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Looking forward

Elaine Rosati on love, friendship, and giving back

Created date

March 20th, 2015
resident sitting in her apartment
frv_0415_rosati_pic-1web.jpg

 

Elaine Rosati has approached every stage of her life with vibrancy, determination, and a youthful spirit. So it’s probably no surprise to anyone who knows her that she has approached her retirement in the exact same manner. 

Elaine lives at FoxRun, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich., where she has a vibrant and active life, gives back to the community by serving on the Resident Advisory Council, and has even found love again at the age of 87.

“I look forward. I don’t look back,” Elaine says.

A long and rewarding career

Elaine’s gusto for life was obvious even when she was a young girl. She finished high school early and began college at the age of 17. She married and then had four children in the span of six years. She stayed at home while her children were young, but once they reached their teenage years, she decided to refocus on her career.

“I realized they needed less of me, so I thought I better figure out what I should do with the rest of my life,” Elaine says. “I went back to school in my 40s and got a master’s degree in guidance counseling.”

For a few years, Elaine worked with abused children in Oakland County, and then she went to the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. 

She worked in social work for a while but says it became difficult to put her heart into projects and then have funding run out and be unable to continue the work. That is when she decided she wanted to pursue a different path.

“I asked my husband if he thought I was crazy if I went to law school, and he said no, he didn’t,” Elaine recalls.

She went on to attend law school and graduated at the age of 60. Her husband had his own law practice in West Bloomfield, Mich., so Elaine joined his practice. She practiced family law, including divorces, wills, trusts, and guardianships. She leveraged her social work background and worked as an attorney on behalf of children. 

“I ended up having a very rewarding practice,” she says. “I had big attorneys asking me to serve as guardian ad litem on their cases.”

An exciting new chapter begins

Elaine practiced law until she was 83 years old. Shortly after she retired, she decided to move to Fox Run. Her husband had passed away, and she was living alone in a large condo. 

“I thought, ‘Why would I live in that great big place alone?’” Elaine says of her old condo. “I knew I wanted to be here at Fox Run.”

It didn’t take Elaine long to get involved at Fox Run. Shortly after moving in, she joined the resident life committee, which helps to organize activities and entertainment on campus. 

Elaine’s most recent undertaking at Fox Run was becoming a member of the Resident Advisory Council (RAC), an important committee that serves as a liaison between residents and management. 

Since Elaine had served on the resident life committee, many people at Fox Run knew her. Some neighbors encouraged her to run for the RAC. She was happy to lend her energy and talents to the community she calls home.

“I feel I should be a part of the community. I have never been of the philosophy that you plant your bottom and that is it,” Elaine says. “My mind is always working; I am interested in everything. If I can be helpful and work with people, I want to do it.”

One of the issues she plans to work on while serving on the RAC is to raise awareness about memory care. She wants to make sure her neighbors understand how to spot signs of dementia and know how to take advantage of the resources Fox Run offers, including a floor dedicated to memory care that is in development at the community’s continuing care neighborhood.

“They are training people to work with people with memory issues. It’s a big thing, and it’s going to be top-notch when it’s all done,” she says. “We have tremendous resources here for memory fitness and care, and we are always in the process of developing new things.”

Finding love

Aside from her philanthropic efforts, Elaine also started playing bridge in the evenings, which is how she ended up meeting—and falling in love with—her partner Bill, who also lives at Fox Run. 

A mutual friend told Elaine that Bill was looking for a bridge partner. One evening, Bill sought out Elaine and offered to walk her home. He invited her to join him for dinner the next evening, and their relationship blossomed from there.

“We really did fall in love,” Elaine says. “He’s the sweetest guy.”

Combined, Elaine and Bill have 9 children and 16 grandchildren. Their families have met, and Elaine says she and Bill frequently have dinner at the homes of their children. The couple also periodically escapes to warmer weather at Bill’s house in Florida. 

At Fox Run, they play duplicate bridge and rummy cube during the evenings with their friends. They enjoy learning new things at the community’s on-site continuing education classes. They also love dancing and going to parties—and there are plenty of both at Fox Run. There is a ballroom dancing club and several parties throughout the year with live music. 

“There are fascinating people who live here,” Elaine says. “They are marvelously educated and experienced people.”

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