(Published April 29, 2019)
By Jesse Wright, staff writer
Bob Jackson is a doorperson unlike most in Streeterville because he works at The Clare, a senior independent living community. Jackson’s been at the job for 10-and-a-half years, since the building opened.
This isn’t his first building, but he said being a doorperson for a senior community is different than being the doorperson at a residential building. Jackson said the senior center is better.
“The personality of the Clare is, I guess for me, it’s like having a building full of my mom’s friends or my grandparents and their friends with all their quirkiness and wisdom,” Jackson said. “There are a lot of very successful people here. I’ve learned a lot and grown from these residents. This is the greatest generation here.”
The energy at the Clare is different. Some condos and apartments bustle with energy every morning as residents stream out into the world while some days can be slow and downright dull. Not so at the Clare.
“The energy level is a little lower, but the expectation is higher,” Jackson said. “These people have travelled and they know what they want. They’ve lived long lives. My job is to make sure the level of service they’ve come to expect is still there for them. If you spend the kind of money to move into a place like this, you have expectations and that’s a challenge from my perspective.”
Besides helping with bags and packages, Jackson said he has helped residents repair walkers and change hearing aid batteries and sometimes even help with clothing buttons.
“This community is just that,” Jackson said. “People looking out for each other across the board. I lost my father since I started working here. But the response from the community was overwhelming. They stepped up in a way that let me know I was part of this place. It was moving. They stepped up and, in a way, helped me get through the process. You have to remember that everybody has been touched by some types of tragedy or loss and they helped me walk through that. That was the first parent I lost. That let me know too that part of this place is more involved than calling cabs and pushing carts. Family would be a good way to put it.”