights of the conference was when Ely Rhea, Lifestyles and Wellness Director at Mirador Retirement Community, gave a dynamic presentation titled, “Engagement vs. Ageism– How Lifestyles Departments Can Empower Resident Leaders & Defy Age Prejudice.”
Rhea shared her strategy to create an environment where elders are empowered and engaged to make a difference where they live. Rhea shared practical applications to turn away from the ageist idea that elders are childlike and instead emphasized getting the elder involved, to ensure activities reflect their interests. One of the most powerful examples was Rhea’s use of resident led councils in each neighborhood of the community, including Memory Support. There, two candidates ran in a fun-spirited election campaign for the role of Council President. In keeping with her key points about empowering the resident’s voice to be heard, Rhea played a series of videos for attendees to hear directly from the elders on why this approach is meaningful to their quality of life and satisfaction at Mirador.