Admiring abstract art. Analyzing articles in The Wall Street Journal. Researching the Dead Sea Scrolls. Not the usual activities for an older adult, but for Henrietta Freedman and other local retired professionals, it’s all in a day’s coursework. As co-founder of the Lifelong Learning Institute at Washington University, Freedman has given area seniors the gift of being in college again. And it’s a pleasure, not a chore, this time around.
Maybe your mother can no longer drive to the grocery store, your dad doesn’t feel that hungry anymore, or grandma says foods just don’t taste the same these days. As people age, many roadblocks to healthy eating can arise.
A Mari de Villa resident recently celebrated her 90th birthday with a large group of family and friends in the new Waterford Room private party suite, overlooking the same sparkling lake her mother did 30 years ago.
The Gatesworth is getting ready to break out the silver, as it celebrates its 25th anniversary this fall. That kind of longevity doesn’t come easily, and it has been earned with a commitment to providing the highest possible level of service, says director of operations Bob Leonard. “We do quality, not quantity,” he says. “We’re not trying to run 30 senior living facilities—we have one at each level of care. We decided to do one thing, and do it right.”
The next time you think you’re too smart to be scammed out of money, consider the Ladue businessman who recently lost $3 million in a Jamaican lottery scam.
For many people, a wrinkled rug corner is nothing of importance; while walking, they’ll step over it or brush it back into place. If that person trips on the rug, they may pop back up immediately and only suffer a bruised ego. But if that person is an older adult, the rug might go unnoticed, the fall could be catastrophic—and the damage to the ego might be the least of the concerns.
On any given day at The Gatesworth, you can stop by the Fitness Center and find residents partaking in exercise classes, using equipment or swimming laps in the pool. In the Starbird Theater, a group may be discussing current events, enjoying classical music or listening to a professor from one of the local universities. In another area of the senior living community, a social worker may be meeting with residents as part of a support group; while in the dining room, a book club gathers over lunch. Anywhere you turn, The Gatesworth offers opportunities to support a resident’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. “Our goal is to provide programs and amenities that help them live a more active, happy life,” says executive director Martha Kessel. “Seniors are living longer, and it’s so important to stay healthy and learn new things every day.”
Helping older adults transition from drivers to passengers can be a sensitive topic. “The loss of independence is what they fear most,” notes Mark Blum of BrightStar Care.
One of life’s good fortunes is that retirement offers plenty of free time—time that many people use to see the far corners of the world. But Norma Johnson, a travel agent for 35 years, says you don’t have to wait that long!
When families ask Fred Wiesehan why Mari de Villa is the best place for their loved one, he has a ready answer: “I tell them it’s as easy as one-two-three,” he explains. “No. 1 is the level of care and the respect that our guests receive. No. 2 is the fact that the ownership lives here—my wife Mary Kay and I have been here for 29 years, and Mari de Villa has been here for 52 years. We’re very hands-on and we know our guests and families. And third is the affordability—with all the amenities and services we provide, we work hard to keep our rates very competitive in the St. Louis market.”
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