Ashburn, Virginia—For nearly eighteen years, Christa Gormley lived just two doors away from her parents in a quiet neighborhood in Annandale. The proximity allowed her two daughters to enjoy regular time with their grandparents, Lawrence and Margaret Dominguez, beyond the holidays.
That dynamic changed in June 2018. After performing extensive due diligence, Lawrence and Margaret moved to Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living retirement community, in Ashburn. In an interesting twist, though, the family connection remained as strong as ever.
"After working for Fairfax County Public Schools as a teacher in the classroom and administrator in the Parent Resource Center, I was ready for a career change," described Christa. "Coincidentally, my parents were in the process of reserving their apartment home at Ashby Ponds. They kept telling me what a great place it was."
The rest is history
"I submitted my resume earlier this year, and following the interview process, was hired as a sales associate in March," said Christa. "We all want to be appreciated in the right work environment, and this experience has exceeded my expectations. I feel like my peers are totally invested in me."
Her parents were looking for a change, too. In their case, it was to find a senior living community that fit their active lifestyle.
"We did our homework for nearly five years," stated Lawrence, a retired Secret Service agent who later served on the protective detail for the U.S. Department of Transportation. "After 42 years in our house, Margaret and I wanted to be in a maintenance-free environment. Our search kept us coming back to Ashby Ponds, and ultimately there was no other choice."
Margaret agreed. The retired real estate agent with a 30-year career for Long & Foster® stated that "we enjoy traveling and leaving a house behind can be stressful. Ashby Ponds provides us the peace of mind to come and go as we please."
Since mid-summer, the couple has found their comfort zone at the community. They both serve as Resident Ambassadors with the Sales Department, interacting with new customers and guests. Lawrence is a regular at the fitness center, participates with resident groups such as the Writing and History Clubs, and looks forward to spending more time with veterans groups as he served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
"Dinner is a true 'social hour' every day," noted Margaret. "Our fellow residents are nice, engaging and well-traveled. We have interesting conversations with people we share much in common."
Family Life at Ashby Ponds
Christa jokes that, even though she works where her parents live, it's not always easy getting on their social calendar. "They are so busy meeting friends and doing things they enjoy," she says. "But I am very happy for them."
"Coming to work, I wear two hats: the first as an adult child of two loving parents, and the second as a sales associate. The situation is unique, but for me, it is a privilege to know they are in a secure environment."
One recent incident brought that feeling home.
"My father inadvertently activated the pull cord which alerts our on-campus security team. Within two minutes, they were at the apartment ready to provide help, which in this case wasn't needed. My Dad then texted me with the message that read 'we're really in a good place.' That brought me great comfort," noted Christa.
'Best of both worlds'
"We see Christa at Ashby Ponds, and our granddaughters, Molly and Maggie, still visit us often. Margaret and I are truly blessed to be living the best of both worlds now," said Lawrence.
Christa and her parents are part of a growing nationwide trend: employees having family members who live at an Erickson Living community.
"There is a great sense of pride when you see new employees like Christa with their loved ones at Ashby Ponds," said Craig Karczmer, Executive Director. "Those family connections are uniquely special."
About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 19 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia. The community is located in Loudoun County and is home to 1,300 residents. Additional information about Ashby Ponds can be found at AshbyPonds.com.