Residents enjoy a vibrant lifestyle with access to a multitude of entertaining opportunities on campus.
"You can't be sad when you are singing," says Donna Inez, who conducts a singing group at Cedar Crest, an Erickson Living developed and managed senior living community in Pequannock Township, New Jersey. "The positive endorphins that you have when you are singing are immeasurable. By the end of the session, you really do feel renewed and ready to tackle the day. I think most people feel that way."
Neighbors entertaining neighbors
Donna's group of about 60 residents, aptly named the Cedar Crest Singers, performed a holiday concert on December 14 and 15. She says the shows sell out each year.
The group also leads happy hour singalongs in Cedar Crest's three clubhouses throughout the week. Marilyn Kaplan, piano accompanist for the Singers, plays the melody for the singalongs in two of the clubhouses. Neighbors gather around the piano and sing well-known tunes.
"It's the joy of music that I've lived with all my life. It really is a vehicle for bringing people together," says Marilyn, who began playing piano at a young age and also learned guitar and flute.
She says that having the opportunity to continue playing music and contributing is a significant benefit of living at Cedar Crest, a community with over 190 different interest groups and activities, including entertainment nearly every night of the week.
Entertainment all year long
Donna, who also belongs to the Special Events committee, says Cedar Crest offers a variety of live entertainment, educational lectures, and this time of year, holiday activities like concerts and a New Year's Eve dance. Other holiday events include Halloween and St. Patrick's Day parties.
"I think people really enjoy getting out. Our events usually have at least 150 people," she says. "They show new neighbors how many different opportunities are available for fun and camaraderie."
Easy entertaining with on-site catering services
Cedar Crest residents who attend or plan special community events and entertainment have the opportunity to utilize onsite catering services. What's more, they have the ability to host their own gatherings without lifting a finger.
This type of community service offering is unique in the senior marketplace and provides ample opportunity to tailor special events to meet the needs of diverse audiences.
"We strive to provide an extraordinary experience and venues for entertaining on a small or large scale. Our private dining rooms, catering/banquet rooms, and chapel provide space for virtually any kind of gathering. And our catering team can help with everything from simply providing the linens, tables, and chairs to catering the entire event," says Director of Dining Services Paul Cimins.
Research shows seniors want entertainment on campus
An internal study found that a majority of prospective senior living residents would host family or friends in their apartment at least a few times a year, and about half would host events in campus venues a few times a year or more.
The majority of study participants also report that they are enthusiastic about participating in a variety of on-campus activities like live performances and lectures on a regular basis without having to leave campus.
"I really like living here. I'm glad I made the move ten years ago," says Donna. "I find the people very friendly, very open, and very, very knowledgeable and creative. I've made some lasting friendships. It makes you want to aspire to higher achievements."
Cedar Crest is a not-for-profit organization, developed and managed by Erickson Living®. The community is governed by its own board of directors affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community.
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About Cedar Crest, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 130-acre campus in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,800 residents and 1,000 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Cedar Crest can be found at CedarCrestCommunity.com.
Photo: The Cedar Crest Singers perform Holiday Concert at community's Performing Arts Center on December 14. (Photo credit: Matt Colvin)