SARASOTA, Fla. (October 10, 2019) — For many seniors, the decision to retire and move to an independent or assisted living community is a difficult one. After 50-plus years in the workforce, and just as many caring for a home, the sudden freedom from these responsibilities can leave them feeling a bit lost.
89-year old Milan Zdravkovich experienced this after moving to The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods in Sarasota with his wife earlier this year. At the time, his home was on the market, and Zdravkovich would travel there almost daily to paint, landscape and complete minor repairs to prepare the house to sell.
“Milan received the bittersweet news that his home of many years had sold, leaving a void and sense of purpose in his day to day life,” said Paige Cohen, Associate Executive Director and Assisted Living Administrator at The Fountains. “He loves to garden and is the best Mr. Fix It you’ll ever meet, and working on his home brought him great joy. So, we decided to step in and partner with Milan to find him a new purpose at the community.”
After speaking with Milan’s son, the community presented Milan with the opportunity to help tend their garden and assist the maintenance team when he felt the itch to get his hands dirty. Zdravkovich is now partnering with the chef to bring the community’s garden back to life. He is also a member of the safety committee and helps the maintenance team keep the community beautiful.
“It’s very common for seniors to feel a little out of sorts when making the transition to this next phase of life,” said Peggy Beasley, Executive Director of The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods. “Many feel they’ve lost their sense of independence, but we like to think that they are gaining it. Without a home to care for, they can spend their time doing what they love and pursuing their passions, like Milan is now doing.”
To help seniors through this process, The Fountains has developed a number of clubs, classes, and committees that residents can join, and even run. There’s no pressure to join a group or committee, but the option is there for those who are looking to get involved.
91-year-old resident Ted Kramer, who holds a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, has found his calling teaching modern biology to residents and friends through the community’s Watermark University classes.
“Ted lectured on the people who changed biology, such as Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendell and Watson and Crick,” said Michelle Sayre, Community Life Director at The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods. “He was a captivating speaker and kept the class’ attention with his knowledge and humor throughout the presentation.”
Ted’s class went so well that additional courses have been added to the fall Watermark University course catalog. For those who aren’t interested in teaching, groups such as the activities and hospitality committees offer a way for residents to get involved and help plan events at The Fountains. Clubs also span a variety of topics including men’s and women’s interests, veterans’ interests, books, wine, and art.
“There’s literally something for everyone,” said Peggy Beasley, Executive Director of The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods. “Retirement doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, we think it’s pretty exciting. Our residents are so involved and are constantly connecting with their neighbors who have common interests. It’s truly inspiring to see.”
About The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods
Located at 3260 Lake Pointe Blvd., The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods is a retirement community in Sarasota, located on a 53-acre property with lakes, walking trails, mature trees, native wildlife, migrating birds and gazebos. The community offers independent and assisted living with short and long-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation at The Springs, an on-site health center operated by Summit Care. The Fountains offers a country club lifestyle featuring three dining options, an extensive calendar of events, outings, classes, clubs and fitness opportunities. Managed by Watermark Retirement Communities, The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods is committed to creating an extraordinary and innovative community where people thrive. For more information, visit http://lakepointewoods.watermarkcommunities.com.