At The Gatesworth, growing old doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice living life to the fullest. The Gatesworth community strives to give residents the ability to stay active at every age, all based on a foundation of respect and kindness.

“It wasn’t easy giving up my own home,” resident Suzanne Wohl says. “[Yet] within 24 hours of walking in The Gatesworth, the staff all knew my name. From the concierge to the wait staff in the dining room to management, they are the kindest, most considerate people you can imagine.”

Wohl discovered an environment that surprisingly felt like a home away from the one she had known. “It’s a friendly atmosphere,” she describes. “I live in a beautiful apartment. It’s warm and comfortable. I go out to my balcony every morning, where there’s a bird nest of cardinals in the bushes. And every morning, the mommy and her three little birds come out on my balcony to say hello. It’s unbelievable.”

The difficulty in aging often comes with losing independence – the freedom to live and participate as you want. Yet, at The Gatesworth, residents have a say in how they live. “I am an active person, certainly mentally,” Wohl shares. “I occasionally take an exercise class. I’ll walk up and down the stairs, and try not to take the elevator. I try to keep my mind as occupied as possible.”

One of the ways she keeps active is through an in-house diverse lecture program called Questers. “Questers focuses on a wide variety of subjects, including literature, philosophy and government. The Gatesworth brings in professors from Saint Louis University and Washington University, and each class lasts about an hour.”

From pursuing passions to enjoying live entertainment, residents are able to stay engaged through various activities on a buzzing campus. “Every Tuesday afternoon, we have a singing group of 10 to 18 people, with a marvelous director running it, Robert Denison,” Wohl notes. “We do two concerts a year, and we’ll sing music from The Music Man next. I [also] teach Shakespeare once a month to about 35 to 45 people. We’ve done all the great plays, comedies and tragedies. We have a great time. The next one in September is Hamlet.”

Even though The Gatesworth has built a community that serves as a place to live, eat, stay active and socialize, it also gives residents an opportunity to stay involved in the larger St. Louis community. “The Gatesworth has wonderful transportation that takes you to the grocery store, to the church or synagogue, or even out to the casino in St. Charles, if you want to gamble,” Wohl notes. “They take you anywhere you want to go. We’ve been to Chaumette Vineyards, Montelle Winery and the theater. If you want to go to a restaurant, you can sign up – and off you go. Recently, 30 to 35 of us went to Vin de Set. It was wonderful just to sit outside and overlook the city. We go out to dinner at least once or twice a month.”

Dinner “in” at The Gatesworth also proves to be an event itself. “The food here is phenomenal,” Wohl says. “The best thing happens on Friday nights: happy hour. It’s great to get together with people from the east and west wings in [this kind of] social atmosphere, with piano players providing entertainment.”

Wohl has found happiness in a place that allows her to thrive – and she’s delighted to take part in all of The Gatesworth’s offerings. “You can sit in the atrium and socialize,” she says. “It’s wonderful to talk and get to know the history of fellow residents and to find out they did all these amazing things. It’s a wonderful place to live – it truly is. If you are older and want to remain independent, this is the place to be. As much as you want to do, you can do it all here.”

The Gatesworth, One McKnight Place, St. Louis, 314-993-0111, thegatesworth.com

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