The best senior living communities understand the many benefits residents experience when they give back and work in collaborative ways with one another. That’s why Newcastle Place, a senior living community in Mequon, Wisconsin, has established resident committees that empower the residents to work together to help shape the lifestyle and activities at the community. Providing such a structure for self-determination fosters a sense of independence, self-reliance and personal control—all elements seniors look to maintain as they move into a community setting.
Resident Translates Life’s Work to Serving Others
Alice, a resident of Newcastle Place and leader of the community’s book club, says the decision to move to Newcastle Place was easy, especially since she and her husband were already active members of the Mequon community! That was one and a half years ago and already Alice has a year of leading the community’s book club discussion groups under her belt. As a retired library director, it’s a natural fit for Alice, who acquires all the books for the growing group of 20 residents and curates a list of questions for discussion. Whether large print or audio book, Alice ensures that Book Club members get what works for them.
“I get as much benefit out of the book group as all the other participants, because I get to have fun with them and challenge them, and apply my life’s work as a library director to engage other people,” says Alice. “Book Club members don’t want to read fluff, they want to be challenged. I spend a lot of time on it because I want it to be worthwhile.”
Community Connections Translate to Serious Health Benefits
The committee system obviously benefits the entire Newcastle Place community, but there are also individual, more personal benefits for those who participate in the committees as well. Studies consistently indicate that seniors who are actively involved in service or volunteerism experience significant physical, emotional and cognitive health benefits. It connects them with their neighbors and peers, increases their circle of friends, and allows them to avoid a sense of isolation that can lead to depression.
“I’m constantly encouraging other residents to get out and do things. Once they do, they end up having such a good time. Then they say, ‘Why didn’t I do this before?’” says Alice. “If you live in a community it’s important to become part of the community.”
Alice and her husband enjoy the benefits of connecting with community neighbors and work to ensure that other residents have the same experience. They like to keep people moving and get people motivated. For instance, when the Green Bay Packers play, they host a pizza party in the Newcastle Place social room and invite everyone to come watch and cheer.
“Some people say they want to yell at the TV so they feel like they can’t come. I tell them, ‘We yell at the TV, too!’ It’s more fun yelling as a group,” says Alice.
Newcastle Place builds a culture of connectedness and cultivates a healthy and independent lifestyle for all residents. Committees are just one way that the residents have the opportunity to shape their lifestyle.
To learn more about how the residents of Newcastle Place contribute to community well-being and have the opportunity to empower themselves and others, call 262-421-9050 or drop us a line via our contact us page!