Doris Nielsen remembers all too well how she felt when she first moved into her current residence. Everything seemed so big and intimidating. She feared she would never get acclimated. It didn’t help that she wasn’t well. Her body was giving out after four years of caring for her late husband of 63 years. She was weak and tired and couldn’t even manage to dress or feed herself.

Now, after two years of living at Sagewood at Daybreak, she says she’s at functioning at 100% and she wouldn’t return to her old home, even if she could. Sagewood offers her so much more than she could ever have if she lived alone.

Doris moved into Sagewood just before the implementation of their ambassador program. Ambassadors are resident volunteers whose job it is to help the new residents get acclimated by showing them around, joining them for meals, and helping them get acquainted with classes offered.

Today, Doris serves as an ambassador because she knows what the new residents are going through and she wants to help them learn their way around and feel welcome.

“I really enjoy helping other people,” says Doris. “If I can make them feel more comfortable, it really makes me feel good.”

That sentiment is echoed by Sagewood resident, Virginia Harris, who also serves as an ambassador. Virginia makes an indelible first impression on the new residents by bringing them a batch of freshly baked cookies when they first arrive.

“I bring a little batch of cookies, because even if they don’t remember me, they’ll remember the cookies, right?” she says with a laugh. “I mean, who doesn’t remember cookies?”

Virginia says she places her cookie orders with the kitchen, and they love being a part of it all. She says they get in on the fun by writing cute little welcome notes for the new residents.

But, that’s just life at Sagewood, according to Doris, who says she’s made some great friends since moving in.

“Everybody — and I don’t mean just a few people — everybody here is so kind and so nice,” Doris says. “They have all the patience in the world.”

That patience helped Doris gain back her strength, and now she’s unstoppable as she tries to attend every class that’s offered. She especially loves the Quilter’s Club, where she learned to loom beanie hats. She estimates she’s already made nearly 125 hats which are donated to various charities, including the Ronald McDonald House.

“When I moved in here, I wasn’t in too good of shape and everything was about me,” says Doris. “Now that I feel better, I just want to help everyone I can.”

Have you ever considered what life is like at a senior living community? Stop by Sagewood at Daybreak and you can meet resident ambassadors like Doris and Virginia to learn more about the community.

Join us on Thursday, Oct. 24, for a Taste of Sagewood at Daybreak, where you’ll have the chance to taste the delicious culinary creations available to residents in the Bistro and enter a raffle for prizes. If you’d like to participate, please RSVP to (385) 630-9786.