Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Service Is a Way of Life, Well Beyond the Paycheck Years


By Karen Buchanan, Friendship Manor Assistant Administrator

Years ago, I worked at a fitness center with a lot of members from the retirement-age set; it was there I first heard about the busy lives of retirees. “I don’t know how I ever had time to work!” was the frequent refrain. For all the dreaming that those in the paycheck portion of life do about sitting down and putting their feet up in retirement, it seems for many it’s just a change of focus. Retirement frees people up for increased or continued community involvement, volunteerism, and other enrichment activities. It’s a way to stay active, and an energizing source of purpose.

At Friendship Manor, I see this principle in action daily. Our resident governance structure for our Independent and Assisted Living residents invites all to have a say in all manner of daily affairs. The Resident Executive Council is comprised of a collection of Resident Committee Chairs and meets with our President/CEO Ted Pappas each month to receive administrative updates and offer feedback.

  • The Culinary, Cultural Arts & Activity, and House & Grounds Committees meet with the appropriate departmental directors to offer insights and feedback and hear reports.
  • Our teams of resident-run volunteer crews run our library and staff Ruth’s Country Store, where residents, staff, and visitors can pick up gifts, snacks, and other miscellaneous items.
  • We have two resident-run volunteer committees that arrange visitation for residents in our skilled nursing facility, Silver Cross, and our memory care unit, New Friendships.
  • Our Vespers Committee meets with the Chaplain to coordinate worship services.
  • Our Welcome Committee coordinates to make sure new residents have a warm contact for questions that come up in their first days in residence.

All Friendship Manor residents are members of the Resident Association, which holds elections, writes and updates bylaws, and calls our administrative staff to regular meetings where the entire resident body can hear reports, ask questions, raise concerns, and just get to know the staff and one another a little better.

Many of our residents held prestigious positions in local companies or volunteer organizations before they retired. Continuing their service and involvement in their golden years is a great way to keep moving, to stay sharp, and to continue fostering new friendships along the way. It’s easy to see the joy they get from continuing to have a voice, to be an influence, and to give to the world around them.

Questions about Friendship Manor? Call 309-786-9667 and ask for marketing.