Welcome to your new home!

Photo of Dolly, Arlene, Dorothy, and Rosemarie link arms in front of the fireplace at Court at Laurelwood Retirement.A building doesn’t make a home. It’s the people inside it who fill it with warmth.

Four residents at Court at Laurelwood Retirement Residence in Waterloo, ON, are doing just that. The new resident ambassadors were called together by Coreen Duke-Caroll, retirement counsellor at Court at Laurelwood, to help welcome new residents into the Court at Laurelwood family.

“They’ve made a huge difference in a short amount of time,” Coreen said. “I really consider them an extension of my team… we’re very fortunate to have these ladies living with us.”

The four resident ambassadors, Arlene, Dolly, Dorothy, and Rosemarie, draw on their own experience of moving in as inspiration, and believe that in the short time they’ve been part of the program it’s made a huge difference, not only on the lives of their peers, but in their own lives as well.

“Sometimes it’s hard to get down the hall for meals, there’s so many people to talk to,” Arlene, 84, said with a laugh. “I’ve gotten to know more people.”

For Coreen, it’s all about making the move into Court at Laurelwood as smooth and positive as possible. The new resident ambassadors play an important part in helping new residents feel welcome.

“I joined because I’m chairman of the resident’s council,” Rosemarie, 84, said. “I’m used to people, and I enjoy greeting them, and I include them in anything I do.”

Rosemarie is the only member of the resident ambassador program who had friends at Court at Laurelwood prior to moving in. Today, they use that experience as inspiration for all of the amazing work they do in the ambassador program.  

“The program has made a big difference for me. It’s more warm and welcoming now,” Dorothy, 84, said. “When I first moved in, I didn’t know anyone.”

“It’s the simple things, like how to turn on the washing machine and where to sit for lunch,” Dolly, 90, said. “New people often come up and thank us for helping them.”

The resident ambassador program is bridging the gap between people, so that they feel like part of the family almost from the moment they walk in.

“I felt it was really important to establish this resident ambassador program with residents who have gone through this experience themselves and understand the move-in journey.” Coreen said. “These ladies do such an amazing job.”

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