This is part of our Story series. Read more LSS Stories.
Doris Wolff doesn’t like to sit still. Lucky for her, Meramec Bluffs, a Lutheran Senior Services Life Plan Community in Ballwin, Missouri, gives her plenty of opportunities to stay on the move and connected to her community.
“I can’t stand downtime,” added Wolff. “I love people. I love to be out and greeting and talking to people.”
Which would explain why Wolff is a regular volunteer at the receptionist desk at the Care Center. She greets visitors and helps them find their way. She connects new residents with nurses to get them settled in. She escorts REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation guests to the therapy area. Wolff definitely keeps busy. But the Care Center reception desk is just one of her volunteer activities at Meramec Bluffs.
While she is very engaged in volunteering and participating in her community now, Wolff admits that she wasn’t always this way. When she was raising her and her husband’s four children, Wolff was also working full time. She was active in their church and the children’s schools, but that was about all she had time for. After her husband passed away a few years after moving to Meramec Bluffs, Wolff realized she needed to get out in the community.
“I’m also a Bluff Greeter,” added Wolff. “I just had my ninth resident move in.”
Many LSS communities have programs that welcome new residents and help them find their way around the community. At Meramec Bluffs, they’re known as “Bluff Greeters.” The Greeter is a current resident who introduces the new resident to the community.
“I love being a Bluff Greeter; it’s the coolest thing ever,” said Wolff. “People who I’ve worked with have turned out to become best friends of mine.”
Wolff also serves on various resident committees that implement resident activities and special events. She’s been a part of the Lifestyle Enrichment Committee and helped to plan the New Year’s Eve Party. Currently, she’s serving on the Food Committee. In this capacity, she and her fellow committee members collect input from residents on what they’d like to see offered in the various dining venues and share that information with the Meramec Bluffs dining staff.
“Volunteering sure beats sitting!” said Wolff. “It makes you feel warm and fuzzy. It’s better to give than receive; it just makes you feel good.”