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On February 12, 2024, Brian Kolenich from Youngstown, OH shared his story at Weaving in 400 Seconds. Brian is improving the quality of life of older adults by creating services that focus on their wellbeing and connect them to their larger community.


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Brian.  Thanks for highlighting this issue.  I was a deacon at my church for a few years and among my assignments was visiting a number of our members in a particular assisted care facility in our town.  I was always amazed at the number of doors that always seemed to be closed.  Only 5-10% would have them open and it was often possible to engage in conversation. The facility generally scheduled a group activity for each morning and afternoon and would encourage the residents to attend, but few did unless it was a visiting musical group.  

Yet my assigned members were always extremely happy to have me knock on their door and spend a few minutes talking about anything and everything.  I wonder why they keep their doors shut but I have always hesitated to ask.  Of course each personality is different but there seems to be a societal custom to be closed rather than open.  And it becomes even more ingrained the older you become.

As I continue to grow old, I try to remember each day to greet strangers with a "Hola.  Como esta?" or variant thereof, and keep knocking on close doors.

Nathan Hult
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