Tribune Print Share Text

The hottest lunch ticket in town

And it takes place at Greenspring

Created date

October 23rd, 2012

With open arms and beautiful plates of mouth-watering meals, Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va., has welcomed more than 1,000 people to campus this year alone to learn about life at one of the nation s number one retirement communities. More than anything else, our luncheons and events are a way to introduce people to what life is really like at Greenspring, says Greenspring Sales Counselor Sheila Willing. It is much, much more than a good meal. It s a time to ask questions, meet many of the people who call Greenspring home, and tour apartment homes. What it is not is a sales pitch. We simply want to help people decide if moving here is right for them.

Heeding expert advice

A Greenspring luncheon not only provides a warm, friendly environment to learn about the community, it also helps many prospective community members begin the important research required before moving to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). Books and Internet sites provide advice for those looking to take this next step. A recent article entitled Continuing Care Retirement Communities: What They Are and How They Work stresses the importance of visiting prospective communities to investigate thoroughly and meet with a representative who can walk you through the different housing options, cost structures, and choices. Dr. Elaine Sorensen moved to Greenspring in December 2001, already well versed in the benefits of CCRCs. She spent considerable time involved in writing laws for CCRCs in California. Shortly after her move, she began speaking at Greenspring luncheons to help others learn about their options. Being in the CCRC business, I know that Erickson Living is the standard other communities try to replicate, says Elaine. I enjoy speaking at the luncheons because I think, in addition to giving a resident s perspective, I am also able to give a professional perspective. I know that some people like to hear from someone in the business, and I m happy to do that. The most important piece of advice I offer is to ask a lot of questions, sometimes more than once, she adds. I believe that the more you know before making a decision, the happier you ll be with that decision. All questions are important and if you are thinking it, there are probably at least ten other people who want to know the answer too. During a Greenspring luncheon, guests are invited to tour the homes of current residents and enjoy one-on-one conversations with their hosts. Elaine, along with her neighbors Bob and Ellie MacCallum, open their homes on a regular basis. Prior to our June 2004 move to Greenspring, we attended many luncheons, and we were certain that, when the time came, this was where we wanted to be, says Ellie. We really enjoyed the time we spent meeting with residents and touring their homes. These were not model homes, but the actual, lived-in homes. There was a real benefit to being able to ask them questions about transitioning into the new space. Now we love to show our apartment to future neighbors.

Time to get exclusive

After attending a Greenspring luncheon, many guests choose to join the priority list, a waiting list enabling anyone interested in the Erickson Living lifestyle to secure their place in line to reserve an apartment home of their choice. Priority list members also enjoy exclusive members-only events and special saving opportunities. We were on the Greenspring priority list for about two years, says Robert Bonner. We were willing to move in earlier, but my wife Hazel did not meet the 62-year-old age requirement. We used our time on the list to attend luncheons and explore different apartment models and floor plans. By the time we moved in, we had completely changed our opinion of the model we wanted and reconfirmed, over and over, that Greenspring was the right choice for us. In fact, the Bonners are so happy with their informed decision to move to Greenspring that they now help out at many of the informational events. Our advice to prospective residents is to get on the priority list, says Robert. We have never talked to anyone who said they were sorry they had done so. But we have talked to numbers of people who told us they wished they had gotten on the list much sooner.

Your table is ready

Whether in the early investigative stages of retirement planning or on the verge of making a move, attending a Greenspring luncheon is the perfect opportunity to learn more, enjoy an expertly prepared meal, and ask questions. These events are about learning and discovery, says Willing. We want to share our community with as many people as we can.