July 22, 2020 —Whether it’s in-person or the current Zoom video meeting situation, Kendal at Lexington residents agree that friendliness and connection is one of the top perks of living there.
The recent resident panel discussion was open to those considering joining the Kendal community. With COVID restrictions in place, the normal in-person session was held online, which enabled guests to hear first-hand accounts from residents about what it’s like living at this 85-acre Life Plan Community (formerly called a CCRC) from the comfort of their own home. View recording here.
Overwhelmingly, residents touted the warm and friendly community environment as the best aspect of living on the Kendal campus. Whether they were one of the first residents moving in 20 years ago like Sarah, or Bob and Suetta who just celebrated one year at Kendal, the theme of friendship and connection was a primary focus.
“We knew everyone would be friendly and welcoming, but they were there the day after we moved in people dropped by with muffins, flowers, apples, it was wonderful!” said Melou, who moved in with her husband, George, in 2017.
Popular Attractions Both On and Off Campus
While new friendships and community ties were popular, the amenities and activities both on and off campus were also a top benefit. On campus favorites was the campus itself, with picturesque walking trails on the 85 acres, the fitness center, pool, and restaurant. The Lexington community also offers plenty of shopping, dining, activities, and classes. Resident favorites were as varied as the choices: golf, college sports at nearby VMI and W&L, volunteer opportunities, art galleries, dining, shopping, and parks. All of which they are eager to revisit once social distancing and closures are relaxed.
But it’s not just the abundance of activities that residents glowingly complimented, the support and attention by the Kendal staff is another reason they encourage others to consider living here.
“There was some adjustment when activities were restricted. That initial disappointment then evolved into pride in the staff and residents who adhere to cautious protocol,” said Bob.
Peace of Mind for Residents and Their Families
Others echoed his sentiment, adding that the peace of mind for both the residents, and their adult children is another great consideration.
“We had a difficult time with our parents and their health,” Melou shared. “There were some tough times, and George and I looked at each other one day and said we wouldn’t put our children through this. We never expected to be so well taken care of here, even in a difficult time.”
That sense of community and various activities also provides the mental stimulation that keeps seniors active and independent. For Dianne, it was a welcome discovery. After her husband died, she almost immediately decided to move into Kendal “It was exactly what I needed and exceeded what I expected. The stimulation here is very good for me.”
She went on to share that she would recommend the lifestyle to most anyone considering making the move. “Your quality of life would improve. There’s a benefit from living here: the stimulation, socialization, quality of food, no upkeep on home, services – all that’s taken care of.”
It’s not an uncommon response. An ongoing study by Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging and Northwestern University found that CCRC residents who live in communities with entrance fees had lower levels of depression, better diets, and better overall health, and tend to have greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual, and vocational wellness than the seniors living in rental properties or aging in place.
Visits to the community by future residents can be done virtually, or on a limited basis, done in person to open cottages available for viewing.