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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ratio, so we have one staff member for every four residents,” said Alexis Waugh, who works in sales and marketing at Liberty Ridge. “That way there’s a lot less frustration. The one-on-one attention really helps a lot.”

Waugh said one of Liberty Ridge’s goals is to keep residents comfortable and happy in a faith-based environment. The staff is instrumental in meeting this goal. Extensive training enables caregivers to perform their duties in a way that promotes maximum independence, dignity and individual preference for residents.

“One of our qualifications for working here is you must have a servant’s heart,” Waugh said. “It’s hard to come in here day after day and deal with people with memory loss. That does take a special kind of person. But we have people who come in here every day no matter what and they have a big smile on their faces, and our residents really appreciate that. We just have some of the greatest people with the biggest hearts.

”In 2006, Easy Living Garden Homes were added to the neighborhood. These homes are geared for independent senior adults.

“Most of the people that live in the garden homes are older,” Brinegar said. “They’re more independent. They typically will age in place there, but we do see some people that graduate over to assisted living and memory care.” If someone lives in a garden home, they automatically get priority to move into assisted living or memory care when necessary, and they get a 5-percent discount for life.

The garden homes have 1,200 to 1,300 square feet with two bathrooms, two bedrooms, a washer and dryer hook-up and a sunroom out back. Garden home residents have full access to the Liberty Ridge amenities.

“They can come use the dining room whenever they like, and all the activities that we do for the assisted community, the independent living folks also join in on those,” Brinegar said.

Being strongly faith-based is another aspect of Liberty Ridge that appeals to seniors who are considering moving there.

“Residents don’t have to be a member of Eastland Church and they don’t have to be a Christian, but we don’t shy away from that faith-based perspective,” Brinegar said.

A long-term master plan for Liberty Ridge includes the possibility of expanding the garden homes and making an addition to the assisted living facility to include luxury apartments and a purpose-built memory care neighborhood, as well as a chapel. Currently, weekly worship services are held in the dining room.

“We’re hoping eventually to provide nursing care and rehab on site, so if we did that we would certainly see the need to expand,” Brinegar said.

Liberty Ridge is a non-profit entity that is open to people of all faiths. For more information, call Brinegar at (859) 543-9449 to arrange a tour or visit Liberty Ridge’s Web site at www.libertyridge.com.

Liberty Ridge Senior Living Community is proud to be a ministry of Eastland Church of God.

Located right next door to the church at 701 Liberty Ridge Lane, the community was established in 1999 to help meet Lexington’s growing need for high-quality, affordable housing senior housing. It offers a variety of lifestyle options, including independent living homes, assisted living apartments and a memory care neighborhood. Liberty Ridge is managed by SeniorLife Solutions, Inc., a professional management company with over 18 years of experience in operating housing for the elderly, and is governed by a church board.

“In the next three decades, we’re going to see an explosion of people that are graduating into that senior demographic,” said Barry Brinegar, Sales and Marketing Director. “So we’re going to come up on a time where there’s going to be so much more demand for senior services.”

Liberty Ridge’s assisted living section opened in 2000 with 45 apartments. Twenty more apartments were added in 2003. Liberty Ridge is one of only three facilities in Lexington that is certified by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to provide assisted living services to residents. Included in assisted living are assistance with all activities of daily living, three meals a day, basic cable, weekly housekeeping and daily trash removal.


The apartments have safety-equipped bathrooms with low-barrier walk-in showers and kitchenettes with small refrigerators and microwave ovens. Each apartment has an emergency response system to alert on-site staff any time, day or night, if the resident has an emergency. Small pets are welcome as long as they are housebroken, well-behaved and leashed when outside of the apartments.

Because of the increased demand for care for people with memory disorders, Liberty Ridge recently converted a second section of the assisted living community into a secured memory care neighborhood with 12 additional memory care apartments for a total of 19 apartments dedicated for those who need dementia care.

“The folks that live in this secure neighborhood get a lot of personalized care and attention and are engaged with purposeful activities in the community room,” Brinegar said. “It’s a community model, so everyone eats together. And we use the Best Friends approach to Alzheimer’s care.”

 “The biggest thing in the memory care unit is it’s a much smaller staff-to-resident


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

more articles by tanya J. tyler