Getting involved and meeting new friends at Greenspring

November 6, 2020

Focus on community life attracts friends and family

Springfield, Va. – November 6, 2020 — According to the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising, the most credible source of information before making a purchase or decision is a recommendation from friends and family.

"It's the 'don't just take our word for it' mentality," says David Taylor, director of sales at Greenspring, an continuing care retirement community developed and managed by Erickson Living in Springfield, Va. "And it's an opinion our sales team shares. Whenever possible, we suggest that prospective community members talk with family, friends, and our current residents. Their real-life experiences provide wonderful insight into life on campus. As a result, many of our current residents and priority list members are friends and family members of our community members."

Sharing experiences

For community member Reita Shaw, the decision to move to Greenspring came after witnessing the wonderful new life her friend Norma Hughes enjoyed.

"I moved to Greenspring eight years ago," says Norma. "While I enjoy many activities with my neighbors, I also continue to spend time with friends I knew prior to my move. One of those friends was Reita. Even after my move, we continued to meet for lunch regularly."

It was over the course of these luncheons that the women discussed life at Greenspring.

"I spoke all the time about how happy I was with my decision," says Norma. "We discussed the opportunities to be involved in a variety of activities and how easy it was to meet new people. Reita would say – I should move. And I agreed with her."

Norma's encouraging words and real-life experience left an impression on Reita. Side-by-side, the two friends explored various floor plans and attended events for prospective residents. A year ago, Reita moved to Greenspring.

"I was happy to help in whatever way I could," says Norma. "It's been great for both of us. Especially in the last months as Greenspring works to protect us from COVID-19. Reita is continually telling me how happy she is with her decision. Pointing out that if she were living alone in her condo she would be struggling during this time. She's very grateful."

Sharing a meal

For Jeri Mullarkey, new friends she met while visiting Greenspring helped solidify her decision to move to the community.

Living less than two miles from Greenspring, Jeri was intrigued by the Erickson Living lifestyle and planned a visit to the community.

"I explored many retirement communities in the area," she says. "Greenspring offered me the most benefits and numerous opportunities to explore my interests. Most of all, I was struck by the friendliness of everyone I met."

This friendliness, personified in Douglas and Laura Shimmons, helped solidify Jeri's decision.

As a priority list member, Jeri took advantage of a two-night stay in the "Live the Life" suite, enjoying the opportunity to live on campus with access to the same amenities and services as current Greenspring residents. During her stay, she was paired with Douglas and Laura for dinner.

"The meal was very insightful," says Jeri. "I learned about the Shimmons' experiences and they shared with me that Greenspring was a really good place to live. They recommended that I move while I am able to get involved and participate in the many activities."

Jeri's "Live the Life" experience proved to be true-to-life. She moved to Greenspring on October 10, 2018 and couldn't be happier. Since her move, she's followed in the Shimmons' footsteps, serving as a resident ambassador and providing insight to prospective residents.

"Sharing experiences with others, those who were previously at the same decision-making process, is very helpful," says Jeri. "And the best part for me, meeting Douglas and Laura during my visit, meant that I had new friends waiting as soon as I arrived."

About Greenspring: Greenspring, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 58-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia. The not-for-profit community of more than 2,000 residents and 1,000 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, Inc., who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information can be found at

Photo Credit: Maya Glab

Photo Caption: After witnessing the wonderful life her friend Douglas and Laura Shimmons enjoy, Greenspring community member Jeri Mullarkey moved to the community in late 2018. Now, she serves as a resident ambassador and enjoys sharing her experience with future community members.

Written by Kelly Shue