At Windsor Run, an Erickson Senior Living community in Matthews, N.C., it's easy for residents to reap the rewards of time spent outdoors by socializing with friends and participating in a wide range of activities.
"Everyone here loves being outside," says Resident Services Manager Maria Reyes. "Our outdoor amenities and spaces are amazing."
On any given day, you'll find Windsor Run residents strolling beside the ponds and along the well-manicured walking paths, gardening, dining alfresco, and participating in team sports like bocce and disc golf.
"We have a long list of outdoor activities too," she adds. "Fundraising walks and parades and our annual Grandparents Day are always popular."
'Icing on the cake'
Erickson Senior Living prides itself on offering safe, accessible outdoor environments that encourage residents to get active and socialize, enhancing their overall well-being. By taking advantage of these amenities, residents feel more energized and have greater focus and stamina.
Adults over 70 who spend time outdoors experience fewer sleep difficulties and improved mobility, according to research reported in the Journal of Aging and Health. Studies also show that going outside lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and improves mood and focus.
"The health benefits of spending time outdoors are just icing on the cake for our community members," notes Reyes.
With acres and acres of scenic green space, Windsor Run boasts its own array of flowering trees and plants. Recently, the community opened a beautiful nature trail that runs along the campus.
"I go out and walk almost every day," says resident John Cook. "I like having varied terrain, so I use the sidewalks, parking lots, and now the nature trail for my route."
"The nature trail is a wonderful new addition," agrees resident Virginia "Ginny" Bernstorf. "We enjoy seeing the wildflowers and wildlife. I especially love watching the bluebirds! And I'm hopeful the killdeer will nest in the mulch below the big Willow Oak tree this season, as they have for the last two years."
Members of the Windsor Run Gardeners have already made their own additions to the trail.
"We planted native wildflower seeds and set up several bluebird houses along the path," says resident Nancy Casey, president of the Windsor Run Gardeners. "There are already many activities for residents along the trail, and a new group called Trail Friends is busy planning even more."
Across the way, Windsor Run Gardeners tend to veggies and flowers growing in their personal beds as well.
"Windsor Run provided us with 54 garden spaces so we can plant whatever we want," notes Nancy. "The unique, above-ground containers are brimming with homegrown produce. Last summer, many of us grew tomatoes and different annual flowers. Over the winter, I had pansies and spinach growing. Eating the spinach was the best part!"
Like her fellow club members, Nancy-a "Virginia farm girl" who inherited her green thumb from her parents-says that cultivating friendships through gardening is the most rewarding.
"My parents were master gardeners, way before that title was coined," she explains. "Gardening is my favorite activity at Windsor Run, and for good reason. I've met many neighbors because of it, and I really enjoy their friendship."
Recently, Erickson Senior Living provided a multimillion-dollar investment through its Well-Being Fund to support the addition of enhanced health and well-being amenities and services to residents in its communities across the country.
At Windsor Run, funds were used to create the nature trail and install a disc golf course.
"Our older grandchildren and my son enjoy the disc golf," says John, "and my young grandchildren have fun at the putting green when they visit."
"The Well-Being Fund is such a gift," notes Reyes. "I'm proud of the many ways our community invests in resources and unique activities for our residents."
Recreation and relaxation
For those who prefer to rest and relax, the community's outdoor patio and fireplace is a must-see.
"Three afternoons a week, weather permitting, a group called the 4 O'Clock Singers gathers on the patio to sing old favorites," says Ginny. "Many gather on the patio to have picnics, celebrate special occasions, or read and nap in the sunshine. The atmosphere at Windsor Run offers rest, relaxation, and recreation outdoors in abundance!"
Thanks to resident-led efforts and investments in outdoor spaces, an increasing number of people at Windsor Run are finding ways to spend time outside, which is proving to be an integral part of their active, worry-free lifestyles.
To learn more about the ways residents are enjoying the great outdoors, request more information today!