Updating a Retirement Community:
Bring on the Boomers
Rudy, the resident therapy dog, provides love and support to all residents. Rudy can be found throughout the Season’s community almost daily accompanied by Programming Director Jill James.
Photography provided by Seasons in Kenwood
Most homes could use a touch-up after 30 years. That’s also true for retirement communities, dedicated to anticipating the needs of future generations.
Seasons Retirement Community in Kenwood, one of the area’s premier senior living communities, has done a makeover in grand style with a $2 million renovation to all of its communal areas. It includes 90,000 square feet of carpeting, all new durable furniture in common areas and hundreds of gallons of paint and art work, including a towering structural art installation accenting the facility’s signature four-story atrium, often compared to the entrance way of a grand resort hotel.
“The theme of what we wanted to do is elegant, but cozy,” says Elizabeth Bangel-Stehlin, senior director of sales and marketing. “It’s stylish, but not intimidating. Residents can feel comfortable bringing grandkids. It represents the whole idea of Seasons – a feeling of family, warmth and welcoming. We try hard to maintain that culture.”
It is the first major update to the independent living facility since it opened in 1987. With a color motif of delicate and airy blue/grey walls and carpet, the overall feel is soothing. “I don’t miss the pink couches,” Bangel-Stehlin says with a laugh about the previous late ‘80s decor.
Most significantly, the renovation was centered on upgrading what Bangel-Stehlin calls “destination spaces.”
“That’s where life happens here,” she says. Updates were made to the auditorium, conference room, chapel, creative suite, library and a billiard/game room. Additions include a movie theater, first floor bistro and expanded tavern area for happy hour and party events, both just off the main atrium.
Those additions represent a nod to the incoming baby boom generation. “We are expanding for their experience. Baby boomers are perhaps a little less traditional and formal than the previous ‘greatest’ generation when it comes to dining and socializing,” says Bangel- Stehlin. She notes the tavern is more of a socializing area and the bistro is for those who just want a sandwich on the go rather than the formal sit-down dinner.
Seasons, of course, still prides itself in its formal dining area, boasting some of the best food in the region to be found in a retirement community, anchored by chef Dennis Glosser, a former executive chef at the Golden Lamb. A resident favorite is Glosser’s own maple syrup tapped from trees on site.
Bangel-Stehlin says the recent renovations will only improve its 30-year brand as a premier retirement community with deep roots in the region. “In the last few years we’ve heard from people who say, ‘My mother was at Seasons and now I’m looking for myself.’ That’s exciting. It’s neat that we have had a few second generations move in and I think it says a lot about the property.”
Seasons is owned and operated by Senior Lifestyle Corporation, the largest privately-owned health care organization of its type, based in Chicago.
Seasons’ independent living community has 215 units, 83 assisted living apartments and operates a five-star skilled nursing facility with 45 beds. The 19-acre bucolic campus, off Montgomery Road, also features an outdoor pool and ¼-mile walking path. It offers 24/7 valet and concierge service.
“It does feel like you’re living in a resort and that’s what retirement should be. People should just be able to enjoy the things they love and not worry about cooking or cleaning. That’s why they saved their whole lives and moved in to a place like Seasons.”
Seasons in Kenwood is located at 7300 Dearwester Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45236. For more information, call 513.373.4307 or visit www.communities.seniorlifestyle.com.