“They’re So Good to Me”: Otterbein Small House Neighborhood Elder Tells Her Story

Posted on: November 28, 2022

Have you ever heard a senior in a nursing home describe themself as “spoiled” by their caregivers? How about expressing thankfulness for their lifestyle and surroundings?

Sounds out of the ordinary, right?

For Geraldine T., an elder living at Otterbein New Albany SeniorLife Neighborhood, it’s 100% true. To hear it in her own words, just watch the video below.

What Makes Otterbein SeniorLife Neighborhoods Different

Otterbein SeniorLife Neighborhoods are NOT traditional nursing homes. On the contrary, each neighborhood is an intimate community of small houses, with no more than 10-12 elders living in each house. Neighborhoods are also located in residential areas, alongside other homes and apartments ― so it truly feels like a neighborhood, rather than an institution.

See how our small house neighborhoods differ from traditional nursing homes >>

For Geraldine, that means enjoying privileges that traditional nursing homes don’t offer, such as:

  • Private rooms and bathrooms
  • Home-cooked meals around a dining room table
  • More one-on-one attention from caregivers

“It is a welcoming place. It is like home,” says Geraldine. “And [the staff are] just so good to you. They really are.”

Living Life to the Fullest ― Inside and Outside

Although elders spend most of their time inside their small house, that isn’t the only place they can be. Occasionally, elders participate in group outings to explore the surrounding community. For example, Geraldine joined trips to a nearby pumpkin patch during the fall and community Christmas light displays in the winter.

Otterbein SeniorLife Neighborhood resident and guest enjoying the sunshine while sitting on the patio.
In addition, each neighborhood has its own outdoor patio areas where elders can enjoy fresh air and sunshine when the weather is nice. Elders’ family members can also join them on the patio, making visits more fun and relaxed.

Is a small house neighborhood right for your loved one? Take this quiz to find out >>

Otterbein Staff = The Distinguishing Factor

Otterbein SeniorLife Neighborhood resident being cared for by a staff member.

The innovative design of a small house neighborhood makes it a unique and comfortable setting for elders, but it’s the caregivers and staff partners that really set Otterbein SeniorLife Neighborhoods apart.

“The people ― they’re good people. And I call them angels,” says Geraldine. “They come in and talk to us and just treat us great. I think they make Otterbein. Yes, they really do.”

Partners do everything a family member would do and more ― cook meals, keep rooms and common areas clean and safe, and interact with each elder in a myriad of ways. In short, they treat the elders they serve as they would their own family.

See The Small House, Big Difference

Are you (or someone you know) interested in seeing an Otterbein SeniorLife Neighborhood for yourself? Contact a neighborhood near you to set up a visit ― we’ll help you work out all the details.

Not ready to visit yet? Check out our website to learn more about what life is like there or follow our Otterbein SeniorLife Neighborhoods Facebook page to see the latest happenings.