The New Year is a great time for a renewed focus on your physical health and overall well-being. Living at Siena Lakes, an Erickson Senior Living community in Naples, Fla., makes it easy to stay fit, engaged, and relaxed, with golf, fitness centers, walking paths and trails, clubs and activities, an on-site medical center staffed by experienced providers, and more.
When Tom Spitz moved to Siena Lakes, he was hoping they had a club for pickleball players, as he’d been active with the sport for five years. When he found out that one didn’t yet exist, he started one himself. “It’s really good exercise and you get to hang out with current friends—and even meet new friends,” he notes.
“At Erickson Senior Living, [activities] are resident-driven. If a resident wants to start a club, the staff are there to assist us to get new clubs started. The next thing you know we have a large group enjoying pickleball,” says Tom. “If you’ve got some knowledge about a skill or activity, it’s easy to decide what group you want to organize.”
At Siena Lakes, they play pickleball in the multipurpose room, which Tom says works well. “The benefit is climate control,” he explains. “During the summer, the court is going to be extremely popular, even with it being so hot and humid.”
In addition to starting the pickleball group, Tom also began a model sailing club. Tom and other members take their electric model sailboats to a nearby park with waterways, perfectly suited for the hobby.
When he’s not playing pickleball, sailing model boats, or relaxing in his one-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath apartment home with a den and a double lanai—Tom is playing his strategic hand at Hearts with a group of fellow card players. He started that club too.
Playing cards keeps him mentally healthy—as Tom says, “It lets us use our brains.”
There’s something for everyone at Siena Lakes, says Resident Services Manager Craig Ellsworth. “We have 44 in-person fitness classes, in addition to 700-plus virtual instruction classes in our fitness center. In our outdoor pool, we have water aerobics,” he says. “Residents can even make appointments with personal trainers. In the first three months that Siena Lakes was open, the fitness center had hundreds of visits from residents. They’re staying active and fit.”
Besides having activities for residents to stay physically active, there are those that promote mental activity, as well. Siena Lakes partners with FGCU Academy, a lifelong learning program operated by nearby Florida Gulf Coast University.
Every other month, speakers come on campus to offer educational classes on a variety of topics—from the Civil War to music on Broadway and everything in between.
“We also have lots of different social engagements,” says Ellsworth. Residents are playing bridge, canasta, Mah-jongg, and even Hand and Foot [a popular card game]. Another resident has started a bocce ball group that is also quite active and very popular.
When David and Betsy Dyke moved into their two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath apartment home with a den and two lanais—they knew they’d enjoy the ample living space. But they also knew they would spend lots of time out and about as well.
David started a matinee movie club that meets every Tuesday afternoon in the Siena Lakes theater. “We’ve got a great theater here at our community. The Erickson Senior Living staff pulled out all the stops in making it look absolutely beautiful, and the club is a nice way of getting people together and socializing,” says David.
He likes to vary the genres so that everyone can find something they like. Each month starts with a comedy, followed by a musical the following week.
The third week features a drama, and then the month concludes with either another drama or an action film. “I chose that day and time because it would allow everybody to ‘do their thing’ during the day, have lunch—and then see a movie,” David says. “Then they can go directly to happy hour, have dinner, and then call it a night.”
When asked why he likes participating in activities, David jokes, “It gets me out of my wife’s hair and keeps me off the barstool!” Then he adds more seriously, “We enjoy the socialization aspect of it all—getting together with friends and having something in common. I just love the atmosphere.”
Whether activities help keep the residents active physically, mentally, or spiritually, they all make a huge difference. “As we age, it’s beneficial to be as active as we can. That way we keep our bodies in shape, our minds stay healthy, and we have a healthier outlook on life,” says Ellsworth.
Want to learn more about this vibrant community? Schedule a virtual or in-person visit.