A Short Story: Life in a Senior Living Community
Have you ever wondered what is really going on in the senior living communities you pass by on your way to work? Are you curious why your friends talk about senior living communities so positively, in regards to their parents’ experiences?
It’s okay to be curious about life inside a senior living community. After all, these communities are nothing like they were when you visited your grandmother decades ago, thanks to technology and a bit of baby boomer influence. Today’s senior living communities are hustling and bustling places, full of friendships, events, and opportunities. But it can be difficult to picture yourself or your loved one enjoying a senior living lifestyle if you’ve never experienced it for yourself.
Let’s dive into what a typical day might be for Annie, an 80-year-old who lives in an assisted living community. Her story is one that looks just like the life experienced daily in senior living communities across the country.
Annie’s day starts off by sleeping in. She got to bed later than usual last night, after an extended visit with her daughter from out of town, but it is worth it to enjoy the extra time together. Annie’s definition of “sleeping in” is still getting up prior to 8 a.m., and she’s happy to feel rested before starting her day.
When Annie gets out of bed, she opens her patio doors to take a peek at the weather for the day. She checks on her tomato plants to see if they are ready to be picked yet (not quite, maybe in a few days). While she is out there, Annie senses a chill in the air and is sure to grab her sweater when she chooses her outfit.
Breakfast and Besties
Once she’s ready for the day, she heads down to the dining room to meet her friends for coffee before breakfast. They always meet at the same table in the dining room.
Of course, her friends want to hear all about Annie’s visit with her daughter and ask questions while the senior living community team member fills up her coffee cup. The team member already knows that Annie likes her coffee with just a bit of sugar, so the team member gently pushes a packet toward Annie before leaving to help another resident.
Annie talks about her visit with her daughter and learns all about what she missed during last night’s poker club from her friends while they eat breakfast. Annie chooses a yogurt parfait and a few strips of bacon while her friends get omelets.
Exercising the Body, Mind, and Creative Spirit
After breakfast, the group of friends heads to meet up with their Walking Club. Today, the group is strolling around the trails that surround the community and they plan which trail system they will conquer next week while on their walk.
Annie leaves Walking Club when it is over and grabs the newspaper at the front desk to take to the community’s library. She sits in silence while she reads the paper, thankful for a quiet spot in her morning. While there, Annie is quietly interrupted for just a moment by the community’s nurse who knew exactly where to find her. She is there to take Annie’s blood pressure and give her medications for the day. The nurse tells Annie her vitals are great and that she will report those to her physician’s office.
Then, it’s time for Annie to continue on her busy morning. She never minds the extra activity though, especially when it’s painting workshop day in the community’s art studio. Annie has been taking a painting workshop weekly for about a month now. Although she still doesn’t classify herself as an artist, Annie is really enjoying learning something new. She makes a mental note to thank her neighbor Doug for suggesting the workshop to her.
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Annie’s art workshop is come-and-go, which means she can leave a bit early to take on the next part of her day. It’s lunchtime, so Annie knocks on her friend’s apartment door on the way to the dining room so they can walk down together. Annie wants to be sure to get to the dining room early because Holly, an on-site cook is doing a table-side demonstration of homemade guacamole today. Table-side demonstrations are really popular, and Annie wants to get a good seat.
New Friends and Farmer’s Markets
After lunch and guacamole, Annie grabs her purse and meets the community’s bus driver. She signed up for a planned event with the Life Enrichment team at the outdoor farmer’s market, and she can’t wait to get there. On the bus, she sits next to a new neighbor, and she’s happy to get to know more about him. Then, it’s time to enjoy the sights and tastes of the market.
Once she’s back home, Annie drops off her purchases in her apartment. She rinses the strawberries and pops them in her apartment fridge, and then she arranges the fresh flowers she bought in a mason jar from her cabinet. Finally, Annie relaxes by catching up on her favorite baseball team updates while enjoying the fresh air on her balcony.
Everyone in the community gathers in the living room about thirty minutes before dinner for happy hour, and Annie doesn’t want to miss it. She freshens up and strolls down to meet up with her friends.
Cuisine and a Concert
She sips a strawberry margarita while they visit about what they will have for dinner. It’s more cuisine inspired by Mexico, a theme for the evening, with the options being enchiladas or tacos. Annie chooses a taco salad with grilled chicken and is sure to leave room for fried ice cream for dessert. Her meals take her dietary considerations into account and each meal is prepared specifically for her health.
Then, it’s off to a live concert from a local mariachi band right in the courtyard. Annie loves when her community does theme dinners with entertainment afterward, and she stays long after the concert to chat with her friends.
Capping Off a Good Day
Annie caps off her night with a quick call to her granddaughter, who just found out she is pregnant. Annie gives her plenty of ideas to help with the morning sickness and daydreams about possible baby names.
It’s been a full day for Annie, but she can’t help getting into pajamas and watching a few episodes of her favorite home improvement show on HGTV before heading to bed.
Picture Yourself Here
Senior living communities give residents the opportunity to experience the lifestyle they want. Some residents are just as busy as Annie, while others choose to relax a bit more. The best way to discover what life is like at a senior living community is to take a tour and see it for yourself.
Schedule a tour of a Cedarhurst community near you to see the lives of our residents. You will love experiencing the lifestyles available and see more about what makes our community unlike any others.