Quaker Values In Action at Lathrop

With new senior housing developments emerging each year to accommodate the increasing older population, how can we distinguish one community from another?

To be sure, adult living environments vary significantly. Differentiating among them takes some time and exploration. Often, the first step is to visit a community’s website.  

We’re glad you’re here!

Indelibly Rooted
To understand the Lathrop difference is to appreciate the overarching influence of the Quaker Values and Practices to which all Kendal affiliates are deeply connected.

Here, we will examine how these values affect all that we do and all that we are. We will also explore what they mean to current and prospective residents on an everyday basis.

More Than a Mission Statement
At Lathrop, our mission to provide purposeful living for older adults is more than just words on a corporate document.

It’s a way of life tracing back 400 years, when some principled, free-thinking people in northern England decided to buck the norms of the Church of England and embrace a belief in a personal, tangible relationship not only with God, but with Earth itself and its many diverse people. These pioneers became the Quakers.

Their new way of worshiping, thinking and communing (dangerous and criminal at the time) paved the way for inherently benevolent ideals and actions that guide us still today.

The SPICES of Life at Lathrop
A convenient acronym, SPICES, spells out how people of all faiths (or no religious background at all) are called to live their lives according to Quaker values. We will apply them here specifically to the Lathrop community, including staff, residents and our partners in the greater Pioneer Valley.

  • Simplicity
    A homelike space designed with access to the natural world and featuring simple beauty.

For some residents, mountainous western Massachusetts along the banks of the Connecticut
River is where they’ve spent their entire lives. For others, the pristine beauty of the Berkshires region is a new frontier to walk, hike, bike or simply relish the glory of nature.

By no means, however, does simplicity mean “boring.” For everyone, the arty, progressive, academic flavor of the Valley (in the heart of New England and an easy drive to Boston and New York City) is an endless adventure in culture, variety and things to do.

Nestled along cozy lanes, the townhomes on both our Easthampton and Northampton campuses for independent living feature tastefully appointed, open floor plans with generous sunlight and picturesque views. Each campus has its own unique character, and residents can choose which setting suits them best. For those who need a little more support, The Inn offers personalized care from compassionate professionals. It is also a community center for all residents.

  • Peace
    Resolving differences without aggressive words or actions.

Life at Lathrop is driven by a commitment to exist kindly and peacefully with one another and all members of society. Some residents have joined or initiated peace activist movements, some have spent time in organizations like the Peace Corps. In the Quaker way, all perspectives and opinions are welcome, respected, and everyone is free to express themselves without concern of backlash or hostility. 

  • Integrity
    Honesty in interactions with residents, staff, families and business partners.

The Lathrop community believes that only through truth and transparency in all things can healthy relationships be born and thrive. Openness across all lines of communication, all matters of operation and all forms of fellowship fosters a culture of mutual trust and confidence that is essential to living and working in harmony.

  • Community
    Teamwork, unity and a spirit of vitality.

Lathrop residents are eager to live with purpose and make a difference in their neighborhoods, greater community and, indeed, the world. Numerous resident-led committees are the lifeblood of this vibrant group of doers who work together to make the ideas they envision become real. They shape, guide and help govern their community, and their influence reaches well outside the limits of home. Residents are regular participants in area-wide events, such as Northampton’s Pride Day, Memorial Day and 4th of July celebrations.

  • Equality
    Every person has value and adds unique worth to our whole.

Centuries ago, early Quakers realized the value of inclusiveness, individuality and freedom of thought. Nowhere is that spirit more alive than at Lathrop and in the surrounding area. Diversity of race, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity and personal experience is not only accepted, it is celebrated. For just one example, residents demonstrate their devotion to equality with active involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement and other initiatives focused on justice for all.

  • Stewardship
    Mindfulness in our use of all resources entrusted to us.

Set amidst acres of natural beauty (some in conservation restriction), Lathrop is home to passionate stewards of the earth. Two of our resident committees, Land Conservation and Native Plants, are dedicated to tending our precious planet. Invasive plant removal is an active pursuit of many in the Lathrop community, as are sustainability and climate change management/mitigation. Residents have also worked with the Mass Audubon/Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary to ensure that native flora and fauna are preserved and protected. In addition to the environment, stewardship applies to the responsible use of the funds, buildings and equipment in our care.

Choosing which community to call home in retirement can be daunting indeed. The choices are many, and questions abound. But just as building a home on rock is a wise choice, so is a community steeped in values and practices that have long stood the test of time.

Come see for yourself what a community built on time-honored Quaker values can mean for you.
Contact us and schedule a tour today.