In an unusual year, Tallgrass Creek residents find joy and gratitude

December 3, 2020

Much to be thankful for at Overland Park senior living community

With the season of giving upon us, Tallgrass Creek neighbors find that even as a tough year winds down, there is still much to be thankful for.

"I'm thankful I'm here," says Karen Cox. "The entire staff has gone over and above supporting us this year, always with smiles on their faces. Their encouraging attitudes continue to bring joy, even during this pandemic."

Like many residents, Karen is also grateful for new interests she has developed since moving to the senior living community developed and managed by Erickson Living in Overland Park. Several years ago, she began hosting an in-house talk show called 1851 Studio Chats, something she had never done before. The show streams on Tallgrass Creek's in-house television station and centers on Karen's interviews with her neighbors. Topics of discussion include food favorites, unique holiday traditions, interesting travel experiences, and more. Karen says her adventure in front of the camera wouldn't have happened anywhere but Tallgrass Creek.

"The staff always says if you have a passion to try something, then start it," says Karen." Their support and enthusiasm are so encouraging. They make it fun to try something new."

Karen is currently collecting stories from her fellow neighbors about connections with other residents they have discovered since moving to Tallgrass Creek.

"People have discovered that someone who they went to grade school with also lives here and they had no idea," says Karen. "It has a 'one big family' feel and is quite interesting."

Other community members have also explored first-time interests since moving to Tallgrass Creek. Residents have learned to play the ukulele; honed their technological skills; tried woodworking; created art; learned to better understand and appreciate nature's beauty; ballroom danced; exercised; meditated, and so much more.

Enduring friendships

Tallgrass Creek neighbors like Jane Watts find joy in the wonderful friends they have made since moving to the community. Jane moved to Tallgrass Creek in 2017, when Hummingbird Square was still a new residence building and had just opened. That same week, Judy Higginbotham, Paula Josey, Karen Keenan, and Jill Jones also moved to the new building. The five women had never met, but quickly developed a special friendship.

"We bonded almost immediately," says Jane. "That was only three years ago but we feel like we've known each other forever."

The group enjoys attending community celebrations and special events together and also frequently dines in Tallgrass Creek's spacious Blue Sky Restaurant.

"There are so many interesting people here at Tallgrass," says Jane. "Friendships mean a lot to everyone and the ones I've made here have brought much joy."

To learn more about the vibrant retirement lifestyle at Tallgrass Creek, please visit or call 913-897-2700.

About Tallgrass Creek: Tallgrass Creek, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 65-acre campus in Overland Park, Kansas. The not-for-profit community of more than 500 residents and 350 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 can be found at

Photo: Dressed as the pink ladies from the movie Grease, (from left) Jill Jones, Jane Watts, Karen Keenan, Paula Josey, and Judy Higginbotham celebrate last year at a '50s themed party and dance held at Tallgrass Creek. The five friends, who met after moving to Tallgrass Creek, were awarded a prize for their originality.

Written by Mary Bush