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Meet Barbara Thompson, resident at Meadow Lakes

Barbara Thompson posing in hallway

Where I used to live, everyone was in their own home, but we weren’t connected. For social activities or if a health issue occurred, I wanted to be in a community where neighbors are nearby and emergency services are close at hand. Here at Meadow Lakes our private homes are connected with indoor hallways. We have instant assistance at all times with a built-in alert system that provides 24-hour help.

The development where I lived before was run by the residents, and I wanted to move to a community that was managed by professionals like at Meadow Lakes; but still have a voice and choices as a resident. The Meadow Lakes Residents Forum provides just that—I was recently selected to be the president of the Forum.

Since moving here, I’ve met so many interesting and talented let’s-get-involved people from all walks of life who are caring and understanding not only for each other, but for the staff as well. When residents of other communities learn about our many resident-initiated committees, including programs such as our Education Award Program that donates college tuition for employees, they say, “You have that at your community?” They can’t believe how involved the residents are here; it makes a world of difference.

Meet Bernice and Jack Lieberman, residents at Winchester Gardens

Mr. and Mrs. Lieberman smiling

In October 2017, my wife and I developed a schedule, preparing to evaluate several senior living facilities in the large New Jersey area between New Providence and Maplewood, and Princeton in the South. After each visit, we assessed the CCRC on a scale of 1 to 5, covering 10 different factors. Some units were evaluated only after a second visit, sometimes including a meal with a few residents.

At the conclusion of this exercise Winchester Gardens was clearly number one.
We moved forward, found an apartment we loved, and relocated in early 2018. We have been residents for almost two years and compliment ourselves on the choice. During this period, we’ve experienced continuing improvement in the selection and quality of the food, while dining amenities have been upgraded and substantially expanded with additional new dining choices due to open in the coming months.

Most residents are eager to meet and welcome newcomers, and with a wide range of scheduled activities, we met a large number of people in quick time. Today we’ve made many new, wonderful friends and truly enjoy our greatly enhanced, yet simpler and easier lifestyle.

Meet Bunny Guerrin, resident at The Moorings at Lewes

Bunny Guerrin with cat and plants

I love my apartment at The Moorings and find special pleasure in growing plants all year around on my glassed-in porch. I’m looking forward to a new residents’ garden in the spring with raised beds where we can grow vegetables and flowers to share or add to our own cooking. The entire staff here is pleasant and helpful.

Housekeeping keeps my apartment clean; maintenance takes care of any problem. I love living where, if I run out of coffee or bread, the “Bistro” is right down the hall. A good library and a swimming pool are in the main building, too, as is a full-menu dining room and other conveniences. Yes, even a woodworking shop!

I have a college major in studio art and coach the community art group. The same room that is provided for painting activities is also outfitted with comfortable chairs and a fireplace for needleworkers who gather to socialize while knitting or quilting, browsing through art and craft books, or sharing a new skill. Once a year, The Moorings displays an exhibit of residents’ creative arts for sale. A percentage of the earnings is donated to the Residents Reserve Fund.

Community members are involved in many activities sponsored by The Moorings (such as tai chi) or arranged by resident committees (such as movies, the book club, chorus, and outings for dinner). The Residents’ Association comprises many committees and gives voice to resident concerns and interests. Whether serving on a committee, joining an activity, or making use of events and services in Lewes or nearby Rehoboth, I keep busy. Or, when I want quiet, I sit on my porch and enjoy my plants. Orchids are blooming on this snowy day!

Meet Jeannette Lee, resident at The Moorings at Lewes

Jeannette Lee was born in New York City and lived in northern New Jersey for most of her adult life. After her husband, Tom, passed away in 2012, she moved to New Hampshire to be near her sisters. Finding the winters too cold and snowy, Jeannette moved to The Moorings at Lewes at the end of November 2017, happy to be settling closer to her two children and the beach. When the COVID-19 pandemic started to shrink the world in March 2020, Jeannette was grateful to keep connected to family via video and email. She was also impressed with how Springpoint and The Moorings communicated:

“Springpoint’s communication was exceptional. They closed us down quickly and let us know what the CDC recommended and how they were responding. They stopped communal dining, began testing employees, and made cloth masks available to everybody. They broadcast testing results on our in-house TV channel and on their website. It was very reassuring that management immediately took it seriously, took the right steps, and kept us safe. They set up a marketing system so we could get staples from a shopping list and continued our food service. Knowing what the people in charge were doing made us feel much more comfortable about this unusual life-and-death situation,” said Jeannette, concluding that “the situation was taken seriously and yet there wasn’t a sense of panic about it.”

Talking about her routines before the pandemic, Jeannette noted that she misses the social interactions, including swimming, dinners with friends, book club meetings, and afternoon trivia contests. “I miss those connections, but given how serious this disease can be, we have to be careful. They got on top of the pandemic quickly and that’s a very impressive thing to know for people who are looking for a place to retire. Overall, I feel so fortunate that I’m in a place where we’re being taken care of.”

Meet Joe Radner, resident at Monroe Village

Senior man in front of fountain

Joe Radner lived in the same house in Jersey City, New Jersey, for over 40 years. Before retiring, he was a guidance counselor, physical education teacher, and weight training instructor. During the summer of 2019, Joe had some health issues that necessitated a hospital stay and rehabilitation. His niece Tery, who lives locally, recommended he look into Village Point Rehabilitation & Healthcare. When Joe and Tery first met with Tina Hanoman, assistant executive director at Village Point, there was an “aha” moment—it turns out that Joe had been Tina’s guidance counselor and the year she graduated was the same year he retired. Joe enjoyed this special connection with his past and chose Village Point for his rehab. When he finished, he decided to look closely into Monroe Village (Village Point and Monroe Village share a campus) and the rest is history.

Joe’s Advice:
“Do what I did: Come and spend some time here—live here for a short while. The best way to see if Monroe Village is for you is to experience it. That way, when the time comes to make a move, you can make an informed decision. Since I arrived, I participate in a number of things. It’s a new way of life. I enjoy exercising and attending events here. I have my meals at the Village Bistro and the Fireside Restaurant. I like that I have a washer and dryer in my apartment and that I don’t have to worry about cleaning and maintenance. I find the staff here exceptional from top to bottom. Everyone does their job and they do it well. They’re good with people and they’re on top of things. Thanks to my niece who recommended Village Point when I needed rehab, I was able to see what Monroe Village offered and plan my next move. I’m very happy with the way things are going.”

Meet Karen Bokert, resident at Crestwood Manor

Senior woman posing for photo

I had visited several other retirement communities, but when I walked into Crestwood Manor, I was immediately impressed with how friendly and well-established it seemed—both important qualities. My husband and I and other family members came back a few times. We reviewed the financial commitment and found it to be reasonable. The move itself, with the help of Springpoint representatives, was wonderful.

A lifelong artist, I’m delighted to meet with a small group of serious painters at Crestwood Manor. My husband Ed and I appreciate that there is a dedicated LivWell program here. We’ve lived well for many years, watching our diet and exercising; we also meditate together. We’ve recently begun offering a meditation workshop here for residents. I am a certified chair yoga instructor and I’m pleased to have a core group of people attend my weekly chair yoga sessions, something I offer as a gift to the community.

We are so delighted with the openness to new ideas we have found at Crestwood Manor, and the willingness to have new residents share their talents and interests with everyone.

Meet Katherine Guyer, resident at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor

Katherine Guyer smiling

It’s like one big family in this place. I don’t know what Springpoint does when they pick people, but The Atrium staff is just incredible. They work so hard to serve us every day. Living here I can walk to the pharmacy, bank, church, shopping, restaurants, library, theater, and the park. It’s very convenient and I like my apartment very much.

I have a network of amazing friends and neighbors. I look forward to the ladies’ breakfast that we have twice a month in the café. I enjoy the group walking trips that visit the Monmouth County parks regularly. I volunteer in the gift shop and for the residents’ entertainment This and That fundraiser. We have lots of trips to Manhattan and to different cultural venues, too. I have friends who waited too long to come here and now it’s too late; that makes me sad. The fact that I am here is just a blessing. I am home!

Meet Maimuna Slatewala, resident at Winchester Gardens

Maimuna Slatewala in the garden

I moved to Winchester Gardens about two years ago. My daughter lives nearby, so I decided it made more sense to sell my house in South Brunswick, downsize, and move closer to her. I have a lovely two-bedroom apartment that works out very well for me; I am very happy here.

I’m a people person and enjoy meeting new people. Together, my neighbor and I run the Newcomers Group where we meet once a month to welcome new incoming residents. I enjoy coordinating speakers within the community to meet with new residents and help get them acquainted with all of the services and amenities here at the community. It’s a pleasure to introduce them to community members and show them everything that’s available here. I sit on the Dining Committee and enjoy working on all of the exciting things happening in our new Café. I am also very involved in the Cultural Group.

The LivWell health and wellness program at the community hosts activities and programs throughout the year and I recently helped coordinate a cultural event where we shared recipes and a traditional Indian lunch, visited a Hindu temple, and participated in Bollywood dance lessons. I attend the exercise group about five times a week and go to the gym to help with my strength training. I also participate in the Brain Games and the computer iPad instructions.

There is so much to do and learn here all the time. The best part about living here is I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s the perfect place for me!

Meet Richard Schlenger, resident at The Oaks at Denville

Richard Shlenger in the fitness room

Before retiring and moving to The Oaks at Denville, I was a recreation supervisor. I feel that I have continued with my recreation career here at The Oaks because I can be as active as I wish. There are so many things to do here like exercising and keeping fit—I am always busy. Plus if I find that I want to try something new like the Senior Olympics the professional staff at The Oaks is happy to assist. They are caring, friendly, and helpful.

While I loved my old house, The Oaks is my new home. It is the best place for me to be. My family is happy for me and I am happy to see them smile when I talk about The Oaks. It’s been the perfect place to call home.

Meet Shirley Friedlander, resident at Monroe Village

Shirley Friedlander smiling

Before moving here, I lived in a nearby community, Clearbrook, where I had lived for many years. One of my close friends started to need attention for health reasons. Concerned about her, I decided to help her look for a place that offered onsite health care. After doing some research, I called the director of sales here at Monroe Village. We made an appointment for a tour and to have lunch.

When we walked in the front door (and much to my surprise), I said, “I have come home!” Remember, I was not the one looking to move and never expected to have this reaction. But I just knew immediately that this was the place for me. So excited, I called my daughter and invited her and her husband to come and take a tour. After they visited the community and several others in the area they said, “Mom, you couldn’t find a better place to be,” and I agree with them. We just couldn’t find the warmth and friendliness that we experienced at Monroe Village anywhere else. The grounds are lovely, the community is comfortable, and the programming is exceptional.

Many of my friends from Clearbrook have come to visit me in my new home. After seeing how happy and active I am here and everything that Monroe Village has to offer, some of them have decided to move here, too. It’s a community within my community. I have all the comforts of home and services I never knew I would enjoy having: housekeeping every other week, maintenance-free living, staff to clean off my car this past winter. It’s been terrific. I go to morning exercise class—tai chi is great! I still have my Bridge game and social life. I have met old friends and new acquaintances. I think that’s important as we age—to meet new people and have good conversation every day.

I could go on and on about how much fun I am having, but it’s better for you to experience for yourself. Just like I did. We have a great sales staff that will schedule a personal consultation with you to discuss your goals, preferences, budget, and anything else you’d like to talk about. There’s nothing to fear—it’s no pressure and at your own speed. The most important thing is to look into a community like this while you can enjoy all the great offerings. I hope to see you around the Village someday!

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