Greenspring Residents Continue Busy Pace, Staying Engaged and Giving Back | #seniorliving | #elderly | #seniors
Vibrant community lifestyle offers opportunities to connect, learn and grow
Since moving in 2014 to Greenspring, a senior living community managed by Erickson Living in Springfield, Va., Chuck and Carla Harding have maintained busy schedules, dedicating their time to participating and volunteering in resident-run activities.
“We decided to move to Greenspring while we were both still healthy and able to contribute meaningfully to the community,” says Chuck. “As you age in your single-family home, you realize that your world is shrinking. There are fewer opportunities to make new friends and participate in various activities. But when you move to Greenspring, suddenly there are all these fascinating people, people you might never have met otherwise, and you get to know each other through the many resident-run activities. It is a marvelous opportunity for your world to expand.” Carla agrees. “Instead of looking down a funnel at a smaller life, by moving to Greenspring, we came out the larger end of the funnel,” she says.
Prior to their move, the Hardings attended informational luncheons, also meeting up with one of Chuck’s former coworkers and his wife, who had moved to the community.
“He compared his life at Greenspring to living on a big cruise ship with lots of interesting people and activities,” says Chuck. “He also suggested that we move as soon as possible, while still able to participate fully in the many activities offered. It was his recommendation that was the deciding factor for me. Our outlook on life was similar, and the fact that he found activities that satisfied his need to be involved and productive was a good enough recommendation for me.”
The Hardings have not been disappointed. “Community members bring all their life and work experiences, talents, and interests with them to Greenspring,” says Carla. “We are teachers, doctors, lawyers, musicians, mothers and fathers, nurses, artists … and most notably, good neighbors,” she adds.
She also appreciates the variety inherent to their new home. “Greenspring is a large community. That means we have choices,” she notes. “We are able to participate in things we love to do, including participating in clubs and activities. We can be, and are, active members in our community. Greenspring has definitely become our new home.”
A former member of the Resident Council, Chuck now serves as a member of the General Services Committee and chair of the Safety and Security subcommittee. He provides maintenance work for the popular yacht club and serves as a board member to the woodshop. Carla helps manage the Treasure Chest, the community’s resident-run store, which sells resident-donated items at discounted prices to benefit the community. The Hardings’ dedication to volunteer efforts reflects the culture at Greenspring, dedicated to meeting the needs of neighbors and the larger community. Recently, community members averaged more than 65,000 hours per year in volunteer efforts.
“I can’t imagine retiring and putting my feet up,” says Chuck. “We are as busy as we ever were, but doing new things. And the neat thing about Greenspring is the ability to be as active as you want while enjoying the time to reflect on what makes you happy and how you want to spend your time.”
Finding new hobbies
In addition to their many hobbies, they’ve also picked up some new ones. “Since moving to Greenspring, I’m learning a new banjo style, practicing piano, studying Italian, and enjoying a singing and musician group. Carla is enjoying line dancing as well as working at the Treasure Chest.”
Best life possible
As the community responded to the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year, the Hardings felt there was a great effort to keep everyone safe. Greenspring staff devised creative ways for community members to entertain themselves at home, including virtual fitness programs, lectures, and classes.
“I would really like to congratulate management,” says Chuck. “We are all very lucky, surrounded by staff who were determined and enthusiastic to make the best out of our circumstances. Carla and I were definitely in a much better situation that we would have been in our former house. We believe that, at this time in our lives, life is happy here.”
Interested in learning more about the vibrant, active lifestyle at Greenspring? Request more information today.
About Greenspring: Greenspring, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 58-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia. The non-profit community of more than 2,000 residents and 950 employees is governed by its own independent board of directors which is supported by National Senior Campuses, Inc. www.nationalseniorcampuses.org
Photo: Fully engaging in the many clubs and activities available to the couple as Greenspring residents, Chuck and Carla Harding are happier than ever
Written by Kelly Shue