Senior Living: Making Deep and Purposeful Connections

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Amenities and activities go beyond entertainment to become a foundation for caring and meaningful relationships.

Bill and Grant at Retirement Community Gathering Spot

Bill Cosgrove and Grant Bagley have established several friendships in the woodshop at Collington where residents fix furniture and antiques for their peers among other projects.

“We saw that Collington offered us the one thing that was more important to us and that was a group of people we wanted to live with,” said Grant Bagley a resident of the Continuing Care Retirement Community located in Mitchellville, Md.  “We’ve made close friendships in a short period of time and they are of a depth and quality that I would not have predicted to be possible.”

A Utah native, Grant shared with a smile how he chose skiing over studies and dropped out of high school. A quick search on Google, however, reveals that Grant has an impressive career path ranging from engineering to medicine and law.

It is the varied backgrounds of residents like Grant that continue to draw individuals to the expansive 125-acre campus that offers many unique amenities and activities.  Grant is an example of how resident interests can be a connector for deep friendships.

One of the many gathering places on campus is an expansive woodshop, which at first might appear to be a disorganized building where a few residents work on projects and crafts.  The activities in this shop, however, go way beyond personal projects as residents use this venue to fix furniture and antiques for their peers.  “We don’t charge for the service, but we get donations which help us replenish the woodshop,”said Grant.

Grant and Friends at the Senior Living Community

Grant and his friends at the woodshop work on model sailboats, replicated after Chesapeake Bay Skipjacks, for the retirement community

Here, the shop’s treasurer, Bill Cosgrove, shares his techniques for fixing electrical items while another resident leads a knife-sharpening workshop.  The venue also contains pool tables, model trains and space for residents to work on a treasured community tradition: model sailboats.  Collington has a 6-acre lake where the entire community rallies for an annual regatta featuring the radio-controlled sailboats replicated after Chesapeake Bay Skipjacks.

Grant and his friends at the woodshop work on model sailboats, replicated after Chesapeake Bay Skipjacks, for the retirement community’s popular annual regatta.

Another newly added feature is the fully functional Amateur (HAM) radio station, which is a lifelong passion Grant initially thought he would have to give up.  Shortly after moving, however, he collaborated with a group of residents to create a station, further demonstrating the culture at Collington in which residents are highly involved in the direction of activities. According to Grant, the station will eventually become an integral part of the emergency communication system for the entire county.

While he and his peers enjoy countless amenities like the shop, tennis courts, gardens, swimming pool and fitness center at Collington, they are also drawn to the fact that they have access to a range of healthcare services, from independent living to nursing and rehabilitation, should their needs change.

Grant Works on a Project for a Fellow Retirement Home Resident.

Along with his various projects, Grant has created an Amateur (HAM) radio station that will allow residents to stay connected, whether they are in independent living or in the community

The HAM radio has proven to be an essential part of helping residents across the community stay connected. Grant recently started working with a nursing care resident who was worried about feeling isolated due to his health issues.  He has been helping the resident renew his HAM license that expired in the 1930s and told him, “You will have all the people you want to talk to.”

Grant’s enthusiastic approach to a sense of community is shared by all the residents and staff.  Regardless of age or health, he has emphasized to his son and others how everyone is his friend and that despite what may happen to him, he knows he will be cared for at Collington.
With these friendships and support, Grant and his wife could not be more thrilled with the choice they made for their future.  Even their son during a recent two-day visit, said of his mother, “I’ve never seen her so happy.”

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