running against the clock to save enough money for retirement

How to Save for Retirement – 6 Great Tips

Just because you haven’t saved for senior living doesn’t mean you can’t afford it. Here are 6 tips to bolster your savings quickly.

6 Quick Tips on Saving for Retirement

Are you nearing retirement, but aren’t completely prepared financially? You’re not alone. According to GoBanking, 3 out of 10 baby boomers aged 55 and above have no retirement savings. What’s more, 26 percent of those who were able to put money aside say they have less than $50,000 saved. You may feel this limits your options, particularly for active senior living, but that’s not necessarily the case. Here are some ways you can bolster your savings quickly.  

The Cost of Active Senior Living

You won’t know how much you need to save for retirement unless you know the cost of senior living, so let’s start there. Senior living is an umbrella term which includes several levels of care. Active senior living (or independent living) is the entry point in this continuum, which also includes assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care.

Active senior living is designed for residents who need little daily assistance but seek less responsibility and a range of social and enrichment opportunities. Although there is little published data on senior living average cost because it varies so greatly; it typically ranges from $1,000 to $4,000 a month. Keep in mind this cost includes meals, weekly housekeeping and laundry services, as well as access to a range of activities and amenities such as fitness center and pool.

What Can Affect the Cost of Senior Living

  • Level of Care – Essentially more assistance means more expense. Many seniors opt for a community that offers multiple levels of care on one campus so you’ll pay less now but have the peace of mind that a higher level of care is available if needed.
  • Geography – Where you live affects the cost of senior living just like real estate. To keep costs down you might consider active senior living communities outside the city or even a different state.
  • Amenities – The more luxury, the higher the cost as well. Options that impact cost include type of residence (private, semi-private, studio, one- or two-bedroom), pet fees, concierge services, and private transportation.

Know Where You Stand

You may have more resources at your disposal than you realize to pay for active senior living. Knowing where you stand starts with organizing your financial documents including:

  • Bank and brokerage account information
  • Deeds and mortgage documents
  • Insurance policies
  • Monthly or outstanding bills
  • Pension and other retirement benefits
  • Social Security payment information
  • Stock and bond certificates

Then, consider consulting a financial advisor and/or estate planning attorney to discuss how you might be able to maximize these resources for active senior living:

  • Insurance options including long-term care insurance and/or life insurance conversions
  • Pension, Social Security benefits and personal property such as your home
  • Potential tax deductions
  • Your investment portfolio

Best Ways to Save for Retirement

If you do have a gap between your current resources and what you expect to spend on active senior living, these tips can help you save for retirement:

  1. Catch-Up on Contributions – Starting at age 50 you can make extra contributions to your IRA and 401(k) accounts. The extra amount is now up to $6,500 for 401(k)s and $1,000 for IRAs according to the IRS.
  2. Consider a Health Savings Account – To help you prepare for unexpected medical expenses and reduce your taxable income you could open a health savings account. What you save will grow tax-free, and when you turn 65 you can start making withdrawals for qualified medical expenses.
  3. Wait on Social Security – Although you can technically collect benefits starting at age 62, most financial advisors recommend waiting. The reason? Drawing at 70 instead of 62 can increase your monthly benefit exponentially.
  4. Start a Side Hustle – According to Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, 47 percent of baby boomers today enjoy working in retirement. Beyond earning extra income, it also helps you stay active and maintain a sense of purpose. You could freelance or do consulting work depending on your skillset, or even try something completely new.
  5. Change Spending Habits – Take a look at where/how you spend your money to see where you can cut. Perhaps switch to a pay-as-you-go cell phone, opt for streaming services versus expensive cable, or even (gasp) limit those trips to Starbucks.
  6. Check for Benefits – See what benefits in which you may qualify. There’s the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit for wartime veterans or a surviving spouse. Also, the National Council on Aging’s benefitscheckup.org website makes it easy to check thousands of state and local programs. 

Bonus Tip: Compare Your Costs at Home

You may think active senior living will cost you more, but when you compare it to the total cost of living at home, in some cases it can be less! How? The cost at home is more than just mortgage or rent, it also includes food, entertainment, and home upkeep, all of which are included in active senior living. Some utilities may be included too for extra value!

For additional help in saving for active senior living, check out our Financial Planning for Senior Living Guide today!

Forever Young Week at True Connection Communities

Forever Young Week at True Connection Communities

At True Connection Communities, our residents love sharing their personal stories, especially when it comes to the loves of their lives! And though present times may be challenging, love is something we can all get behind.

We recently celebrated “Forever Young” week at our communities and gave our resident couples the opportunity to renew their wedding vows in intimate, socially distanced ceremonies. Some joined in and others preferred to share photos, sentiments, and advice.

Arbour Square of Harleysville | Pennsylvania

Rose and Bill Santulli

Rose and Bill Santulli met in the seventh grade in Brooklyn, New York, but they were not allowed to date until they both turned 18 years old. Though it was hard for them to patiently wait all those years, it was worth it. As soon as the magic birthday hit for both, their courtship began, and it was full steam ahead for the blissful couple.

On May 19, 1956, at 22 years old, Rose and Bill married in their hometown. In 1979, the pair moved to Pennsylvania and, there, raised their six children. Those six children have given the Santullis the gift of 34 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

The Santullis celebrated their 64 years of marriage by renewing their wedding vows at Arbour Square of Harleysville—the community they’ve called home for almost six years.

Five other couples at Arbour Square joined the Santullis in renewing their marriage vows in a socially distanced ceremony outside. With each couple exchanging personal tributes and words of endearment, it was impossible to ignore all the love floating in the air that day from these lovely couples whose courtships have spanned decades—and lifetimes.


Verena at Gilbert | Arizona

Hazel and Charles Tobias

Hazel and Charles met on a blind dinner date at the home of Alicia, Hazel’s best girlfriend, and Rick, Charles’s shipmate on the USS Pintado SSN (672). Alicia should have known better than to set Hazel up with Charles–Hazel was adamant about not dating sailors, even when she and Alicia lived in the Navy town of San Diego, California. But, after meeting and getting to know Charles during her many visits to see Rick, Alicia thought Charles was as nice and polite as they come, and that’s why Hazel agreed to the date.

At first, Hazel let her preconceived notions of sailors having bad reputations shape her first impression of Charles, which was not good. She told Charles that night that they would never be anything but friends. Charles was unconvinced, and his charming and outgoing personality helped him win her over. The pair quickly became best friends and then began falling in love, sharing their dreams and desires for the future.

Hazel and Charles married on July 26, 1975, less than a year since the night they met. Happily married for 45 years, the couple has two sons and two grandchildren.


Pine Ridge Villas of Shelby | Michigan

Ronald and Esther Thelander

Esther, who was from California, was visiting her sister in Michigan when Esther’s family brought Ron over for Esther to meet. They then went to a Halloween Party with Esther’s niece and nephew who quickly fell in love with Ron. Esther followed suit—the kids loved him, so she figured he must be worth it! They were married on November 18, 1966 and thought it would be fun to participate in a vow renewal ceremony all these years later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard and Helen Gastaldo

Richard was only 15 years old when he met Helen through her cousin. They started dating when they were both 18 years old and working together at Fanny Farmer in downtown Detroit. Helen was a Bonbon Dipper, and Richard was the Head of the Caramel Department. It must have been the perfect match because they were married on September 8, 1951. The couple continues to make each other laugh as often as possible and are always spotted holding hands. Richard was thrilled at the chance to renew his vows with Helen because he would choose her again, and again, and again.


Verena at Bedford Falls | North Carolina

The ladies at Verena at Bedford Falls celebrated being “forever young” by sharing wedding photos that spanned decades and throwing a socially distanced bachelorette party, which was the first bachelorette party they had ever been to! Wearing pajamas, the ladies enjoyed champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, and they each completed a beautiful painting with help from a painting instructor via Zoom. They also shared some advice for newlyweds (see the recurring themes?):

  • “Don’t go to bed mad at each other. And kiss and hug at bedtime and/or morning, if possible.”
  • “Never go to bed angry.”
  • “On special occasions, my husband always brought me a gift.”
  • “Celebrate the special occasions.”

Marsha and Earl Rose were married on June 18, 1961. The Roses’ advice to newlyweds is, first and foremost, take it day by day. And remember that compromise and forgiveness is important for a successful marriage.


Verena at the Reserve | Virginia

Residents at the Verena at the Reserve also displayed their wedding photos for the community to see. Team members at the Reserve joined in on the fun and brought their actual wedding dresses, which were hung on display. The week was special to so many at the community and brightened up their days. Many ventured down to the display area several times to take a look at the pictures and memorabilia.


At True Connection Communities, our residents discover the freedom to connect more closely with family and friends, engage in exciting new adventures, and are inspired to explore a whole new way of life. To learn more, visit www.TrueConnectionCommunities.com.

Verena at Gilbert treated with MicroShield 360 antimicrobial coating

Verena at Gilbert Treated with MicroShield 360 Antimicrobial Coating

Verena at Gilbert Independent Living Community Treated with MicroShield 360 Antimicrobial Coating

GILBERT, Ariz.Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Verena at Gilbert, part of the True Connection Communities (“TCC”) family, announced today that the community has been treated with MicroShield 360’s two-step antimicrobial coating system that kills a broad spectrum of pathogens and viruses, including SARS CoV-2 (the specific coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease), and protects from cross-contamination, odors, and mold between cleanings. TCC is the first senior housing operator to contract with MicroShield 360 to add this extra layer of protection against contamination by viruses in its communities.

MicroShield 360 is a unique coating system that incorporates an initial application of MicroShield 360 Renew, a hospital grade disinfectant, followed by the application of a long-lasting coating that is bacteriostatic, fungistatic, and algistatic. The MicroShield 360 coating system is EPA registered and FDA approved for direct food contact surfaces; it is odorless, colorless, and non-leaching and works every second of every day.

“Utilizing the MicroShield 360 antimicrobial treatment as an extra layer of protection in our communities will help ensure that our current and prospective residents feel safe and secure,” says Jim Pusateri, Chief Executive Officer of TCC. “We have continued to prioritize the health and safety of our residents and team members throughout the pandemic and have taken preventive measures beyond those required by government and health authorities to help protect everyone in our communities.”

About Verena at Gilbert

Verena at Gilbert, an Independent Living Community in the town of Gilbert, Arizona, is ideally located right off the 202 San Tan and Val Vista Road with retail shops, restaurants, and hiking trails all within reach. All-inclusive exquisite chef-prepared meals and a variety of amenities and services make Verena at Gilbert an ideal place for seniors seeking an active and engaged lifestyle. Learn more by visiting www.VerenaAtGilbert.com or call 480-899-8200.


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Pine Ridges of Garfield, Plumbrook, Shelby treated with MicroShield 360 antimicrobial coating

Pine Ridges of Garfield, Plumbrook, Shelby Treated with MicroShield 360 Antimicrobial Coating

Michigan Independent Living Communities Pine Ridges of Garfield, Plumbrook, Shelby Treated with MicroShield 360 Antimicrobial Coating

DETROITSept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Pine Ridge of GarfieldPine Ridge of Plumbrook, and Pine Ridge Villas of Shelby, part of the True Connection Communities (“TCC”) family, announced today that the communities have been treated with MicroShield 360’s two-step antimicrobial coating system that kills a broad spectrum of pathogens and viruses, including SARS CoV-2 (the specific coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease), and protects from cross-contamination, odors, and mold between cleanings. TCC is the first senior housing operator to contract with MicroShield 360 to add this extra layer of protection against contamination by viruses in its communities.

MicroShield 360 is a unique coating system that incorporates an initial application of MicroShield 360 Renew, a hospital grade disinfectant, followed by the application of a long-lasting coating that is bacteriostatic, fungistatic, and algistatic. The MicroShield 360 coating system is EPA registered and FDA approved for direct food contact surfaces; it is odorless, colorless, and non-leaching and works every second of every day.

“Utilizing the MicroShield 360 antimicrobial treatment as an extra layer of protection in our communities will help ensure that our current and prospective residents feel safe and secure,” says Jim Pusateri, Chief Executive Officer of TCC. “We have continued to prioritize the health and safety of our residents and team members throughout the pandemic and have taken preventive measures beyond those required by government and health authorities to help protect everyone in our communities.”

About Pine Ridges of Garfield, Plumbrook, Shelby

Pine Ridge of Garfield (Clinton Township), Pine Ridge of Plumbrook (Sterling Heights), and Pine Ridge Villas of Shelby (Shelby Township) are Independent Living Communities in picturesque Southeastern Michigan where there is no shortage of activities, events, programs, and other ways to socialize and connect with like-minded peers. All-inclusive chef-prepared meals are served daily, and housekeeping, maintenance, and transportation services give active residents the freedom to pursue favorite pastimes. Learn more by visiting www.PineRidgeGarfield.comwww.PineRidgePlumbrook.com, or www.PineRidgeShelby.com.


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Arbour Square treated with MicroShield 360 antimicrobial coating

Arbour Square Treated with MicroShield 360 Antimicrobial Coating

Arbour Square of Harleysville Independent Living Community Treated with MicroShield 360 Antimicrobial Coating

HARLEYSVILLE, Pa.Sept. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Arbour Square of Harleysville, part of the True Connection Communities (“TCC”) family, announced today that the community has been treated with MicroShield 360’s two-step antimicrobial coating system that kills a broad spectrum of pathogens and viruses, including SARS CoV-2 (the specific coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease), and protects from cross-contamination, odors, and mold between cleanings. TCC is the first senior housing operator to contract with MicroShield 360 to add this extra layer of protection against contamination by viruses in its communities.

MicroShield 360 is a unique coating system that incorporates an initial application of MicroShield 360 Renew, a hospital grade disinfectant, followed by the application of a long-lasting coating that is bacteriostatic, fungistatic, and algistatic. The MicroShield 360 coating system is EPA registered and FDA approved for direct food contact surfaces; it is odorless, colorless, and non-leaching and works every second of every day.

“Utilizing the MicroShield 360 antimicrobial treatment as an extra layer of protection in our communities will help ensure that our current and prospective residents feel safe and secure,” says Jim Pusateri, Chief Executive Officer of TCC. “We have continued to prioritize the health and safety of our residents and team members throughout the pandemic and have taken preventive measures beyond those required by government and health authorities to help protect everyone in our communities.”

About Arbour Square of Harleysville

Arbour Square of Harleysville is an Independent Living Community situated on a scenic, 22-acre campus in beautiful Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. With all-inclusive activities, social events, and educational programs, Arbour Square offers diverse options for creative pursuits and favorite pastimes. Delicious chef-prepared meals are served daily. Learn more by visiting www.ArbourSquare.com or call 267-677-1200.


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Verena at Bedford Falls treated with MicroShield 360 antimicrobial coating

Verena at Bedford Falls Treated with MicroShield 360 Antimicrobial Coating

Verena at Bedford Falls Independent Living Community Treated with MicroShield 360 Antimicrobial Coating

RALEIGH, N.C.Sept. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Verena at Bedford Falls, part of the True Connection Communities (“TCC”) family, announced today that the community has been treated with MicroShield 360’s two-step antimicrobial coating system that kills a broad spectrum of pathogens and viruses, including SARS CoV-2 (the specific coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease), and protects from cross-contamination, odors, and mold between cleanings. TCC is the first senior housing operator to contract with MicroShield 360 to add this extra layer of protection against contamination by viruses in its communities.

MicroShield 360 is a unique coating system that incorporates an initial application of MicroShield 360 Renew, a hospital grade disinfectant, followed by the application of a long-lasting coating that is bacteriostatic, fungistatic, and algistatic. The MicroShield 360 coating system is EPA registered and FDA approved for direct food contact surfaces; it is odorless, colorless, and non-leaching and works every second of every day.

“Utilizing the MicroShield 360 antimicrobial treatment as an extra layer of protection in our communities will help ensure that our current and prospective residents feel safe and secure,” says Jim Pusateri, Chief Executive Officer of TCC. “We have continued to prioritize the health and safety of our residents and team members throughout the pandemic and have taken preventive measures beyond those required by government and health authorities to help protect everyone in our communities.”

About Verena at Bedford Falls

Verena at Bedford Falls is an Independent Living Community in Raleigh, North Carolina, ideally situated in a quiet neighborhood surrounded by beautiful natural surroundings, nearby shopping, and delicious dining options. With large, spacious apartments, exquisite chef-prepared meals, and all-inclusive activities and services, Verena at Bedford Falls is designed for seniors seeking an active and engaged lifestyle. Learn more by visiting www.VerenaAtBedfordFalls.com or call 919-846-7216.


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Verena at the Glen, Reserve treated with MicroShield 360 antimicrobial coating

Verena at the Glen, Reserve Treated with MicroShield 360 Antimicrobial Coating

Verena at the Glen and Verena at the Reserve Treat Communities with MicroShield 360 Antimicrobial Coating to Help Protect Residents and Guests

RICHMOND, Va. and WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Sept. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Verena at the Glen and Verena at the Reserve, part of the True Connection Communities (“TCC”) family, announced today that the communities have been treated with MicroShield 360’s two-step antimicrobial coating system that kills a broad spectrum of pathogens and viruses, including SARS CoV-2 (the specific coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease), and protects from cross-contamination, odors, and mold between cleanings. TCC is the first senior housing operator to contract with MicroShield 360 to add this extra layer of protection against contamination by viruses in its communities.

MicroShield 360 is a unique coating system that incorporates an initial application of MicroShield 360 Renew, a hospital grade disinfectant, followed by the application of a long-lasting coating that is bacteriostatic, fungistatic, and algistatic. The MicroShield 360 coating system is EPA registered and FDA approved for direct food contact surfaces; it is odorless, colorless, and non-leaching and works every second of every day.

“Utilizing the MicroShield 360 antimicrobial treatment as an extra layer of protection in our communities will help ensure that our current and prospective residents feel safe and secure,” says Jim Pusateri, Chief Executive Officer of TCC. “We have continued to prioritize the health and safety of our residents and team members throughout the pandemic and have taken preventive measures beyond those required by government and health authorities to help protect everyone in our communities.”

About Verena at the Glen and Verena at the Reserve

Verena at the Glen (located in Glen Allen, Virginia) and Verena at the Reserve (located in Williamsburg, Virginia) are Independent Living Communities designed for seniors seeking an active and engaged lifestyle. With educational programs, fitness and wellness programs, music performances, theater trips, and social events, Verena residents enjoy life to the fullest. Creative, chef-prepared dishes made with the freshest seasonal ingredients make on-site dining something to savor. Learn more by visiting www.VerenaAtTheGlen.com or www.VerenaAtTheReserve.com.


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For a Taste of Gourmet, Head to Verena at Gilbert

Meet the Culinary Director at Verena at Gilbert

Chef Stephan Germanaud is the Culinary Director at Verena at Gilbert, a modern Independent Living Community in the town of Gilbert, Arizona, ideally located right off the 202 San Tan and Val Vista Road.

Chef Stephan Germanaud Verena at Gilbert
Chef Stephan Germanaud, Culinary Director at Verena at Gilbert

Chef Stephan’s culinary journey began in Bourdeaux, France, where he grew up spending a lot of time in the kitchen with his grandmother, who, he says, was a fantastic cook. “My grandmother had a profound effect on my life, giving me the love of food and inspiring me to learn how to cook, and cook well,” he says.

At only 13 years old, Chef Stephan continued his journey in culinary school, acquiring culinary and management degrees over a period of five years, including a degree in French Culinary Art from the esteemed Lycee de L’Hotellerie et du Tourisme De Gascone in Talence, France. He describes the hands-on training as tough but the reason he has become the accomplished chef he is today.

At 20 years old, the aspiring chef made a life-changing move from France to Phoenix, Arizona, and began building an impressive resume, from cook to sous chef at The Phoenician luxury resort and progressing to Executive Chef and Executive Banquet Chef positions at other high-end properties, including Boulders Resort & Spa and the historic Wrigley Mansion. He also catered notable events, including the Mayor’s luncheon with President Barack Obama and the NFL Hall of Fame 2016.

Elevating Food in Senior Living

In 2017, Chef Stephan was inspired to join the senior living industry to elevate the perception of what food should be in a retirement community. “I believe that the senior living industry is becoming more about a lifestyle rather than a need, and food is a very big part of what drives the decision to move into and stay at a community,” he says. “I want to show our residents, and future residents, that seniors deserve fresh and tasty food, as we all do. I want to be part of their culinary experience.”

Verena at Gilbert culinary creations

Chef Stephan says that making residents smile while having fun doing what he loves is one of the best parts about being at Verena at Gilbert. He’s often inspired by Verena residents, stating, “I have had residents pass me their recipes, and this gives me ideas of dishes to make according to what they like.” He also is passionate about using the freshest ingredients and keeping up with trends to continue delighting the recipients of his meals. “But, listening,” he says. “Listening to residents about what they want—now that is my number one priority.”

Times may have changed since Chef Stephan stepped into the Verena kitchen, but his attention to detail and dedication to making exquisite dishes from scratch has not wavered. He continues to create beautifully plated, delicious food, even if the “plate” happens to be a meal container delivered to a resident’s door.

Receive a Meal from Verena at Gilbert

Are you interested in receiving a Chef Stephan meal delivered to your home? Call us at 480-899-8200 to arrange for your personal delivery.


At Verena at Gilbert, an Independent Living Community in the town of Gilbert, Arizona, retire in style with retail shops, restaurants, and hiking trails all within reach, and enjoy easy access to Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Phoenix! Connect with new friends, engage in new adventures, and enjoy exquisite meals prepared by an experienced and creative culinary team driven by a passion for food.

Check out Verena at Gilbert on Facebook.

Verena at Bedford Falls strawberry shortcake

Meet Chef Eric at Verena at Bedford Falls

If you smell something good coming from Dunn Road in Raleigh, North Carolina, chances are Chef Eric Wicker is cooking up something delicious for the residents of Verena at Bedford Falls, an Independent Living Community situated in a quiet neighborhood. Wicker has been the Culinary Director of Verena at Bedford Falls since February 2020, shortly after the community opened.

With more than 30 years of experience in the food and beverage industry at various venues, Wicker landed at Verena at Bedford Falls to continue his passion for making people happy through food. His hands-on, supportive leadership has inspired the Verena culinary team to deliver a meal experience to residents that has quickly become well regarded. From sweet potato pie to an elegant plate of pork schnitzel with tarragon-lemon butter sauce, the meals represent the diverse tastes of Verena residents and have become one of the most important aspects of living at the community.

Love What You’re Doing

“The secret (which shouldn’t be a secret if you love what you are doing) is to let the residents tell me what they want,” says Wicker. “By cooking and preparing most of the menu options from scratch, I can make sure our residents, and especially those residents with dietary restrictions, are happy with the menu choices, and that is really important to me as a chef.”

Verena resident Patricia Foster is a big fan of Chef Eric and appreciates his originality. “Best food ever here! Most variety and he fixes things I wouldn’t think to eat, and it’s wonderful and I eat every bite of it!” she says with enthusiasm.

Wicker’s favorite protein to work with is seafood, especially fresh seafood locally sourced from the Carolinas. It fuels his creativity when developing menus and preparing new dishes, he explains. But, ask him to eat seafood, and he’ll more than likely turn you down. “My favorite food to eat will always and forever be homemade lasagna,” he says.

Inspiration in the Kitchen

Wicker takes inspiration from his three kids to provide Verena residents with a culinary experience built on love. His youngest daughter, at ten years old, is already making cakes and cookies from scratch and often critiques her father at dinner time, helping Wicker push boundaries in the Verena kitchen. These days, meals at Verena at Bedford Falls are delivered to residents’ apartments, but they arrive as beautifully put together as they had been in the kitchen. Wicker wouldn’t have it any other way—his passion goes beyond the food itself; he wants each and every resident to know he is there for them and to feel comfort in every bite they take.


At Verena at Bedford Falls, an Independent Living Community in Raleigh, North Carolina, retirement is a time for less worry and more fun. Live a full and healthy life surrounded by serene woods and modern conveniences. Connect with new friends, engage in new adventures, and enjoy exquisite meals prepared by an experienced and creative culinary team driven by a passion for food. Schedule your tour today!

Check out Verena at Bedford Falls on Facebook.

Arbour Square of Harleysville Celebrates with Extraordinary Car Parade

Celebrating Seniors

Mother’s Day is always a big day for celebration at Arbour Square of Harleysville, an Independent Living Community in beautiful Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting the brakes on many social activities throughout the senior living industry, Arbour Square stepped up to provide its residents who are mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, etc.—and their families—with a special day that won’t be forgotten.

Taking inspiration from car parades seen on social media, Arbour Square team members invited their residents’ family members to get creative and decorate their cars and join a drive-by parade on May 9 to show the Arbour Square community of seniors how much they are loved and appreciated.

Plans for the event were laid quickly but precisely, with proper social distancing and other guidelines put in place to protect everyone at the community, as well as family members. Initially, the team expected about 25 to 30 cars to participate in the parade, which would loop around Arbour Square’s large tree-lined campus and allow residents to watch the procession of cars from their apartment windows—a good thing, as heavy winds were forecasted for that day.

A Show Like No Other

The day of the parade, Melissa Crouse, Arbour Square’s Joy Director, and fellow team member Patty Toal went through the final logistics and prep, which included prominently displaying signs and setting cones to clearly mark the route. The team had previously given families instructions to meet up at 1:30PM in the parking lot behind the community to decorate, or finish decorating, their cars and begin lining up behind the Arbour Square van, which would set the pace and lead the way.

At around 1:00PM, Melissa and Patty were placing the last cones when the first car pulled in with an adult child of a mother who lives at Arbour Square. “I thought, and said aloud, that she must have wanted to be the first in line,” says Melissa with a laugh. “Little did I know that the cars would continue to roll in nonstop, one after another.”

As the cars continued making their way to the parking lot, Melissa went inside the community to make sure the residents were ready and making their way to their windows. “When I returned to the parking lot at about 1:45PM, cars were spilling out of the parking lot and causing a traffic jam at Walmart,” she says. “And I was blown away by the creativity. We had cars with balloons, cars with signs, streamers, flags—you name it, we had it. We even had a decked-out Philly firetruck turn up to show some love!”

When Pat, the van driver leading the course, was ready to pull out, he looked in his rearview mirror and could not see an end to the cars behind him, relaying how incredible it made him feel about being part of such a big and important event. After completing the first loop around the campus, Pat circled back to the waiting area because the last cars in line had not yet hit the official parade route. The team stopped counting after 100 vehicles.

Melissa says with emotion, “It was truly astonishing to see the turnout. We had so many family members who wanted to take the time to send their love to our residents. All generations were represented—adult children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were waving pom poms, playing music, singing, and shouting Happy Mother’s Day to every lady they saw. I’m pretty sure everyone forgot about the cold and wind.”

Love and Gratitude

Arbour Square Executive Director Mimi Kehan says it was one of the best family events she’s seen at the community in her 11 years as Executive Director there. “The cars, trucks, bikes came streaming in, each one decorated more beautifully than the last,” she says with emotion. “It was clear that everyone was full of love for our residents. We honked and screamed and laughed and cried all through the four times around the building. It was a blast.”

Days and weeks later, the notes of gratitude from residents and families were still coming in. What is clear from the comments is that residents and families were blown away by such a joyful and creative way to connect with loved ones, with some brought to tears by being able to see, if only from a window, family at a time when social isolation is the new normal.

Father’s Day is now coming up, and the team at Arbour Square is already putting plans in place to match their Mother’s Day parade, and they are excited and ready to make it happen again. After all, residents and families won’t be expecting anything less.


 

Experience the small-town atmosphere that makes Arbour Square in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, feel like home. The inviting independent living community is situated on a scenic, 22-acre campus in beautiful Montgomery County and is known for their hospitality and genuine warmth of their team members.

Visit Arbour Square Facebook to see all the wonderful things the community does for its residents and their families.

A Woman Painting Colorful Hearts on the Window of Pine Ridge of Garfield Senior Living House

Michigan Senior Living Community Gives Residents Hope

Independent Living Community Pine Ridge of Garfield was recently featured in the news for their inspiring message to residents and other seniors. 

Clinton Township senior community makes rainbows over Michigan

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published April 20, 2020

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — In a time of uncertainty, staffers and residents at a local senior living community are offering hope.

Pine Ridge of Garfield, located just south of Moravian Drive, wants the community to know that small acts of kindness go a long way. Recently, that has involved rainbows and a colorful message for others not to give up.

Joy director Samantha Bruce said staffers and residing seniors got involved as part of “Rainbows over Michigan.” A Facebook group was created March 21 to spread the message of art by way of rainbows, created from different mediums such as tempura paint, chalk markers, washable paint, acrylic paint and soap and water, and homemade chalk and paint.

As of April 18, the group had nearly 195,000 members and over 10,000 posts were created for members to show off their specific works.

“We know that after the toughest storms comes the brightest rainbows,” Bruce said.

The community’s staff has painted the building’s front windows with rainbow hearts, while residents have decorated their doors with rainbows.

Also, Pine Ridge of Garfield is providing any senior with a homemade, washable mask if he or she needs one. They just have to call (586) 723-0000 and a mask will be mailed.

“These beautiful reminders of hope and beauty have really encouraged our staff and residents to keep pushing on during such a challenging time,” Bruce said.

Original Source: https://www.candgnews.com/news/clinton-township-senior-community-makes-rainbows-over-michigan-117501 


After the article ran, the supervisor at Clinton Township reached out to Pine Ridge of Garfield to secure face masks for seniors in Clinton Township who needed to use the smart bus for transportation but could not do so without a face mask.


The Pine Ridge of Garfield Difference

At Pine Ridge of Garfield in Clinton Township, Michigan, you will find a thriving independent living campus. With leafy trees and picturesque courtyards, it’s a community where residents and team members care for one another and form close bonds. This supportive environment allows residents to feel comfortable and at home. Call 586-723-0000 for more information.