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The key to a secure and healthy future

Retirement expert Sheila Willing discusses Greenspring's approach

Created date

September 24th, 2013
Greenspring's safety and security assistance

Fifteen years ago, the doors first opened to Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va. With open arms, Sheila Willing greeted the first residents on that momentous day. Now, more than 2,000 greetings later, she continues to welcome people to this popular community. As the sales counselor, it is my mission to help anyone interested in discovering the Erickson Living lifestyle at Greenspring, says Willing. Each day, I meet with our community s future residents. They have a lot of questions, and I do my best to answer each and every one. While every person and every circumstance is unique, this year, I ve noticed that questions regarding security and health are most often asked. Here, Willing addresses the two most frequently asked questions. Q Safety and security are important to me not only physically but also on the Internet. The news is full of stories of people affected by fraud. What measures are in place at Greenspring to ensure my safety and security both physically and otherwise? A: Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, Greenspring provides top-notch security and medical responders, ensuring that community members are better protected than ever before. The entire 108-acre campus is gated and monitored with the help of professional security personnel. They can be reached at any time day or night. With a fully staffed medical center on campus, community members also enjoy the peace of mind that comes from 24-hour medical attention, including an emergency response team and home support services. In fact, Greenspring emergency response time averages less than three minutes, as opposed to an average wait of nearly nine minutes outside of the community. Even in the middle of the winter, Greenspring works to keep community members out of harm s way. Maintenance crews work diligently to clear campus walkways and parking areas of snow and ice. Greenspring also strives to help community members protect their identity and steer clear of fraudulent efforts. Each year, Greenspring hosts a fraud prevention expo in an effort to educate residents and their families on measures seniors should take to protect themselves from fraud, scams, and exploitation. Members of the Fairfax County Police Department s Financial Crimes Unit ,as well as AARP, United States Postal Inspection Service, Shred-it, PNC Bank (which operates at Greenspring), and TRIAD (Crime Prevention Unit for Seniors), visit Greenspring to share their expertise. Many of these organizations return to Greenspring throughout the year for our series of fraud prevention lectures (one each quarter). Our in-house cable channel 6 videotapes the lectures for viewing throughout the community. Ongoing security efforts include the review of potentially fraudulent mail, on request, by Greenspring security staff, as well as education classes, emails, and handouts from the resident-led computer club. Q My doctor tells me that keeping active and physically fit will help me stay healthy longer. I understand that Greenspring has an on-site fitness center. What other ways does Greenspring promote physical fitness? A: Greenspring offers a state-of-the-art fitness center staffed with highly trained fitness and wellness experts. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Every day offers new opportunities to stay fit and active. Community members participate in numerous athletic clubs, including a softball team, tennis club, and Wii bowling. Each summer, Greenspring s best participate in the annual Northern Virginia Senior Olympics, and this past July, two Greenspring archers traveled to Cleveland to compete in the National Senior Games. Also this summer, Greenspring joined the local Springfield Days as a sponsor of the FitnessFest. Both staff members and residents participated in the Greenspring-facilitated fitness sessions, including yoga and balance, Zumba, and low-impact aerobics. Greenspring s commitment to physical fitness has not gone unnoticed. In 2011, Greenspring was invited to join in partnership with Go4Life, an exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The campaign is designed to help older adults fit exercise and physical activity into their daily life. Since the partnership began, Greenspring has sponsored numerous Go4Life fitness demonstrations and welcomed speakers, including Dr. Chhanda Dutta, chief of the clinical gerontology branch at the National Institute on Aging at NIH, to present information on exercise and aging as well as answer questions from attendees. Go4Life also provides evidence-based exercise guides in both English and Spanish to Greenspring and the 15 other Erickson Living communities across the country. Greenspring s devotion to physical fitness extends not only to community members but to staff members as well. This year, the American Heart Association recognized Greenspring as a platinum-level Fit-Friendly Worksite in recognition of the community s far-reaching efforts to make employee health a priority. This month, Greenspring will host the community s annual health fair showcasing more than 40 health, fitness, and wellness vendors. In November, community members will participate in the 11th annual Turkey Trot to raise money and donations for local charities including So Others May Eat and the Central Union Mission. The Greenspring Turkey Trot is an opportunity for community members to enjoy exercise while raising money for charity. Participants are encouraged to walk, run, or jog a course through the community s beautiful campus. It s also a great opportunity to shed a few calories before indulging in the Thanksgiving Day feast.