Editor’s Note: The story below represents the overall resident experience at StoryPoint in usual times. The staff and residents there are taking all recommended precautions for social distancing at this time and are looking forward to resuming their life-enriching social activities!
Just because life itself slows down at a certain point does not mean that living life should stop. According to Tonya Carter, Life Enrichment Director at StoryPoint Chesterton, life at a certain age should be enjoyed to its fullest potential.
“We’re not here to stop people from living their best life—we’re here to add to it,” Carter said.
An independent and enhanced senior living community, StoryPoint’s goal is to make sure residents shine every day. From regular rituals to special occasions, each moment is intended to be infused with value. To put it simply, StoryPoint elevates the human experience.
Little joys often make up the best of days, and Carter and the team at StoryPoint have made it their mission to elevate each of those little moments into something memorable. For instance, on Thursday nights, a routine Cocktails with Friends social hour gives residents a chance to catch up with their neighbors and indulge in an adult beverage or two. The same goes for certain Monday and Tuesday nights, when residents are invited to a social mixer following monthly forums. Such offerings are a perfect example of the life enrichment activities to which Carter pointed.
“Events like our social mixers showcase that we’re all about enjoying and engaging in life,” Carter said. “We offer all sorts of activities throughout the day to engage residents and keep them busy, and then these mixers let them unwind and relax.”
The only way life should be interrupted once a resident moves in to StoryPoint is by becoming that much better, Carter said.
“We try to connect them to all those pieces that make them enjoy life to the fullest,” she said. “Life is fun, and why would it stop being fun once they move into an independent or assisted living community?”
With independent, assisted, enhanced, and memory care living options, StoryPoint Chesterton is committed to offering seniors at all stages of life opportunities to live it to the fullest. Beyond the more casual gatherings, StoryPoint also cultivates experiences that are educational, enriching, and significant. The events are fostered by the four levels of life enrichment StoryPoint identifies: social, intellectual, physical, and spiritual.
For instance, Carter said that each year StoryPoint Chesterton highlights different decades and their significance. This year, they’ll be focusing on the 1950s, and a staff member plans to give a presentation on the post-World War II era at the end of the month. This fits into StoryPoint’s intellectual level of enrichment, allowing seniors to continue their quest for knowledge by stimulating their minds.
“A lot of people don’t consider this, but many of our residents are very civic-minded,” Carter added. “They plan to vote, so we make sure to connect them to resources and information on candidates and offer in-house voter registration.”
Among the most popular events StoryPoint offers are their cooking demos and culinary showcases. While sometimes getting the chance to learn to create decadent items like creme brulee, residents and their families also enjoy opportunities to indulge in themed meals and festivity. Past gatherings have included an Oktoberfest, a Havana Nights party, and a special chili cookoff night with the Chesterton High School football team.
“Our Havana Nights party was a new one, and it was a hit,” Carter said.
Other popular events include further opportunities to touch base with the community and engage artistic sensibilities. On national Inspire With Your Heart Art Day, StoryPoint invited residents and the surrounding community to engage with local artists and musicians, placing an emphasis on the healing power of the arts.
Residents who have served our country are given special recognition at StoryPoint. Events such as a personalized presentation hosted by Vietnam War veteran Lenny Corso and Quilts of Valor, and features such as a wall showcasing the photographs and stories of residents who are veterans go a long way in demonstrating honor and gratitude.
When it comes to physical activity, StoryPoint chooses to focus on what residents can do rather than what they can’t do.
“For residents with physical limitations, we work to make their active life as easy-going and enjoyable as possible,” Carter said. “We offer specialized activities like chair yoga that are accessible for anyone. And we always listen to suggestions and feedback for improvement. We find a way to work with people and make it happen.”
Face to face interaction with residents is an important quality for StoryPoint. In their eyes, human connections and experiences make all the difference in a world of technology-based instant gratification that can contribute to that feeling of being disconnected. Carter said that the entire team at StoryPoint works to ensure residents feel they’re living their most extraordinary lives.
“There’s really not a head or a tail, we’re one big team working together,” she said. “It’s not about titles or positions here, either, it’s about serving our residents. We work doubly hard to make every moment memorable.”
For more information on StoryPoint Chesterton, visit https://www.storypoint.com/chesterton-in/.