So many times, our article is about the beautiful 22 acres of land we are nestled in, or that we have a continuum of care (from independent to hospice services), or the benefits of our Lifecare program. This time is going to be a little different. I want to highlight the “life” we have at Ridgecrest, as well as the community support we give outside of Ridgecrest.
Inside the walls of our community, “living” is something we pride ourselves on. Our residents enjoy many activities and are never bored. We do have the typical entertainment such as music, cards, Bingo, and movies, but we also have more. They have many fun get-togethers, doing silly things like blowing bubbles outside to see if they freeze or cups of water to see if it turns to snow before it lands, happy hours, travel logs, and so many more things. A group of our ladies got together this week and decided to let loose; they put different colored streaks in their hair to change things up a bit. We decided to call them the “Ridgecrest Streakers.” Last week, we made 3D snow faces, snow angels, and a couple of guys made a snowman on the upper outside patio (they are quite talented if you ask me). We also tried to have a sled race, but it got too cold. No worries, though, it’s still in the plan. Marcie, who lives in one of our cottages, challenged our Executive Director, Cris, and she never turns down a challenge! So, keep an eye on our Facebook page or Instagram to see what happens in the future. Jay Kidwell (From KWQC- TV-6) might even show up and do the challenge with them!
One summer, we had a big party in July. Several of our residents decided it would be fun to go into the dunk tank. One resident even wore a bikini (it was painted on a t-shirt, but it was a bikini).
Barb, another resident who calls Ridgecrest home, thought it would be fun to do a marathon like the Bix does. We set that up and had sign-up sheets to see how many people would be interested. I was amazed that we had well over 40 residents that “ran” our Merry-a-thon. We started at the end of our drive on Northwest Blvd. and finished at the opposite end. We had antique cars, and our activity director lead the event on her motorcycle. One of our residents felt they were moving too slowly, and she was trying to pass them. It was a lot of fun, and the staff truly enjoyed seeing all of their spirit. They were also cheered on by the rest of the residents, staff, and their families along the route.
Many of our activities are resident driven. If there is a place a group of residents want to go to, Marlene will set it up as an activity. We really want our residents to have the best and to live life connected and inspired.
Marlene, one of our activity directors, tries to make all of the events fun. At one of the exercise programs, they decided to have a jousting competition. I think Sue won! Although we have many scheduled activities, I personally feel the ones that are spontaneous always turn out best.
One of the favorite activities that happens at Ridgecrest is our monthly sing-a-long. Shirley and Milo, who live in our assisted living community, along with Shirley’s daughter, bring in quite the crowd. They have the piano playing, a mandolin accompanying, and residents from all areas of Ridgecrest joining. They have a lot of fun; sometimes there’s dancing, and there is always a lot of laughing. You can really see the true joy of our community during this event.
Outside our community, we do many things as well. Instead of birthday cards for each other (which oftentimes get discarded), we donate money in honor of our birthday person. Last month we donated over $512.00 to the food bank! This month, we are helping Harrison Elementary purchase books. We do donations to the Friendly House at Christmas, make blankets for the greyhounds, and donate to Habitat for Humanity.
One of our biggest outreaches in our community is supporting Honor Flight of the Quad Cities. Honor Flight is celebrating their 10th anniversary and 50th flight this year, and their home has been at Ridgecrest Village the entire time. We are excited to have this flight named in our honor. I was blessed to be able to be a guardian on a couple of the flights. It is an amazing experience for our veterans to be able to travel to Washington D.C. for the day so that they can see their memorials and be honored for everything they did for our country — at no cost. No words can describe it.
At Ridgecrest Village, we pride ourselves on our Christian values, warmth, and hospitality. That means we treat life as a gift and try to enjoy every moment of it, but it also means we believe in the dignity of the individual person and strive to love each other. It’s nice to see that when someone new moves in they immediately feel welcomed. When they go to the dining room, people ask if they would like to join them at their table, or if they are already sitting, residents will ask if they can join the newcomers. Our residents are very welcoming in so many ways. They are always willing to show people around and help them find the different activities that are going on.
Because we are a lifeplan community, we are able to watch that love grow. When someone has a change in health, their friends support them. They visit them at the hospital, then, when they return to our community for therapy, they visit them in our health center, giving them support and encouragement to help rebuild their strength. I also watch as our independent residents develop a need for higher levels of care and move to our assisted living or heath center. Their friends go there to visit or sign them out and take them to their apartment or an activity. No matter what stage they transition to, they still have the love and support of their friends here at Ridgecrest. They never have to deal with isolation, and weather doesn’t prevent them from having their friends visit.
I know I said I wouldn’t mention our Lifecare program but I do need to state one thing: with the Lifecare program, you decrease your worry about running out of funds and having to move to a new community. Our Lifecare option offers residents the opportunity to control their future healthcare needs. This often results in saving thousands of dollars each month when the time comes to use our services designed to meet a higher level of care. I feel that is a very important part about us because you can be comfortable not worrying about what your future might hold — you’ve already made that decision, and you can now live stress-free!
I’ve talked a lot about our residents, but another important factor about Ridgecrest is our staff. We have several staff members that have been here for over twenty years. Four years after Kim started at Ridgecrest in our dining services, she was interviewed for an article. She said she felt working here was like having a second family, and that the residents were friendly and interested in her as a person. Today, our staff still feels the same way. Our residents make this a very happy place to work, and happy workers help make happy residents.
If you want to experience the benefits of becoming a part of our community, give Mary or Karen a call at 563-391-3430 and set up your free lunch tour today. Everyone who has moved into Ridgecrest Village has told me they wished they “did it sooner.” Come see for yourself; I’d love to hear you say the same thing. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see what our residents have been up to lately!