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Separating fact from fiction

Retirement communities like Greenspring are active, engaging places

Created date

July 28th, 2015

Clint Lambert, community member and president of the Resident Council at

“When my wife Vickie and I were considering retirement, our daughter encouraged us to consider moving to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) like Greenspring,” he says. “To be honest, I did not know much about CCRCs. My memories of retirement communities were influenced by a visit to a nursing home more than 50 years ago. But after Googling CCRCs on the Internet, I learned that my perceptions were completely incorrect.”

According to Ken Harris, director of the New York Association for Homes and Services for the Aging’s (NYAHSA) Center for Senior Living and Community Services, “the idea behind the CCRC is to meet the evolving residential and medical needs of people as they age in place, allowing them to remain in the community no matter what level of care they require.”

He says, “Too many people view CCRCs as nursing homes or institutions for elderly individuals who have mental and/or physical disabilities. In other words, they see CCRCs as where elderly go to be taken care of by someone other than their family members until they die.”

According to Clint, such perceptions couldn’t be further from the truth. As a continuing care retirement community, Greenspring, like all Erickson Living communities, is comprised of individuals who enjoy being active and spending time with others.

“I invite anyone to show me a ‘nursing home’ where there are over 200 resident-driven groups with more than 900 activities a month,” says Clint. “Greenspring also offers many different style apartment homes, shuttles that go around campus every 20 minutes, shuttles to the metro, and daily trips to events throughout the Northern Virginia and D.C. area.”

Safety net

As a continuing care community, Greenspring provides several levels of continuing care on-site, along with traditional independent living. A majority of Greenspring residents will never need the higher levels of care available, but they enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing the care is available.

Greenspring’s continuing care services include assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation, and long-term care. 

“The continuing care part of Greenspring is just our safety net, a welcome protection,” says community member Carolyn Nagler. “Greenspring’s many activities and opportunities for active social engagement contribute to our living longer and better lives. Our mental, psychological, and physical selves are stimulated every time we leave our apartment.”

In addition to peace-of-mind continuing care services, Greenspring’s on-site medical center staffs six board-certified doctors specializing in senior care, four nurse practitioners, and a podiatrist. Medical specialists are also available, as well as a dentist.

“It sure simplifies one’s life living at Greenspring and enjoying so many needed services and amenities readily available,” says community member Carl Nemecek. “It is wonderful that we can do our banking, see a doctor and medical specialists, go to the barber, buy some basic grocery items, enjoy some exercise and pool time, grow vegetables in a garden, choose from a large menu of dinner options, and participate in an extremely wide variety of activities.”

Seeing is believing

“The best way to see what a continuing care retirement community is all about is to visit and see firsthand all the wonderful things going on,” says community member Robert Madison. 

Robert, like all his Greenspring neighbors, spent time visiting the community prior to his decision to move. 

Had Clint relied on his 50-year-old nursing home memories, he would have missed the wonderful new life he now enjoys with his wife Vickie at Greenspring. 

“We are glad we moved early and now enjoy the opportunity to appreciate all that Greenspring has to offer,” says Clint. “We encourage anyone who might consider moving to a CCRC to come and check out what Greenspring has to offer.”

Carolyn agrees.

“We most definitely do not spend our days in rocking chairs or napping,” she says. “I encourage anyone interested in learning more to talk to us. You’ll see that chronological age is just a number and active life prevails.”