Taka Ishii has lived at Lantern Hill, an Erickson Senior Living community in New Providence, N.J., for less than two years, but he has made quite an impact in his short tenure.
"Two months after we moved in, I was teaching a new line dancing class. A few months later, I was urged to run for a position on the Resident Advisory Council, and now I serve on the resident life committee. I may be retired, but I am very busy!" he says.
With maintenance-free apartment homes that create more time for pursuing hobbies and interests, it's no wonder why residents like Taka are going to be booked and busy in the new year!
Step by step
Taka has always loved dance, but he had trouble fitting it into his schedule when he was working full-time.
When Taka and his wife Jeannette retired, they first moved to a 55-plus community in Florida where he learned line dancing.
"When I retired, I wanted to learn ballroom dancing and line dancing. I found out that men are always a 'need' for dance classes," he says, with a laugh. "It's not that difficult, and you don't need a partner."
Soon after Jeannette developed some health issues, the couple decided they wanted to be closer to their son's family in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Amenities and activities
They then moved to Lantern Hill--not only for the community's range of top-notch health care services, but for the array of amenities and activities on site.
And thanks to their predictable monthly service package, which covers everything from appliance repairs and utilities to a meal plan at on-site restaurants, Taka found that he had even more free time to dance.
"And now, Jeannette enjoys walking and attending current events discussions," says Taka, who plans on making the most of his worry-free lifestyle in 2024.
Leading the way
But he's already one step in the right direction.
After speaking with Carla Brady, Lantern Hill's resident services manager, Taka volunteered to start a weekly line dancing class.
"In a one-hour class, you can reach 3,000 steps. Line dancing is very good for your physical and mental health," he says. "It's great to move around, learn something new, and make new friends. It's a lot of fun, and we laugh a lot."
When the one-hour classes became so popular that they outgrew the fitness center space Taka was using, staff members quickly took action.
"We redesigned one of our spaces to be able to accommodate larger groups," explains Sales Director Brian Cassidy. "We had never had a line dancing class before, and we were excited to see how much residents loved it. As residents' interests change, we want to make sure that we're evolving with them--especially in the new year."
Backed by Erickson Senior Living's financial strength, Lantern Hill and its sister communities are poised for growth and opportunity in 2024. By reimagining amenities and shared spaces, residents will have everything they need to enjoy an active, engaging retirement.
Barbara Troianello, who moved to Lantern Hill with her husband John from nearby Berkeley Heights, N.J., seven years ago, also appreciates the time that her maintenance-free apartment home affords her.
"I go to Pilates five times a week," she says. "I enjoy the social aspect. I have a close friend here who does Pilates with me, and after class, we go to Tall Oaks for breakfast and coffee."
For Barbara, Erickson Senior Living's operational excellence--which isn't possible without the support of more than 16,000 team members nationwide who go above and beyond in caring for residents--enhances her positive outlook on the new year.
"The staff here is amazing; they really go out of their way. They remember that I love bran muffins for breakfast!" she says. "They are always smiling, and they remember my name when I pass them in the hallway. How do they memorize 400 names?"
Gardening for fun
And even though professional landscapers keep the community looking postcard-perfect, the couple loves tending to the rose bushes on campus.
"I feared that I would miss the gardens at our former house. Luckily, I'm able to continue my passion for gardening at Lantern Hill," she says. "John and I help take care of the gardens here, especially the gorgeous roses by the fountain patio. I can spend an hour pruning, and I don't think about anything else in the world. It's so nice."
She adds, "I never thought I'd live in an apartment home, but here we are, and it's perfect! Moving to Lantern Hill was the right decision for us."
To learn more about the benefits of moving to a maintenance-free community, request more information today.