Countless studies have proven humans need connection. Among older adults, studies have tied loneliness and social isolation to an increased risk of dementia by 50 percent, stroke by 32 percent, heart disease by 29 percent, among other health effects.
While connection is critical, finding it can be challenging—particularly among seniors where the timing of newly living alone may converge with lessened mobility and a reduction in social outlets.
Ingleside, a DC metro not-for-profit organization with more than 117 years of experience, serves this need through engaged living solutions for seniors with its three life plan communities, home care services and foundation. Its Life Plan Community concept ensures that residents have a continuum of care on campus so they can age in place while meeting evolving needs on site.
“We don’t believe we were meant to live in isolation; we were made to connect—to touch each other’s lives, to engage with friends and families and communities, and to share interests and passions and exchange ideas and feelings,” states Ingleside’s website. This purpose has served as the foundation for its multiple local communities.
After retiring from a 39-year career at the CDC and NIH, long-time Bethesda, MD, resident Phil Taylor and his wife realized their home no longer fit their needs but wanted to stay in the area. Through friends, the couple found Ingleside at King Farm, in Rockville, MD.
“It’s about 10 miles from where we were, so not totally unfamiliar,” shared Taylor. “We were happy to find wide sidewalks; it’s a delightful little neighborhood that’s so easy to walk. Some of the apartments overlook ponds, and on the fifth floor, where we live, we get the most spectacular sunsets.”
At the time of his move, the community was undergoing an expansion, which added a Center for Healthy Living, memory support assisted living, and 120 independent living residences.
Like the King Farm community, Ingleside at Rock Creek, in Washington, DC recently expanded, adding independent living options, a Center for Healthy Living, and a new health care building, including assisted living, memory support assisted living, and skilled nursing.
Jharry Breed and his wife Alice came to live at Ingleside at Rock Creek in 2021. While their move was initially delayed due to the pandemic, since moving in, they have loved their time in their new community.
“It’s a generalization, but I’ve never been around a group of people who are so highly educated. I like where we are, and I like the experience,” said Breed. “You can turn to someone at an open table in the dining room, and the next thing you know, you’re hearing a story about their time at the CIA or something else amazing.”
While the people make the community, Breed also appreciates the organization’s mission, approach, and team.
“This is a kind, gentle environment, and they really listen to the residents. It’s not run for profit—it’s run for people, and so that’s a huge difference,” shared Breed.
Westminster at Lake Ridge resident Susan Fellows can attest to that, having initially come to the Lake Ridge, VA community as an interim chaplain.
“During my nine months as chaplain, I fell in love with the community. I loved how I got to work with my colleagues, but also loved how much they cared for the residents. So, I put my name on the waitlist,” shared Fellows.
Since moving in, Fellows has thoroughly enjoyed the community’s mission to engage and connect.
“The meaning is to continue to have a meaningful life however you find that in this particular community,” said Fellows. “There’s everything. Card games, hiking, concerts—the list of events during the week is packed. And if you don’t find it here, start it.”
Likewise, since moving to Ingleside at King Farm, Taylor has taken advantage of its many amenities and enjoys the engaged living concept every day. In addition to serving as the head of the health care committee—one of six main on-campus resident council committees—he serves on the fitness committee, and is a chorister with the Chamber Singers, while his wife serves as a floor leader, participates in the gardening and knitting clubs, and volunteers in the health center.
“Engaged living is such an understatement here,” said Taylor. “It’s a terrific place, and the people that participate get the most out of it. At the end of the day, it’s the people that make the place, and these are incredibly interesting people.” For more information about Ingleside communities, visit https://inglesideonline.org/.