With a feisty attitude and a zest for living, 100 year old Luella Shell is a force of nature. She does not let a little thing like getting older get in her way, though she did give up water skiing when she turned 80. She still loves to dance in her high heels and wear her favorite flashy purple outfits. Luella is always the life of the party and her exceptional outlook earned her the title of Most Inspirational Senior 2014 as voted on by the readers of Seniorhomes.com.
Luella truly knows how to embrace life and that’s why we wanted to feature her in our video series. We are so lucky to have Luella living with us at our Santa Maria, CA community where she is a true inspiration to other residents and our team members. As you can see from the video, she knows how to have a good time and she reminds us all to Enjoy More. Heck, she seems to have more energy than many people half her age!
We know you will enjoy Luella’s story and we encourage you to share with someone you know who could use some Words from the Wise!
When you look back at your life, what will have mattered most to you? What if we considered this possibility now? We decided to ask the people who live at Merrill Gardens to share their wisdom with us and we are so pleased to introduce our Words from the Wise video series. Through these interviews with residents, we celebrate their lifetime of experiences and the joy that’s possible at every stage of life.
Words from the Wise gives Merrill Gardens residents center stage as they share their insight with candor in our first video focusing on advice for young people. These seniors speak from the heart as they share what really matters.
We’ve traveled to our communities for the past few months to bring this video series to life. We asked lots of questions and it’s been truly enlightening. Talking to people who who were born in the 1920’s and giving them an opportunity to reflect on their lives and share what they have learned is a privilege. Its also been a whole lot of fun to set up our cameras, ask some questions and just see where it goes!
We hope these videos in some small way communicate the life stories and experiences of those who came before us. As they share their dearest thoughts and reflect on their lives, we can learn so much in return. Its such an honor for us to share these stories.
“My advice is… pick the way you are going to go and don’t be deterred. If its what you really want, stick up for it.. and do it.” Leta Mertes, born in 1923
“I have always been a great advocate of paying it forward. I think if we help our fellow human beings and require that they help someone down the line, that would go a long way in curing the ills that we have… if people would just take a better attitude towards each other.” Tom Tompkins, born in 1926
“You meet people from all walks of life, and you learn a lot about yourself by meeting other people. They come from all over the world, the country and everything like that… each one has a story to tell.” Joan and Vince Cangiano, born in 1926, married for 56 years For many of us, growing older is a scary thought and our society doesn’t always do a good job of honoring those who have come before us. We want our video series to shine a new light on the joy that comes from reflecting back on a life well lived. We think you will love getting to know the people we profile as much as we did!
Making new connections is important no matter what age you are. Residents at our communities in Willow Glen and Gilroy, California, had the chance to share some special connections recently when they gathered for a unique speed dating event.
Inspired by the new movie The Age of Love that follows the humorous and poignant adventures of thirty seniors in New York who sign up for a speed dating event, the Merrill Gardens residents enjoyed the chance to embark on new relationships. The day started with some of the ladies getting spruced up with the help of cosmetology school volunteers. The 20 women and 11 men enjoyed lunch together before getting down to the business of speed dating. They called it a friendship activity and the idea was to give the residents a fun way to get to know each other.
As you can see from the pictures, the event was a big success and a great way to make new connections. Participants said they liked the format that allowed them to meet so many people in such a short amount of time.
No word yet on whether any romances have bloomed as a result of the speed dating but we know some great new friendships were formed and that’s what really matters!All of the participants from both of the communities told us they had a wonderful time getting to know each other!
We welcomed our residents to their new home at our newest community in Lafayette, California with one heck of a party! We wish you could have joined us but click below to watch the video and it will feel just like you were there. Except that you did not get to taste the wonderful food our dining team put together!
We hate to brag but we think our new community is just beautiful and we are so pleased that residents feel the same way! We had a big crowd from the Lafayette area join us for the party and our team was just thrilled to show off our beautiful apartments and all the amenities at the community.
We are also excited to share this article from the local paper that profiles one couple that is settling into their new home very nicely. Click here to read about Lois and Marvin’s transition to our community.
If you would like more information about Merrill Gardens at Lafayette, visit our website here or give our team a call at 925-298-2779. We would love to give you a tour!
Our community in Santa Maria, CA threw quite a bash for a very special resident when she celebrated her 100th birthday.
Luella Shell was surrounded by her family and friends at her party as everyone marveled at her energy. Luella was named the Inspirational Senior of the Year for 2014 and spend just a few minutes with her and its easy to see why. She loves to dance and still wears her signature high heels.
The team members at Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria say that Luella always has a smile on her face and is an inspiration to them everyday.
The Seattle Seahawks are in the Super Bowl for the second year in a row. As a Seattle based company with 10 communities in Washington State and none in New England, its not hard to guess who we are rooting for in the big game. While we are all excited about the Hawks trip to Arizona, our community in Renton, WA is taking their enthusiasm to whole new level!
Check out the one of a kind hand made 12th Man hat.
Her granddaughter made this amazing duct tape purse.
And how about this entry way tribute to our coach and quarterback?!
To cap it all off, they made a custom video starring our residents. General Manager Shelley Thompson says it was so much fun to put together and the residents loved a chance to show their love for their favorite team. To that we can only say Go Hawks!
Our residents in Santa Maria, CA, gathered together for The Red Hat Society, a social organization dedicated to connecting and empowering women through fun and friendship. Members of the Red Hat Society come together in their local chapters—wearing red hats and purple attire—to enjoy one another’s company during tea parties, crafts, and various other outings.
Our own Red Hatters joined in Santa Maria recently, dressed in their finest for a fabulous tea party. Check out these snapshots from the event!
The holiday season this year was full of singing, giving and joy. Our residents and team members all joined in the celebrations with cheer. Here’s just a few of the festivities that took place across our communities:
Residents at our Gilroy, CA community had a wonderful time singing along with a local church choir.
These carolers found their way to our First Hill community!
Team members from our Santa Maria community performed an amazing rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas for residents!
Christmas celebrations at our First Hill community in Seattle!
Residents at Renton Centre got into the spirit of the holidays making gingerbread houses!
The holidays are all about giving back to others. In that spirit, our team in the Seattle office brought in over 2,340 pairs of pajamas for foster kids at Treehouse. We are so proud of our team’s generosity. Thank you to everyone who donated, we truly appreciate your kindness.
Our residents in Santa Maria, CA, received an adorable surprise this holiday season. A class of kindergarteners from a nearby school came to visit our community and spread holiday cheer. We were surrounded by Santa’s little helpers and showered in lots of sweet hugs. Ho Ho Ho!