Residents love community so much that they've encouraged friends to move in
Highlands Ranch, Colo. – November 6, 2020 — Fifteen years ago, when Joan Bowen moved from Newport Beach, Calif. to Marblehead, Mass., she left behind her friends and neighbors Diane and Dave Pearce. While they would visit each other over the years, they never expected to be neighbors again.
A year before, she had visited Diane and Dave, who had just become community members. She stayed with them for a week in their Pierce-style apartment home, a large 1,400-square-foot two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath apartment with a balcony. She loved what she saw and experienced in the community. And she really enjoyed spending time with her friends.
"Joan just loved it! We talked it up," recalls Diane. "If I like something and I believe in it, I want to let people know."
When Joan returned to Marblehead, she realized that she didn't want to have to go up and down all the small, curved steps in her three-story house, built in 1870. "It got to be dangerous and a real hassle to haul laundry from the third floor to the bottom floor," says Joan.
Joan put her house on the market in early March 2020. After the house sold, her daughter travelled with her to help her get settled into her comfy, new Harbaugh-style apartment, a one-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath apartment home with a balcony. Her daughter and Diane helped her unpack.
Joan met lots of new friends in no time. "The first day I was here, people were knocking on my door handing me banana bread they had just made or an extra croissant they had bought," Joan says. "I just love everyone here—from the residents to the staff. Everyone is so friendly and nice."
"Word-of-mouth from current residents plays a big part in helping both friends and family make the decision to move to Wind Crest," says Sales Director Krista Wagner. "When prospective residents see how much fun the people they know are having and how they are truly enjoying their lives, they often want to move here too."
Friends for decades
Diane and Joan have been friends for more than 28 years. They met when Diane took over as the executive director of a retirement community in California, and Joan, who had her own interior design company at the time, had been working for the previous administrator. "I liked her, and I liked her work," says Diane.
Two years later, Diane married Dave, who was head of another retirement community. Joan helped them find a condo in the complex where she lived, and they were neighbors for a little more than a decade until Joan moved to the east coast to be near her daughter and grand-daughters. "But we always kept in touch," Diane points out.
About seven years ago, Diane and Dave moved from Newport Beach to Eagle, Colo., a town in the mountains outside of Vail. Having worked in the industry, they knew that they wanted to start looking sooner rather than later for a place to live in retirement.
"We learned from our residents [when we worked in the industry] that moving in earlier is definitely a wise thing to do," explains Diane. "When residents are younger, they enjoy their time and their friends."
So, Diane and Dave began looking at senior living communities in the Denver area, near some of their children. "We looked at all the competition, and when we looked at Wind Crest, we really weren't planning on moving. We were just trying to get our ducks in a row," says Diane. They liked the available activities and the choices for dining, but still hadn't taken the leap.
Diane says that she could kick herself now, as their waiting caused them to miss out on the first apartment style they wanted, because the homes were being reserved so fast. Nevertheless, she and Dave are thrilled with their apartment home. Joan says she felt comfortable considering Wind Crest because they'd "worked in that field, and did all the research."
Earlier this year, Diane and Dave had season tickets to the theater in Denver and were involved in the culture and performing arts. At Wind Crest, Diane started a quilting group and Dave got involved in Stephen Ministries, a grief counseling group.
"No matter what your talents and skills are, there's an opportunity to bring it to life here," says Dave. "You can embrace flexibility and choice. That's one of the things I love about this community."
This past June, the couple bought e-bikes and, with a group of other bike riders at Wind Crest, they've been exploring trails all over the campus. They also enjoy walking their dog Rylee. "It's such a beautiful place to walk," says Diane.
Joan agrees. She enjoys walking on the trails with her dog Cooper, "Like Bradley Cooper," Joan clarifies. She and the Pearces get together to go to church, have dinner, and hang out while enjoying a glass of wine.
"It's great to have your friends here," says Dave. Diane adds, "I'm glad Joan is here. It's a good place for her to be."
About Wind Crest: Wind Crest, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 84-acre campus in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,400 residents and 800 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information can be found at WindCrestRetirement.com.
Photo Credit: Jenn Anderson
Photo Caption: New resident Joan Bowen, with her dog Cooper, is glad she moved to Wind Crest—not only because of the people she's meet-ng, but because she's once again neighbors with her longtime friends Diane and Dave Pearce.
Written by Michele Wojciechowski