Today we’re talking to Gail Klein, vice president of the Meadowood Resident Association, an organization to which every Meadowood resident belongs, and in which all are encouraged to participate.
This organization is the hub of Meadowood, playing a central role in activities, groups, committees, teams and many other Meadowood projects.
“One of my responsibilities is to maintain a list of committees and chairpersons, and have that information printed in a booklet, which is distributed to all of the residents,” says Gail. “The president and I also meet regularly with the strategic team.” (Gail will serve for three years — as vice president the first year, president the next year, and past president in the final year.) In her previous life, she was a paralegal and office manager in a law office. “Organization was a necessity in my previous job experience, and hopefully I will be able to continue that here,” she says.
Meadowood’s Abundance of Resident-run activities
“We have more than 60 indoor and outdoor groups, clubs and activities. all run by residents,” Gail explains. “In addition, there are Meadowood committees in which both staff and residents participate.”
Outdoor activities include golf, bocce, shuffleboard and wellness walks, according to Gail. Indoor activities include billiards, table tennis, Wii bowling, water volleyball, card and table games, arts and crafts, entertainment and educational programming and so much more. In addition, there are many opportunities to give back. “Volunteering is a Meadowood tradition,” says Gail.
In fact, volunteering was the catalyst for Gail to become more active in the life of Meadowood after she moved here 2 1/2 years ago. The first committee she became involved with ran the in-house TV channel. “Then when COVID came,” Gail explains, “volunteer opportunities arose to help with tasks such as delivering mail, menus and packages, and screening visitors. Over 125 residents participated and we felt we were truly contributing to the community. I think that sense of community brought me to the point that I was able to get involved with the Meadowood Resident Association Council,” she adds.
Gail not only helps bring activities to other residents, but enjoys many of them herself, including standing aerobics, yoga, tai chi, theater group, and many more. “There are so many activities here that it’s hard to pick out a favorite,” she says. “My only regret is that I don’t have enough time to participate in more.”
And if there’s a group a resident would like to see that doesn’t already exist, he or she is encouraged to start a new one. Some of the latest brainstorms are a digital photo group and a garden group that will feature speakers and trips to local gardens.
Social Connection During a Challenging Year
During COVID, Meadowood residents were not lacking in things to do. According to Gail, Meadowood has been offering courtyard exercises and wellness walks, as well as virtual activities, entertainment programs, and exercise videos. Some clubs and groups have also met over Zoom.
“We’re gradually starting with reopening in person some of the groups that were shut down,” Gail says. “It’s very rewarding to see the groups and activities coming back.”
“To do this safely, we’re following the CDC guidelines as far as group size and wearing masks, social distancing, sanitizing and the size of the rooms that will be used for these activities,” she explains. “So far it’s been working out well.” One thing Gail is happy about is that all residents have had the opportunity to be vaccinated. “We have a high level of participation. I think it’s around 99%.”
“People that did move in during this time have indicated that they were happy to make the move — and to be under the care of Meadowood,” Gail says. “I think that people felt they would be more isolated in their homes than being in a community that was looking after them.”
Insights for New Residents
“We encourage people to take a little time to find out which group or activity is of interest to them, and then attend a meeting to see if the group is something in which you want to be involved,” Gail says.
“People make their own choices about what they want to do,” she stresses. “But I think the socialization that comes from being part of a group or committee is a really good thing.”
Gail speaks from experience. Once she got involved, she says, “I felt more fulfilled and more a part of the community.”
Advice for Future Residents
“I think you should seriously consider Meadowood,” Gail says. “I can’t say enough good things about how the community handled the pandemic. Meadowood kept us safe, made sure we had nutritious meals brought to our door, provided us with wellness opportunities and was transparent with communications throughout the pandemic.”
“I would suggest that people visit the community, talk to residents, look at the dining venues, check out the activities list, look at the fitness and wellness programs, and of course take a look at the personal care and skilled nursing neighborhoods.”
That’s what Gail did. Why did she ultimately choose Meadowood? “I liked the layout of Meadowood, the different kinds of residences that are here. I chose a courtyard home — I just really liked being able to have a front door and back door,” she explains. “I liked the way the campus is maintained — it looked very good during my tour. I liked the residents I met who were very friendly and told me how much they liked living here. That had a huge impact on my decision.”
We hope you can come to Meadowood soon and feel as welcome as Gail did on her first visit. Give us a call at 610-584-1000 to arrange your personal tour.