Long before they moved in, Lenni and Chuck Curless were already very familiar with Wind Crest, the Erickson Senior Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo. Around a dozen members of their ski club were living in the community, and now the group has nearly doubled.
"We recently got together for a big dinner with all of our ski club group members--there are 24 of us here now!" says Lenni.
Since joining the community, the couple has made plenty of new connections as well. When they're not enjoying their two-bedroom, two-bath apartment home with a balcony, they're on the move participating in many clubs and activities.
"We lived in the mountains before, and we're pretty active, so we did a lot of hiking," says Chuck. "We've been able to continue all that activity at Wind Crest, which has been great."
Living in a vibrant retirement community like Wind Crest can open doors to making new friends and building relationships with people who share similar interests--and who live just a short indoor walk away from your apartment home!
Whether it's fostering close friendships, reuniting with past acquaintances, or simply being part of a close-knit community, the opportunities for meaningful connection are endless, offering a healthy alternative to the isolation that many seniors may experience when living alone.
Benefits of socialization
"Having enjoyable social connections is an important, yet often overlooked, aspect of personal health and well-being," says Dr. Matt Narrett, chief medical officer at Erickson Senior Living. "From a robust calendar of events and dozens of clubs to sharing a meal together with friends, our communities are designed to maximize social engagement opportunities."
Megan Strothmann, Wind Crest's resident services coordinator, couldn't agree more.
"Having a vibrant social environment and strong connections help with your emotional well-being, in that you have people you can relate to--those who share your interests and values," says Strothmann. "It also helps with physical well-being. If you have friendships, it's more likely you'll get out of your apartment home and engage in favorite activities."
Strothmann has seen a number of people take initiative to start clubs that reflect their hobbies. Pilots Club, started by a retired pilot, has grown to include 14 people who regularly get together to talk about their memories of flying the friendly skies and reminisce on their favorite experiences.
And after a Boy Scout troop installed a horseshoe pit at Wind Crest as part of their community service, a number of horseshoe groups formed--one of the most popular being the Ladies Horseshoe Group.
"We've seen some really cool relationships form out of the Ladies Horseshoe Group," says Strothmann.
Easy to stay active
The wide range of clubs, classes, activities, and events ensure that there's something for everyone at Wind Crest--and lots of ways to make friends.
"I like the fact that there are these clubs," says Chuck. "I've always been active. I would do things on my own, but it's a lot more fun to do it with friends and neighbors. And I do it a lot more because I have access to people who have similar interests."
Lenni and Chuck joined the Learner's Club, which features classes taught by volunteers who have expertise in a variety of subjects. Chuck attends a "science sampler," which addresses a different scientific topic each week, while Lenni has been to one about the state of Colorado. The couple has also attended classes together--including one on the history and appreciation of barbershop quartets.
Chuck, a bicycle enthusiast, also joined the Wind Crest Cycling Club. They've both joined the Trail Hikers Club, and in the summer with their ski club, they bike on Mondays and hike on Wednesdays.
"Even though we've lived in Colorado for 59 years, we were busy with children and jobs, so we never really got to know our state," says Lenni. "Now, we're taking time to explore!"
Friendships new and old
The couple also enjoys meeting new people by dining in the community's restaurants. "We will intentionally reserve a four-person table" so others can join them, says Chuck. "We've met some very interesting people."
Lenni and Chuck, who both worked in the aerospace industry, were excited to find other Lockheed Martin "alumni" at Wind Crest.
"It's good to have a number of people that we already knew here. We had a head start on making friends and getting into activities," he adds.
No matter what, wherever they are on campus, Lenni and Chuck are greeted by everyone they see.
"Everybody says hello, whether they know you or not," says Lenni. "So, it's just good warm fuzzies no matter where you go!"
Invest in your future at Wind Crest. From top-notch amenities and activities to affordable, maintenance-free apartment homes, you'll enjoy living your retirement to the fullest. Request more information today!