AHEPA Senior Living Personifies Hellenic Ideals

At AHEPA Senior Living, we strive to be pillars of our communities, inspired by the ethos of our Greek American founders of civic responsibility, humanitarianism, and philanthropy. Led by the desire to leave our communities better than we found them, we hope our team of professionals embodies these Hellenic ideals and that these ideals carry over to residents. This personification of ideals is what we saw this holiday season at several of our communities.


A Community Inspired to Give Back

In Daytona Beach, Florida, at our AHEPA 410 Senior Apartments community, residents recently asked the management team about donating toys to children through a Toys for Tots drive hosted by the Daytona Beach Fire Department. While the request seemed normal to Julie Carpenter, the AHEPA 410 Senior Apartments property manager, the participation caught her a bit by surprise.

“We collected 64 new unwrapped toys that we dropped off to the Daytona Beach Fire Department,” said Carpenter. “Many of our residents were eager to participate. For them, the thought of putting smiles on children’s faces was very gratifying. Several took pictures of the gifts under the tree to share with their loved ones.”

We also saw a similar toy drive carried out by residents at Penelope 54 Senior Apartments in Houston for a collection organized by the Houston Police Department.

However, the exciting part of the story is how these holiday toy drives that link generations seem to reflect a growing trend in the United States–a rise in multigenerational housing. These households cite several benefits of living together, including strengthened relationships among family members, more accessible family care, improved finances, and positive impacts on personal mental health. Perhaps the alignment of the “holiday spirit” or simply the desire to care for others ties these two concepts together.


The Steady Rise of Multigenerational Households

The COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid crisis are recent contributing factors for the rise in children in high poverty or rural areas living with their grandparents. A June 2022 report issued by a congressional committee responsible for appropriating funding for affordable elderly housing cited these factors. However, according to research from the Pew Research Center, there has been a steady rise in multigenerational housing since the 1970s, with a rate of 18% in 2021. All told, 23% of grandparents support grandchildren, according to a stat provided by the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Aging, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), at a December 2022 hearing.

While there are currently no AHEPA Senior Living facilities that provide multigenerational housing, the trend is gaining attention. It has the interest of the Senate Committee on Aging. In 2019, the then-heads of the committee, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), proposed a bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act to allow further funding to multigenerational families. Today, we are starting to see Congress appropriate funding to expand the supply of affordable intergenerational units—$25 million in the latest funding bill.

Regardless of whether we can be involved directly, our ethos aligns with those ideals being lived by intergenerational housing. At the core, we want to ensure that seniors and our communities are served and thriving. So, we want to thank again the residents in Daytona Beach and Houston who took it upon themselves to help make the holidays brighter for the underserved children in their communities.

Hurricane Ian: A Lesson on Hurricane Preparedness

Every year from June through November, hurricane preparedness is at the forefront of every coastal city resident’s mind. The unknowable potential of destruction due to high winds and storm surges demands that residents have a plan. And although a storm’s power typically diminishes significantly after it makes landfall, even communities over 50 miles from the coast should still take necessary precautions. Our communities in Florida and South Carolina do just that.

Initially making landfall through southwestern Florida on September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian was a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 155mph. It was then downgraded to a tropical storm as it passed over Florida but strengthened back to a category 1 hurricane as it hit South Carolina on September 30. It was quickly downgraded into a post-tropical storm after making landfall the second time, and eventually dissipated on October 1 in Virginia.

AHEPA 489 New Port Richey Escapes Harm

On September 27, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an emergency evacuation of 12 counties, including Pasco County, where our AHEPA 489 community is located. Dawn Adams, the AHEPA 489 Apartments Property Manager, acted proactively to ensure that residents were safely transported to alternative shelters or evacuated with family – vacating the entire premises.

After the storm had passed, Dawn returned to the facility to assess the damage. This property was lucky, as there were no reports of lost power or damage, only scattered debris mostly from palm trees. She gave the “all clear” for residents to begin to return and spent the morning of September 29 calling residents to inform them of the great news.

AHEPA 284 in Columbia Sustains Damage

Despite being nearly 100 miles from the coast, Columbia, South Carolina, is regularly affected by hurricanes. While storms here are typically not as dangerous as they are in coastal South Carolina, strong winds can still uproot trees, which is exactly what happened in our AHEPA 284-III Apartments community in Columbia. Thankfully, no residents were harmed.

Immediately, our staff was able to safely evacuate sixteen residents to alternative housing arrangements, which included being with their families and securing hotel rooms. Next, we were able to have a professional team promptly remove a fallen tree that weekend. After surveying the facility, a total of eight units had sustained damage with work starting immediately to dry them out and begin repairs. Since that time, all residents have returned to the nearby AHEPA 284 Apartments community.

You’re in Good Hands

For over forty years, AHEPA has been serving America’s older adults with affordable housing. Our experienced staff is well-versed in meteorological preparedness, and we work tirelessly to ensure the safety of our communities. Even as hurricanes become more pervasive, with the average number rising annually in recent years, residents can feel safe knowing that they are in good hands at AHEPA Senior Living.