When young adults in their 20s hear that the housekeeping, meals and cable television are all included at Lakeview Village, they can’t wait to move in.
“We have to tell them, ‘Sorry, you have to wait until you’re at least 62 years old,’” says Patty Zimmerman, a LifeCare Counselor at the retirement community located in Lenexa, Kansas.
However, with all of the wine tastings, movie nights and trips to the Kansas City Symphony, it’s no wonder that people of all ages are envious of the Lakeview lifestyle. Who knew retirement could be so fun? The five founding fathers of Lakeview Village, that’s who.
“We want to increase life, not decrease it,” Zimmerman says.
That mindset started back in 1964 when a group of ministers opened Lakeview Village. Fast forward 50 years and now a staff of nearly 600 employees continues to serve 750 residents of all faiths. The continuing care retirement community is often compared to the fictional town of Mayberry because it’s basically a little city inside a city where everyone knows and greets each other.
“We’re the largest and oldest of our kind,” says Colette Panchot, Director of Sales and Marketing.
The layout of the 100-acre neighborhood is comparable to a college campus—on steroids. With four dining rooms, four fitness centers, a library, a bank, a hair salon and a heated, indoor saltwater pool, this definitely isn’t your grandma’s retirement home. There’s even a shuttle service that runs in 30-minute intervals to all points on campus and a hotel is available on campus for guests.
And let’s not forget about the lake view!
“You don’t think of retirement as living in a high-rise apartment on the lake in Kansas,” Zimmerman says.
There are actually two lakes on the premises and both are fully stocked so every fisherman can get his fix in a tranquil environment. However, it’s arguably just as quiet inside the complex. Each apartment, garden cottage, patio home and villa is designed to keep noise to minimum, with soft-touch drawers and cabinets, and thick walls and ceilings.
With 70 floor plans to choose from, you won’t exactly feel limited in your options. Ranging in size from 600 square feet to 1,700 square feet, some of the houses and apartments are even customizable. Residents can choose things like the type of wood or light fixtures that go inside their new home.
“We don’t want them to all look the same,” Zimmerman says. “It’s their home, it’s not a hotel room.”
She says the most popular choice right now is the 3-bedroom apartment so that couples can transform their extra bedrooms into ‘His and Her’ offices. The variety of housing options is one of the top reasons older adults are drawn to Lakeview Village.
A more important reason is the healthcare benefits in the form of Lakeview Lifecare—an unlimited pre-paid long-term care plan. It’s an agreement that guarantees a maintenance-free home and unlimited assisted living and nursing, if you ever need it.
“You’re never going to pay the market rate for long-term care,” Panchot says.
And you can rest easy knowing that there’s almost always going to be a doctor in the house thanks to the on-site geriatric clinic and an additional rehab center. Because of these readily available wellness services, residents enjoy healthier, happier lives. Currently, the oldest Lakeview resident is 106 years old.
“People live longer here than they would in their own homes,” Panchot says. “They aren’t as lonely here—life is good.”
What exactly keeps the residents so busy? Besides the daily activities (from Zumba to gardening) and field trips (from New Theatre Restaurant to Union Station), there’s also child care center on the campus to help keep the residents young at heart. The seniors read to the children and take them for walks in the stroller.
That’s just one of the dozens of volunteer options that residents can choose from. No matter what activity you choose, one thing is certain: you won’t be getting bored any time soon.
“Residents are here to enjoy a lifetime of residency,” Panchot says. “It’s more than just another home.”
Photos courtesy of Lakeview Village