When an 88-year-old woman let the staff at Greencroft Goshen know she had always wanted to go sky-diving, the staff made it happen.
“As employees at continuing care retirement communities that emphasize “living vibrantly,” our job is to do what we can to make sure that happens,” said Mark King, CEO and president of Greencroft Communities.
“Life is about living every day,” he said. Some days realizing that vision is as simple as planting a rose bush outside a flower-lover’s window who is no longer able to grow her own flowers. Other days, it takes a bit more ingenuity, like helping an 88-year-old daredevil parachute out of a plane.
“You never lose your dreams, you never lose your hopes,” Mark said.
… life is about living every day …
The idea for Greencroft and many of its reincarnations began from simple conversations.
In the 1950s, two Goshen men started talking about a challenge they noticed in their church: older women who were isolated in their homes.
Those initial conversations grew into what is now Greencroft Communities; continuing care retirement communities that emphasize “living vibrantly.” According to Mark, “they wanted to find ways to be sure they lived rich, vibrant lives.”
More recently, it was a conversation between a fitness center employee and a Greencroft Goshen resident that eventually led to the construction of a complete fitness center at Greencroft, one of several options to keep seniors active.
Along with the fitness center and its range of workout equipment and classes, Greencroft’s facilities include a woodshop for those who love the art of woodworking, a performance center for residents to join in choirs or other music groups, a community garden, and the Lifelong Learning Institute, which offers classes and workshops on a variety of topics each year. In addition to events taking place on campus, residents can enjoy regular trips off-campus to sports events, concerts and other happenings. Beyond its own Goshen campus, Greencroft and the greater Goshen community have created an environment where seniors want to be active and involved.
In the last year, the 1,150 residents at the Goshen campus have volunteered more than 25,000 hours, Mark said.
“ … You never lose your dreams, you never lose your hopes …”
Sixty percent of Greencroft’s residents are living independently, while others require some assisted living. Unlike many retirement communities across the country, a third of Greencroft’s residents fall below the poverty line. “Greencroft was serving everyone across the economic spectrum,” stated Mark. That’s what attracted Mark to move from Oregon to Goshen in 2004 to become Greencroft’s CEO and president.
“I came to learn how to do that and spread that across all campuses,” he said. “Some residents have an annual income of less than $10,000. Others make more than $100,000… There’s only a small number of the 2,000 retirement living communities in the U.S. that do that.”
But that isn’t just a reflection of Greencroft itself, Mark said, but of the city that supports and enriches that kind of living here.
“You never lose your dreams, you never lose your hopes …”
“As employees at continuing care retirement communities that emphasize “living vibrantly,” our job is to do what we can to make sure that happens.”
“Life is about living every day.”
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