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Video tribute

Jim Starnes raises awareness of enviable lifestyle at Riderwood

Created date

July 24th, 2012

After moving 23 times, building their dream house; and living in an Annapolis, Md., 55-plus community, Jim and Mary Starnes have finally found their home. For the last nine years, the couple has lived at Riderwood, the Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md. They are so happy that Jim has used his marketing expertise to create a video by one resident, for all demonstrating how good life really is at Riderwood. To date, thousands of people have seen the video (more than 250 on alone), and he wants even more people to see it.

From the horse s mouth

I believe the best way to tell people about living at Riderwood and all the amenities it has to offer is by having a resident tell the story, Jim says. He used his background as a marketing executive at IBM and RCA to write the script for the 14-minute video. To film it, he enlisted the help of Jason Boyle in Riderwood s on-site TV studio. The video has gone up on Riderwood s Facebook page and, and has also been converted into DVDs, which have been sent out to prospective residents. Serving on both the resident advisory council and the board of directors, Jim says he knows a thing or two about life on campus. And he wanted to showcase just how wonderful it is. There are 33 senior communities alone in the local area, Jim says, and none of them offer the amenities, activities, and facilities that Riderwood does. Jim s goal in making the video, which took about a year, was to raise awareness of the lifestyle that is available to seniors, and he wanted to drive home the point that the lifestyle is within reach. Jim referenced the resident guidebook and Medical Director Eugenio Machado, M.D., for statistics. He also consulted theRand McNally Atlas for Marylandfor this amazing statistic: with more than 2,700 residents, Riderwood is larger than 213 towns in Maryland.

Peace of mind

If I could use one word to describe Riderwood, it would be freedom, Jim says. He stressed the small, everyday liberations he and his neighbors experience, like the freedom from even the smallest household duties. Residents set the trash outside their doors at night, and it s gone the next morning. When it snows, everything is plowed. If there s a power outage, there are generators on campus and larger ones that are brought in, so there s minimal loss of power. When Jim and Mary go away on a trip, all they have to do is tell security they re leaving. Everyone here is looking out for you, Jim says, and that offers the greatest freedom of all peace of mind. Jim also highlights the restaurants and medical center, all on campus. You could eat all three meals at the restaurants if you wanted, Jim says. The medical center is staffed with six full-time physicians and two nurse practitioners, as well as specialists with regular office hours. Generally, boutique medical arrangements offer a ratio of 600 to 750 patients per physician, Jim says. At Riderwood, we have 460 patients per physician, with urgent cases being seen the same day as called. These and other amazing medical statistics are all provided in his video. Perhaps the biggest freedom Riderwood offers, Jim says, is that our children don t have to worry about us. Jim and Mary s three sons and five grandchildren know that their parents live in a community that meets their needs and promotes their health and wellness every day. As Jim states in his video, Riderwood is a neighborhood, not just a retirement community. It s a place where one can be as active in the vibrant lifestyle as one wants, and it s more than just a place, really; it s where one comes home.