It occurred to me that there’s a whole lot of stuffing going on here that I haven’t written about because it doesn’t interest me and/or I'd have to do more than two posts a week to cover it all, but that stuff might be of interest to someone else who could be exploring the continuum care concept of living out the final decade of life---or two if we’re lucky.
Exercise classes I have mentioned. Tai Chi---my personal favorite---Yoga, cardio drumming and sit & stretch I've written about but they also have cardio boxing, strength training, a walking club, balance & barre and circuit training classes. One lady, who goes to most of exercise classes said, "It's my job to stay healthy." That statement was countered by another woman who replied, "I'm not doing any of that. I'm going to eat what I want, do what I want and if I die early then I'll die happy."
In the tour of things I don't do here I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the game room. That place is busy 4-5 times a week with a bunch of card-sharky people all having noisy fun. Or so I'm told. I hear the gaming group talk at meals and in the lobby and you can tell they've bonded quickly. It's interesting how different the conversations are when you sit with different combinations of people. There's the Gossipers and what I call the Complaint Department and then the Silly Club (my favorite). The Gamers and the Church-Chatters round out the frequent mealtime tables. The box of chocolates metaphor of never knowing what you'll get is over used and doesn't apply here as I'm getting better at identifying on sight the 'candies' in our box of personalities. A handy skill to have when you place your food order and you can choose take-out or dine in. Always on the lookout for blog fodder, I rarely get take-out.
There have been a few lectures here, too, that I have attended: one was about birds of prey (briefly mentioned a while back). I got to see a huge, live barn owl up close enough to touch. We were also visited by a speaker from the humane society who brought three dog ambassadors with her who roamed the room soaking up pets and praises. One pooped on the floor, another got creeped out by the cat-like hissing coming from a man’s portable oxygen tank. Both proved to be quite entertaining. We had another speaker this afternoon who is with an EMT search and rescue K9 unit. She was animated and fascinating and full of great antidotes.
I'm glad we’re on the lecture circuit of people passing through the community with programs like this. These lectures reminded me of the ones I loved at the senior hall as did the two entertainers who came here to play the piano. I was amazed at how easily they can play any song from 1920 to 2021 that’s called out from a crowd.
If you’re into churchy things, this month would have had you feeling right at home. There's a three part discussion scheduled and led by the pastors here that focuses on The Advent. Another discussion on the calendar will be led by the person in charge of the Hospice program here on campus and it’s about getting through the holidays after a loss and managing our expectations as we age. I’m betting that will be well attended. There is also a caroling night and a tree trimming afternoon on the calendar. Oh, and a Christmas party. Lest you think church activities are unique to this campus I toured another CCC once that has church services seven days a week and twice on Sundays.
Every day something new gets added to the community app…a bus trip downtown to see the Christmas lights, a Parade of Apartments here on campus of those who want to share/show off their holiday decorating skills and/or new home décor. I did not volunteer my apartment for the tour but I am looking forward to seeing those who did. Also going on is a "The Twelve Days of Christmas" give-away. Management draws the names of a staff and resident every day for twelve days for prizes. If I win something I hope it's the Fitbit. I've had two watches go belly up since I moved here.
Then there are the collections being taken. I’m not sure if this will be on going or just a holiday thing but we’ve gotten fancy invitations to donate to things like the Therapeutic Equestrian Program that brings horses to our sister campus. Another collection letter came looking for donations to the employee Christmas gift fund. We are not allowed to give personal gifts or tips to employees so whatever comes from this collection gets divided up. I was shocked to hear one lady say she will write a check for $500, but when she explained her math on how much she’d be tipping for dinners in a regular restaurant compared to the no tipping rule here it wasn’t that out of line (if we'd been here a full year) and she didn’t even include the concierge or maintenance people in her math.
Another appeal for money featured a 97 year old woman who ran out of money to pay her own way at our sister campus. The Foundation takes over her expenses in cases like that which I knew---it’s part of the promise you get when you buy into any continuum care complex. I just didn’t expect them to metaphorical pass the collection plate using an actual resident like abandon puppies featured in humane society commercials. I’m pretty sure these are all seasonal bids for our charitable giving but I mention them because it fits in with theme of what’s it’s like living in a place like this. ©