September 11, 2023
It’s hard to believe the Lathrop Community is celebrating 35 years since its
incorporation and 25 years since the opening of the Inn, which offers enhanced
independent living. In 2024, the community will recognize 20 years of affiliation with
The Kendal Corporation.
The evolution and growth of Lathrop are undoubtedly positive. Still, the community’s origins remain in the independent living Townhomes, idyllically clustered on “Lanes” with names like Mulberry, Crabapple and Hawthorn.
This year, the community included a new initiative, “Aging in Community,” in the new
Strategic Plan and worked quickly to get it underway, recognizing the value of the Lane
structure. Built with a simple design, the impact of the Lane structure has been far-reaching. The
residents who live on a Lane become a tightknit neighborhood within the larger Lathrop
In addition, Lathrop created a wellness coordinator position to partner specifically
with Townhome residents to identify their support needs, explore options, and ensure
preventative measures are in place. Residents were called upon to share their voices
through the Aging in Community Advisory Committee. The group gathers a range of
skills and experiences, from graduate degrees in geriatric research to having cared for a
spouse or partner through the end of life.
“It’s been incredible to admire how neighbors watch out for one another. They learn each
other’s habits and quickly check in if they’re concerned about someone’s well-being,” shares
Cindy Jerome, CEO at Lathrop. “For example, if a resident has a health concern
which requires a hospital stay, neighbors walk their dog, water the plants and set
up a ‘meal train’ for their return.”
Residents of Lathrop value being of service and are eager to help. There’s a true
sense of agency in building a caring network to which everyone contributes and
from which everyone benefits. Agency, and the ability for individuals to pilot their own lives, is a vital part
of aging well at Lathrop. Of course, there are limits to what a neighbor can provide. But, working within
the programs and services that Lathrop offers, the community is resolved to continually improve how
residents can age well and embrace purposeful living.
The Aging in Community Advisory Committee surveyed all residents, gathering a list of challenges
and support needed, and questioning what assistance is already in place. The results revealed fascinating
and helpful information, including the value of a sense of agency. This year, the committee will use this
information to identify ideas and recommendations for leadership at Lathrop. Some topics already identified
are technology, accessibility and gathering spaces that further foster community.
For Lathrop, it is now a time of reflection on the beauty within the lanes. It reinforced the value of
adding the resident voice to community decisions, encouraging them to take ownership in how they
grow older in their homes and community. But, most importantly, it reminded the campus of the distinct
value that Lathrop offers, which is made possible by the caring relationships of neighbors which echo
Lathrop’s Quaker roots.