Houston, Texas--Relationships matter. In a year when social distancing is imposing a sense of isolation on people of all ages, the value of community has never been more evident. Those who live at Eagle's Trace, the Erickson Living-managed community in West Houston, are embracing friendships, connectedness, diversity, and new beginnings this holiday season.
"Times like this remind us how important it is to be part of a strong community," says Tom Neubauer, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Communications for Erickson Living. "Residents who have been members of our communities for some time will tell you that the best part of living on campus isn't the modern fitness center or delicious variety of dining options, it's the friendships they've developed with their neighbors and staff and the community they've built."
Margaret Kennedy knows this to be true. She sold her home in Houston's Wilchester West neighborhood and moved to Eagle's Trace in June 2017.
"I didn't realize how many people I knew lived here until I moved in," says Margaret. "I'd start talking with someone and we'd find a commonality. Many times, we found our children had gone to school together."
The ease of making new friends was a delightful, unexpected benefit of moving to Eagle's Trace.
"I'd meet someone in the hall, and we'd start talking," says Margaret. "Then more people would walk by after dinner and join us. Soon we'd have five or six people in the conversation."
It doesn't take long for cordial introductions to blossom into meaningful, supportive friendships, thanks to the built-in opportunities for socialization through the community's on-site amenities, clubs, and activities. Margaret found her niche volunteering on the Scholarship Committee, which provides scholarships to eligible high school seniors who work in dining services at Eagle's Trace.
"The scholarship program is a great opportunity for the young people who work in our restaurants and a wonderful way to build relationships across generations," says Margaret.
Reengaging within the community
When the pandemic swept the nation, the executive team at Eagle's Trace took decisive action in the early weeks of the viral spread to limit the risk of resident exposure. Staff quickly put programs in place, like meal and mail delivery and concierge services, for residents.
"We were going to be the winners in this [fight against COVID]," says Margaret. "The virus barely touched our community of 900 residents, so that was a good enough reason for me to follow safety precautions."
Now, as amenities and services continue to carefully and thoughtfully reopen, Margaret says she is most looking forward to the vibrant lifestyle she's come to savor at Eagle's Trace.
"I'm excited for more spur-of-the-moment get togethers," says Margaret. "It's wonderful to live in a community where you can walk down the hall and run into friends."
Written by Sara Martin
About Eagle's Trace: Eagle's Trace, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 72-acre campus in West Houston, Texas. The not-for-profit community of more than 960 residents and 500 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, Inc., who provide independent financial and operational oversight. Additional information can be found at EaglesTraceCommunity.com.