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Living in a Senior Community Is Different for Everyone

Living in a Senior Community Is Different for Everyone

June 9, 2024

Being an advocate for older adults, I have enjoyed educating consumers about different ways to look at their options as they age. Moving to a senior community is a big decision, one that is based on a plethora of reasons. For those considering such a move, I thought it would be helpful to provide insight into what goes on in senior community living.

One of our residents at Ridgecrest Village recently said to me, “Believe it or not, I’m not a very social person. One of the things I love about living here is that I can be as social as I want to be, when I want to be…then I can go home and be alone.” She laughed as she walked away. I was left contemplating how apropos her statement truly was as it related to senior community living. One of the reasons people choose to live in a senior community is for socialization, being part of a built-in community on one campus. You can be as busy and engaged as you want to be. If you are someone who prefers your privacy and alone time, that’s ok too. It’s different for everyone.

In most senior communities, there are multiple organized activities that you can choose to participate in, such as special outings, theatre, parties, events, and speakers. At Ridgecrest there are also any number of informal activities that residents generate on their own…card clubs, dinners out, coffee time at the Café, working out in the gym or taking advantage of any number of campus volunteer opportunities. One of my favorite things to do is walk around the campus in the quiet of the morning. On any given day, I may stumble upon activities that make my heart sing; a group of ladies gathering to go out for breakfast, a resident getting a chair ready to refurbish in the wood shop or friends exercising in the gym. Each morning one of our residents, a retired pastor, sits at a table overlooking our sunlit courtyard reading from one of his many books. You can always count on him to look up greeting those who pass by with a roaring, “hello” and often will entice you to engage in some meaningful discussion of life. The quiet calm of the morning is my favorite time of day.

Afternoons have a different feel. There is more of a hustle and bustle feeling on campus. Both resident and outside community volunteers manage our Resale Shop, a place filled with all kinds of treasures and friendly chat while you meander about the store.

Residents can choose when they want to be social. We have many residents who don’t necessarily want the extra social aspect that living in a senior community can provide. For our independent living residents, one meal is provided daily, their choice lunch or dinner. Not only is it nice to get a break from cooking, but it’s a routine that has soft socialization built in.

Another aspect of senior living is access to the community van. Our world has become a busy place, making the trip to the grocery store or doctor’s office a stressful event with all the area traffic. It’s great for our residents to know that we have that covered. A few weeks ago, several of our Ridgecrest Ambassadors joined us at a local conference. One of the ladies had left her coat in the van that morning, just like she would have with her own car. When I went out to retrieve it for her, it occurred to me that our transportation is personal. Our residents know and trust the people driving the van. They are like family.

Living in a senior living community is a little different for everyone. It is important that you choose a place that provides you with the versatility that best meets your needs.

Julie Arndt is a licensed social worker and Director of Marketing at Ridgecrest Village with over 30 years’ experience working in the field of geriatrics and senior advocacy.

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