Ecumenical Home residents share wisdom with BAHS seniors

To recognize the Bradford Area High School Class of 2020, Bradford Ecumenical Home Inc. residents put together a brochure, “Seniors to Seniors,” that passed along wisdom from their life experiences. From left are Lindsey Wind, Dorothy Hund and Eve Baker. Wind and Baker are two Ecumenical Home employees who are part of the graduating class, and Hund is a resident of the facility.

Local seniors received an invaluable gift for graduation this year: life advice from Bradford’s experienced citizens.

For instance: “God did not intend for us to be alone. Celebrate with friends and family,” Shirley, 91, advised the young graduates. “Enjoy it, All of it! Enjoy life.”

That gem was part of a brochure that Bradford Ecumenical Home Inc. partnered with Bradford Area School District to put together, said Lisa Johnson, CEO of Bradford Ecumenical Home. The brochure, called “Seniors to Seniors,” was a way to recognize the Class of 2020.

“Bradford Ecumenical Home residents took to this year’s National Nursing Home Week Theme of Words of Wisdom and compiled a brochure with over 40 resident interviews,” Johnson explained.

National Nursing Home Week was May 10-16.

The project made it possible for Ecumenical Home residents to share all those things they wished they knew when they were 18.

Focusing on the positive and putting loved ones first was a common theme in the tidbits of wisdom.

Joanne, 90, shared this piece of guidance: “I’ve been through tough times. But let’s not talk about that. I have a son and three daughters who have been such a blessing to me. Just be a joy to others. Be a ray of sunshine when someone else needs it most. And don’t leave things on the floor. Someone, maybe you, could slip and fall on it.”

The experienced seniors said they do not recommend wasting time on bickering.

Albert, 90, told the graduates this: “Always remember: no one is right all the time and no one is wrong all the time. You have to be willing to give up something sometimes. That’s what makes a relationship work. I was married for 63 years. I had a good marriage. I have kids who help me, and you have to remember God is in control.”

Copies of the brochure will be gifted to the students, according to Johnson.

“Each graduating senior from Bradford Area High School will receive a personalized copy of the brochure along with a Class of 2020 gold lapel pin in recognition of their accomplishments,” she said.

When they receive their brochures, the graduates will be able to enjoy knowledge like this, shared by Barbara, 92: “Look for things that bring you joy. I love my cat. I love Christmas. Find something in common with anyone. Smile. Everyone has that in common. Don’t skimp on compliments. Have a sense of humor.”

It’s a strange time for new adults to be making their way out into the world. These last few months brought many changes, and much remains uncertain.

Helen, 83, told the young seniors not to let current issues define their view of the future: “You have your whole life ahead of you. Don’t dwell on this little season that seems hard.”