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Moved by a calling

Roger Metz uproots from Kansas City to start a singles club at Wind Crest

Created date

March 22nd, 2018
Following a successful career in health care administration, Roger Metz moved to Wind Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and started a singles group for his neighborhood.

Following a successful career in health care administration, Roger Metz moved to Wind Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and started a singles group for his neighborhood.

 

Most people move to Wind Crest in hopes that the maintenance-free Erickson Living community will make life better for them with its amenity-rich campus, predictable monthly service package, and on-site medical care. Roger Metz moved there in hopes of making life better for others.

“I felt I had a ministry here,” says Roger, who moved to the Highlands Ranch, Colo., community from his longtime home in Leewood, Kans. “There was a calling, and opportunities keep putting themselves in front of me.”

While he left behind 25 years of his comfort zone in Kansas, he says he replaced that with nearby family and new friends and activities he would not have accessed in his house.

‘The best choice’

Roger’s journey to Wind Crest started nearly ten years ago when he and his wife Mary joined the priority list at Tallgrass Creek, the Erickson Living community in Overland Park, Kans.

“We knew we didn’t want to maintain a five-bedroom home. We attended some events and joined the priority list thinking that when we did want to leave our home, it would be a good next step for us,” he recalls.

But when Mary passed away in 2016, Roger was alone in that five-bedroom house. And when he had surgery last December, his children were not in the area to help him heal.

While he was able to spend a week of outpatient rehabilitation in Tallgrass Creek’s continuing care neighborhood, “I didn’t want to go through being alone again,” he says. “I could choose from Colorado, Chicago, or Oklahoma [where each of his children live]. For several reasons, coming to Colorado and Wind Crest was the best choice. I haven’t looked back.”

Because Erickson Living allows you to easily transfer your priority list deposit and priority date to any of its other 20 communities nationwide, Roger had no sooner switched gears to Wind Crest than he was choosing an apartment home in Longs Ridge, the newest residence building at the time.

He chose the Harbaugh floor plan—a 900-square-foot one-bedroom apartment home with a great room.

“The Harbaugh is a very nice model for a single person,” Roger says.

Mingling singles

Shortly after Roger settled in—just one week, in fact—he began getting involved in community life. “I came here with a firm commitment to making a difference for the roughly 40% of those in our building who are singles,” he says.

He met two single women, and they began organizing a group and activities for people in Longs Ridge. Five months later, members meet for weekly dinners, games, singing, and as he puts it, “coffee, coloring, and conversation.”

“Personally, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to see singles eating with groups instead of at tables by themselves, to see people connecting with each other at the events we host. For the most part, the singles are starting to mingle,” Roger says with a chuckle.

Word about Roger’s good deeds and kind heart has spread not only to fellow community members but to staff as well.

“He’s just an amazing man,” Personal Moving Consultant Beth Brandenburg says of Roger. “He came in, took charge of finding out what people need, and is doing something to make people feel good.”

Though Roger lost his partner of 52 years, he’s thriving by supporting others, making new friends, and carrying on.

“It’s a tribute to my wife that I have carried on as a single, and she’d be happy that I’m as involved as I am,” he says, adding that his Wind Crest neighbors—all 1,200 of them—are one of his favorite aspects about his new home.

“Everybody has a fantastic life story to tell. It’s really great to know all the new people in my life, and I probably wouldn’t have had that opportunity had I stayed in my house,” he says.

The on-site medical center staffed with full-time physicians and physician assistants comes in a close second on Roger’s list of favorite things, followed by his beautiful apartment home.

People person

When he’s not participating in single’s club activities, Roger takes chair yoga classes, sings in his church choir, and explores Highlands Ranch, which he touts for its great shopping and restaurants just three to five miles from Wind Crest.

He has also helped organize activities for neighbors on his floor, such as a Christmas social and a day before Valentine’s Day happy hour. “My neighbors [live in] a beautiful Silverton model with lots of space (over 1,600 square feet), so they host, and I help with planning,” he says.

Once a month, the whole building comes together for a happy hour.

“This type of camaraderie and social activity is characteristic of a new building—people want to get to know each other, and they’re all in the same stage of settling into their new home,” says Sales Director Jason Atwell. “It’s a really beautiful thing to see and a great way for our residents to start off life in their new home.”

Roger has even reached out to people moving to Mt. Rosa Court, the newest residence building that will open in May, by inviting them to a social.

“Some people would consider me a people person, but I just enjoy getting to know people and hearing their stories,” Roger says.

Aside from getting to know his neighbors, Roger looks forward to maintaining his good health and feels that living at Wind Crest will help him do that.

With its on-site medical center, fitness and aquatics center, group fitness classes, social activities, and maintenance-free living, he feels confident that he can live by his motto for many years to come: Think positive, have faith, keep yourself healthy, and enjoy life.

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