Liz Jenkins had a decades-long career as a successful interior designer in Los Angeles, Calif. Although she’s officially retired now, the 96-year-old with degenerative blindness is still sharing her expertise with others.
Jenkins led a Watermark University class called “Maximize Your Space with Liz” on April 14. Attendees were fellow residents of The Watermark at Trinity, the retirement community where Jenkins has lived for nearly a year-and-a-half.
“I had a very fulfilling career as an interior designer,” Jenkins said. “I was hoping to share my trade and my passion with my neighbors, and being asked to teach a Watermark University class was a perfect way to do that.”
Jenkins, who began losing vision in her early 80’s, is now legally blind. But she hasn’t let that stop her. Her apartment is still tastefully decorated with help from her children, who bring a rotation of artwork to the community. She also regularly participates in art classes offered at the community, with assistance from associates who help her put the paintbrush on paper. And, she belongs to the community’s book club, listening to audio-books and participating in the discussion.
In her one-hour Watermark University class, Jenkins shared tips about maximizing space and choosing color schemes – such as how to coordinate colors of curtains, bed spreads and artwork – and then answered specific design and decorating questions from residents.
Watermark University is an award-winning program at Watermark communities that features a wide variety of engaging classes for residents and area seniors. Classes are often led by residents who have experience or deep interest in a particular topic, such as Jenkins’ class on interior design.
“Liz is such a talented designer and artist, and we were thrilled to be able to give her a platform to share her wealth of expertise and practical tips with our residents,” said Linda Wiley, executive director at The Watermark at Trinity. “Liz has a vibrant personality, and we love seeing her thrive and her interests shine through her incredible decorating skills and paintings.”
In the 1940s, Jenkins attended Los Angeles Community College and UCLA, where she studied interior design. As a professional interior designer in L.A., she specialized in spatial planning. She staged homes for realtors throughout her career, and helped her children design and start their own businesses. Her son is a professional photographer and her daughter runs a dog kennel for celebrities in California.
Prior to starting her interior design career, Jenkins worked for the U.S. government from 1944 to 1945 as a telephone operator for the Army Air Service Control. She is originally from Long Island, N.Y.
About The Watermark at Trinity
Located in Trinity, Fla., The Watermark at Trinity is a 218-residence retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory care in the Pasco County suburb of Trinity. Differentiators of the community include certified associates, continuous care and an extraordinary lifestyle built on an abundance of choices. Owned and managed by Watermark Retirement Communities, The Watermark at Trinity is committed to creating an extraordinary community where people thrive. To learn more visit www.WatermarkCommunities.com.
About Watermark Retirement Communities®
Watermark creates extraordinary and innovative communities where people thrive. We believe aging is about renewal rather than retirement. Watermark communities are known for highly trained and caring associates, a lifestyle built on choice, fine amenities, integrative wellness and innovative programs including the award-winning Watermark University featuring a wide variety of engaging classes for residents and area seniors. Watermark has been named in the top 25 Best Workplaces for Aging Services in a national program conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute and published on Fortune.com. A privately held company with a reputation for over 30 years for service, innovation, integrity and financial stability, Watermark manages more than 70 retirement communities in 22 states coast to coast. Based in Tucson AZ, Watermark is ranked as the nation’s 10th-leading senior housing operator by the American Seniors Housing Association. Visit watermarkcommunities.com for more information.