Named for a city on Scotland’s north shore, but as local as the Webster-Kirkwood Turkey Day game, the new Aberdeen Heights retirement community opened this month to rave reviews. “I think everybody expected it would be beautiful,” says executive director Scott Polzin. “But the feedback we’re getting is that everything exceeds their expectations!” The interiors were designed by Bridget Bohacz, who has created the interiors for senior communities throughout the U.S. “It’s all just gorgeous!”
Aberdeen Heights was developed on the property that was once home to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kirkwood, and Polzin says interest in and around town has been particularly high. “Although we have deposits from zip codes all over the St. Louis area, and even out of state, about 35 percent of our new residents are coming from the Webster-Kirkwood area,” he says. The century-old rivalry between the two communities has not gone unnoticed. “One of our pastors joked that we’ve done what no one else has managed to do— bring Webster and Kirkwood together in one place!”
Aberdeen Heights is a continuing-care community, offering independent and assisted living, and skilled nursing care, at a predictable monthly fee. “Our health care benefit is unique,” Polzin says. “Our residents have priority access to any level of care when they need it, for as long as they need it, at an ‘equalized’ rate. This means we take our smallest one-bedroom unit and our largest three-bedroom unit, and come up with an average of monthly fees so future costs can be predicted.”
Seniors interested in an active lifestyle can stay as busy as they want in their new home, with activities specifically designed around their interests. “Our director of resident services, Melissa Straube, is talking to our new residents about their favorite activities,” Polzin explains. “One of the great things about a new community is that we have the chance to design our programs around what our residents want. It might be bridge, theater or adult learning opportunities— we even have a resident-run library.” Fitness enthusiasts are accommodated, too, with an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, True exercise equipment and an aerobics studio.
For those who want their retirement to feel like a vacation that never ends, how about fine dining reminiscent of a luxury cruise? “Our culinary program is really going to wow people!” Polzin exclaims. “Steve Tracy, our new food and beverage director, spent 18 years with the Clipper Cruise Line, and graduated from the Culinary Institute in New York. And he has put together an amazing team!” The team includes executive chef Dan Welsh, who earned the designation from the American Culinary Federation, and assistant food and beverage director Seth Schoem, a graduate of the Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts.
The entire property has been restored to 53 percent green space, and Polzin says future plans include gardening spaces for residents and a dog park.