Seniors today seem to be analyzing retirement communities like high school seniors analyze colleges.

Both are looking for new educational opportunities and quality fitness facilities, to say nothing of the cuisine.

“For [chronological] seniors, the physical aspect is top of mind,” says Lizz Stephens, vice president of business development for Christian Village Communities in Mason and Mt. Healthy.

She says on tours of retirement communities, seniors seem to be asking themselves, “If I move here, what does this community offer?”

An emerging trend among those moving into retirement homes is their appetite for educational and social opportunities, Stephens adds.

“They’re not anticipating to sit at home—they want to keep evolving and growing as a person,” she says.

Christian Village Communities recognized this interest and has responded by offering programming to satisfy all aspects of senior wellness.

“We are making significant investments to enhance our fitness and wellness programs for our residents,” says Larry Monroe, president and CEO of

Christian Village Communities.

“The statistics are clear; as we age, wellness and fitness becomes a major contributing factor supporting longevity and quality of life, andincreased

 strength improves flexibility and mobility.

“It also reduces our propensity for falls,” he adds. “I recently read that seniors over the age of 80 who fall with a resulting fracture have a 65

percent greater chance of dying within the 12 months following the fall. At CVC we believe that investing in fitness and wellness is an investment in the lives of our residents.”

CVC’s Mason campus will literally bring its emphasis on physical wellness to the forefront when it relocates its athletic club to the main level and lobby of the building. There, it hosts balance and mobility classes, line dancing, and other physical pursuits.

Intergenerational friendships are an outgrowth of another offering hosted at CVC called Opening Minds through Art (OMA).

This program, from Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center, pairs senior residents with high school students to create art one-on-one. 

Residents can use Kool-Aid, glitter, paper towels and other found objects to make unique patterns and artwork.

OMA was founded in 2007 by Miami University professor Dr. Elizabeth Lokon, and designed to foster creative self-expression through social engagement. Now it is a nationally recognized program that provides a creative and social outlet for people who have dementia.

Christian Village Communities joins 40 other long-term care facilities across the U.S. and Canada that have implemented OMA, according to Stephens.

“OMA has been an exciting program for our residents and their families, primarily because of its life enrichment impact,” Monroe says. “It’s in direct line with our greater organization mission of guiding older adults to joyful and purposeful life experiences in a faith-filled community.”

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