When Edith Gillette moved into Golda Meir House six years ago, she felt a sense of happiness and companionship she had not experienced since the passing of her husband Mel two years before.
“The first day here, people said I looked new and introduced themselves and welcomed me,” she said. “That gave me such a wonderful beginning. It’s like being part of a big family. I’m thankful to be here when I wake up every day.”
For Edith, who recently turned 94, it is hard to keep up with all Golda Meir House has to offer. She participates in exercise classes and attends lectures on a range of topics given by visiting professors and professionals. Book clubs and the first-floor library keep her mind sharp, she says.
After taking a class in the computer center, Edith wrote her life memoir for her daughter, son, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren, all of whom live nearby and visit frequently.
“There is always something to do here,” she said. “I had such a tough time after my husband passed away and when I got accepted here, I felt it was the best thing that had ever happened to me. It’s great for my kids to know I am busy and active.”
And while Edith is thrilled with her spacious apartment overlooking a garden, and all the amenities and services available to her, it is the other residents and staff at Golda Meir House who give her the most enjoyment.
Shortly after moving in, staff encouraged Edith to volunteer at the building’s front desk two hours a week, where she was amazed to learn how diverse its residents are.
“I’ve met people here I wouldn’t have met in a million years,” she said. “I’ve met people who went through the Holocaust. I’ve met people who came from other countries. I’ve met people from many backgrounds and professions. I’ve been so enriched.”
Edith jokes that at 94 she is just starting to slow down a bit by using a cane and says the secret to mental and physical health as an older adult is activity. “Keeping the body moving is so important.”
Thank you, Edith, for sharing your story. MassHousing, an independent agency that for over 50 years has provided financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts, including Golda Meir House, published a profile of Edith Gillette. Click here to read the full article.