Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.


Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.



The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.



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all of us,” German said. “So it’s nice our residents can stay in their same apartment and simply increase the kind of care they’re receiving.” The 24-hour on-site professional staff coordinates care options for individual residents.

For seniors still getting out and about, Highgrove at Tates Creek’s location is fantastic, German said. Shopping, dining, physicians’ offices and pharmacies are nearby.

“Our property is surrounded by a wooded area that will never be developed, so you have nature all around you but you are still in the middle of everything you want and close to everything you need,” German said.

German says the seniors she talks with are younger and more active than ever before. And their pro-activity about deciding where they want to spend their later years actually helps extend their lives, increases their overall wellness and contributes to their quality of life.

“It’s really exciting to see that change in mindset as seniors are planning for their own futures instead of waiting for something to happen where they’re forced to make a decision,” German said.

Highgrove at Tates Creek will have 89 apartments, 30 of which will be memory care. Residents can choose a deluxe studio or a one or two  bedroom apartment. The memory care component will feature activities designed specifically for those experiencing memory loss. Every resident will also have his or her own memory box full of their favorite mementos to help calm and comfort them when they are anxious or agitated.

“Our memory care staff will implement an award-winning behavior-based ergonomics therapy that is shown to decrease confusion, agitation, withdrawal and falls,” German said.

Every apartment is designed for senior safety, with pull cords, grab bars and walk-in showers, and each resident will also receive an emergency response pendant. The kitchenettes have a full-size refrigerator, a sink and a microwave. Other amenities include a theater, restaurant-style dining, a fitness center, a salon and spa, a library and a chapel. Highgrove at Tates Creek is also pet friendly.

When German meets a senior who is wrestling with the idea of moving into a community, she reassures the potential resident by telling him or her to view the change as gaining independence, not losing it.

“You don’t have to rely on your neighbors to bring your groceries from your car. You don’t have to hire the kid down the street to mow your lawn. You don’t have to wait for a ride to the doctor’s office. You have a 24-hour staff that is here to do those things for you and the freedom to make your own decisions,” she said.

Isolation – something many seniors struggle with – is eliminated at a community like Highgrove at Tates Creek.

“Isolation really affects one’s health and well being, so having your best friends and neighbors under one roof is a huge asset, especially for those who have been living alone,” German said.

The staff at Highgrove at Tates Creek promises to be involved with and attentive to every person who lives there.

“Our community really focuses on developing personal relationships with our residents,” German said. “The people I’m meeting and talking with now, these relationships will continue on, way past move in. This is their home and this is their life and we want to be a part of that.”

With so many new senior living communities being built in and around Lexington these days, it can be difficult to decide which one to choose for your after-retirement home. Highgrove at Tates Creek hopes to make that choice a little easier. Expected to open in early 2017 at 4251 Saron Drive, Highgrove at Tates Creek is getting ready for an influx of curious seniors and their families.

“Between the construction of our property and meeting with potential residents and families, we’re staying pretty busy,” said Lauren Ashley German, Community Relations Director at Highgrove at Tates Creek. “There’s a lot of excitement and interest. People are really curious about what we’re going to have here.”

Highgrove at Tates Creek is an upscale senior living community that offers independent living, assisted living and memory care. Residents will receive superior yet reasonably priced accommodations and services in a peaceful, relaxing, resort-like atmosphere. Daily activities, meals, scheduled transportation and housekeeping are all provided in a maintenance- free, care-free environment. Highgrove at Tates Creek is part of Traditions Management, which has multiple communities in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

“We are seeing more and more seniors that want to take charge of


their own futures and it’s great to see that change, that shift in mindset,” German said. “In the past, many people thought of the traditional nursing home as the last resort, but communities have changed so much over the years. Now we’re seeing seniors who are choosing to live in communities because they want to, not necessarily because they have to.”

What makes Highgrove at Tates Creek stand out in the plethora of communities aimed at seniors is the levels of care it will offer and a resident-focused mindset.

“It’s important for people to realize that every senior living community is not the same,” German said. “Every resident at Highgrove at Tates Creek will have access to certain services, such as three meals a day, housekeeping and emergency safety measures, while still living independently and on their own terms.” In addition, if a resident’s needs were to change down the road, he or she can add assisted services, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, transferring and medication reminders, without having to move.

“That’s really important to a lot of people because moving is overwhelming for


Tanya J. Tyler is the Editor of Living Well 60+ Magazine

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