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My name is Lillian Barnes. I am 77 years old and recently moved to Friendship Village in Schaumburg from my home of 40 years in Arlington Heights. I won’t lie…it took me a long time to decide that I was ready to move into a retirement community. My daughter Madeline had been encouraging me (that’s a nice way of saying ‘nagging’) for a couple of years but it took me longer than that to come around to her way of thinking.
Here’s the deal. I had a preconception about what a retirement home would be like, and frankly, what I pictured in my mind, was not what I wanted for my ‘golden years.’ Visions of inactive, bored, lonely people eating rubber chicken from plastic trays danced through my head, and it was depressing. But from the second I decided to move to Friendship Village, I realized that I had been so wrong, and that my life here would be immeasurably different and way better than what I’d been fearing. And living here, the error of my ways in pre-judging senior living has become increasingly obvious.
I am in a community with countless opportunities to pursue any hobbies I have and develop new interests, while surrounded by active, intelligent, vibrant people. I can work-out in a state-of-the-art fitness center, play water volleyball, take up line dancing, star in a movie, plant a garden, play laser tag, learn to sing Happy Birthday in Mandarin…the list goes on and on. Rubber chicken? Nope. Imagine instead fresh fish, juicy steaks, fabulous pasta, amazing salads. Lots of delicious and healthy choices! And I’ve made friends who I feel like I’ve known for a lifetime.
I was so wrong about senior living for so many reasons!! What bothers me most is that I wasted so much time fighting the idea of moving here, when I could have spent those extra years living my life to the fullest!
That brings me back to introducing Better Together, Friendship Village’s new blog. The title reflects the concept of the strength afforded by doing things side-by-side, hand-in-hand, in collaboration with, in partnership with…together! Alone just isn’t any good. Together is so much better!!!
This bi-weekly blog will focus information on topics of interest and importance to older adults and our loved ones. We will feature a circulating cast of characters writing each blog to show different perspectives. The schedule will rotate between myself, my daughter Madeline, different department managers at Friendship Village, and an occasional entry by my teenage granddaughter Amanda, who has a lot to say.
Please join us, as we discover that life is Better Together!