Free to have fun

Community members enjoy a rich variety of activities at Riderwood

Created date

April 29th, 2020
Dolores and Ed Wachtman moved to Riderwood about five years ago and are very active in the community’s Lion’s Club.

Dolores and Ed Wachtman moved to Riderwood about five years ago and are very active in the community’s Lion’s Club.

You don’t have to look very hard to find something interesting and fun to do at Riderwood. Every day is full of opportunities, whether it be a club meeting, an educational seminar, a happy hour, or a live musical performance. It’s easy for community members to find friends who share their interests. 

“We have resident-run groups and clubs, plus a very vibrant educational program through the local community college, which offers up to 70 classes per trimester right on campus," says Amy Hahn, community resources coordinator at Riderwood. "Our residents are also incredibly giving and do volunteer work.”

You don’t even have to join a club or committee to enjoy the vibrant lifestyle at Riderwood. With seven full-service restaurants on campus, mealtimes are a built-in, low-pressure opportunity for community members to get to know their neighbors.

“Many people socialize in the lobbies outside of the dining rooms while waiting for a dinner table and while eating dinner,” Hahn says. “And residents can choose to be seated with their neighbors at dinner.”

The benefits

Having an active life is fun and rewarding, but it can also be beneficial for your health. In fact, research has shown that staying socially active plays a significant role in healthy aging. One study found that social engagement is closely related to maintaining a sharp mind. 

“One of the greatest things about living in a community is that we can continue to encourage the people around us and to draw joy from them,” says Jeff Watson, Erickson Living’s director of operations. “In the average Erickson Living-managed senior living community, we have hundreds of peers to appreciate, dozens of groups to join, and multiple causes to fuel.” 

Riderwood Senior Sales Associate Ryan McClure says the social life is a big part of what attracts people to the community. For many people still living at home, friends and neighbors have moved away, and moving to Riderwood gives them a chance to expand their circle of friends. For others, the appeal is the maintenance-free lifestyle that Riderwood offers. Professional staff are on hand to take care of chores like shoveling snow, mowing grass, repairing appliances, and even changing light bulbs. 

“Many residents spent so much time keeping up their homes, so they love that they now have time to start up a new hobby or reengage with ones they used to enjoy,” McClure says. “They can now spend their time on the things they want to do and not the things they have to do with the conveniences of the Riderwood lifestyle.”

Case in point

That is definitely the case for Ed and Dolores Wachtman, who moved to Riderwood about five years ago from California, Md. They are both very active in Riderwood’s Lion’s Club. Ed serves as the club’s president and Dolores organizes the twice annual fashion shows. 

During the holidays, the Lion’s Club sold $12,000 of See’s Candy by setting up tables in Riderwood’s clubhouses. The profits from the candy sale were donated to Riderwood’s Benevolent Care Fund, which is in place to help residents who outlive their financial assets (full details are in the Residence and Care Agreement). 

“We are pretty busy and pretty involved here,” Ed says.

Ed also volunteers in Riderwood’s on-site TV studio, which produces programs to air on the in-house TV station. He writes and hosts a monthly news show. One of Ed and Dolores’s favorite activities is card games with their friends and neighbors. They play poker, Three Thirteen, and other card games a few times a week.

“We have made a lot of good friends here,” Dolores says. “It is a phenomenal group of people.”