Issue 42 – Orientation

Hazel felt a bit better after her rest and Charlie had ensured she took her medications before heading downstairs to the Manager’s office for orientation. Debra, the Community Manager, introduced them to the Resident’s Handbook and told them about the various services onsite and how to access those provided offsite. She also went through the protocols of the community, informing the couple about codes of conduct, how security worked, and the importance of informing staff about any absences or time away from the community. Charlie made notes as Hazel did her best to listen despite some of the discomfort she was experiencing.

“The most important thing I want to address is what to do in the event of a fire alarm,” Debra explained. “In the event you hear an alarm, it is very important that you remain where you are.” Charlie shook his head in disbelief, “Well, that’s pretty foolish. If I hear an alarm, I’m telling you now, I’m getting out of the building.” Debra smiled knowingly at him. “I completely understand that train of thought Mr. Stewart, which is why I have this conversation with everyone at move-in. You see, in many cases, it’s a false alarm, and having a building of this size try to evacuate all at once creates various scenarios where people can panic or get injured.” Charlie scoffed, “Well, if they aren’t very bright, that’s their issue.” Debra continued, “Well, think of Hazel here.” She turned to Hazel, “I’m sure you would rather not have to move quickly in your condition only to get outside in the cold and discover that it was for a false alarm.” Hazel nodded, “That’s true. But at the same time, if it is a real fire, I certainly don’t want to be sitting in my room as it burns to the ground.” “Understandable,” Debra agreed. “But the community is brand new. We have a state of the art sprinkler system that would kick-in in the event of an actual fire, and the entire building has been designed according to the highest safety standards. All the doors are fire-rated and prevent fire from spreading. You are honestly safest remaining in your room or wherever you are until advised otherwise.” Charlie and Hazel looked at each other, both satisfied with that information. “That makes some sense,” Charlie admitted begrudgingly.

Debra escorted them back to their room. The plan was to tour them around, but Hazel was having a hard time working through the pain. “You’ll notice we have hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the building,” Debra said as she took some and rubbed it into her hands. “It is very important that everyone keep their hands clean to prevent outbreaks.” Charlie took some in his own hands and pointed at the dispenser a little lower down that was obviously placed there for people like Hazel who were in wheelchairs. “So, are there a lot of people in here with diseases then?,” Charlie asked, worried. “Nope!,” Debra laughed, “and it’s because we keep the spread of germs to a minimum. It’s just something we encourage all the residents to get used to as they move from one area to another. We have a lot of people living under one roof, and so if someone does get sick, it can spread pretty quickly if we’re not all careful.” Charlie rolled his eyes. He felt like he was back in grade school where the teacher had to remind them to wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Still, he figured it was a pretty useful lesson to learn, and he hadn’t really thought of the importance of keeping things clean in a place like this.

Hazel winced in pain, which was his cue to get her back up to their room as quickly as possible. He thanked Debra for her time, noticing a group of men gathered in the activity area playing billiards. As tempted as he was to come down later for a game or two, he knew his focus needed to be on Hazel for the next little while. There would be plenty of time to socialize once she was back to her normal self, and it would be more fun to get to know people together.
Did you or your family member experience an orientation when you moved-in? What was it like? If you are a housing provider, what are some of the important things you go over for new residents on their first day? As an online community, we hope you will share your experiences and thoughts to better inform one another. Please provide your comment below.


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