The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R8
For most residents, life here doesn't shut
down, it opens up. It offers a reason to get
up in the morning. Possibilities.
A friend here recently bemoaned the fact that we
live surrounded by folks of roughly the same age, so we
miss the constant infusion of excitement and vitality
from kids, young adults, even teens. It's a good point,
but it's partly mitigated by the fact that young people
are forever traipsing through here visiting their parents
and grandparents, often bringing little ones along, and
we get to know the extended families and draw a fresh
charge of vitality from all of them.
Do I always love what's for dinner in the main
dining room? Nope, but the meals are pretty good,
MORE ABOUT BRANDON OAKS
Many retirees who live at Brandon Oaks were apprehensive
about downsizing at first, says Nicole Bruch, corporate marketing coordinator. But now, they commonly comment, "I
wish I had done this sooner."
"It's a great social environment," says Bruch. "Some of our residents are busier now than when they were at home. It's a tightknit community where everyone watches out for one another."
Brandon Oaks, which began as a Lutheran Health Center in 1973,
became a LifeCare community in 1993 thanks to the independent
and assisted living portions. This means that residents have a
full continuum of care within one community for their lifetime.
In addition to independent living - which includes patio homes,
cottage homes and apartments - and assisted living apartments,
Brandon Oaks offers a nursing and rehab center, which opened
in 2003 and is currently under construction to add more in- and
out-patient rehabilitative therapies for the public and Brandon
As Joan Bugbee says, Brandon Oaks offers a smorgasbord of amenities and activities: an indoor pool, hair and nail salon, greenhouse, woodworking shop, al fresco dining terrace, formal and
casual dining rooms, walking paths, a library and much more.
The activities director always plans a full schedule, including
day trips, local treks to museums, farmers markets and concerts,
and numerous activities through resident clubs.
Bruch says there are also resident committees who help in decision-making for the community.
"They should have input, because we want them to enjoy their
lives here and have a place they want to bring their friends and
family," she says.
For more information: 776-2600, brandonoaks.net -JW
and there are always options. We have the Grille here
serving informal meals, for example. And Jimmy V's
and other great places are nearby.
Have I run into people whose opposite political
views drive me bananas? Of course. But I try to listen
to them and maybe I'll learn something. And maybe
they'll learn from me, even while they're filching the
small photo of Obama next to my door.
When that happened before the last election, the
administration here told me it was mostly Obama
information that mysteriously disappeared, not the
Romney materials. So I waited a while and then stuck
a new photo of our president near my front door. On
one side, I put a sticky note that warned: "Do Not
Steal." On the other side, I put a sticky note that said:
"God Sees You."
That photo stayed put.
See, we have our amusements here. Some would
strike others as basically silly, like the plastic duck a
friend and I keep swapping back and forth, trying to
outdo each other with ludicrous enhancements to his
yellowness. So far, she's won, by affixing a peacock
feather to his tail.
But there are more serious things going on - an
educators club that brings in speakers to discuss everything from hospice to acupuncture, a well-stocked
library, so many activities, trips and tours that I can't
list them all. There's a lively exercise and fitness program including physical, occupational and speech
therapy, gourmet dinners, groups pursuing bridge,
books, Scrabble, growing roses - you name it.
And about leaping over that tennis net - most of
us have given up leaping over much of anything, including our own shoelaces. We're not teenagers. We're
subject to the ravages of old age, so of course there are
canes here, and walkers and electric scooters. If there's
a difference here, it's simply that we have a wider range
of friends and acquaintances and consequently perhaps more support than we might have had outside.
Besides, there's something of an attitude here, a
gritty kind of determination not to dwell on ailments.
When friends meet you in the hall and ask, "How
are you?" they don't often get your medical history in
reply. Most often they get a smile and a "Fine. How
about you?" In short, most of us don't treat you to
an organ recital. We empathize, we've been there or
we're getting there, but meanwhile we've got a life to
live and better things to do. We've got possibilities.