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Senior Moment | Willow Pond: Stepping out and taking the town!

Grice Connect's Michele LeBlanc busts the myth that senior living care is boring. It's anything BUT boring at Willow Pond! Join Michele as she checks out some of the recent fun activities that Willow Pond residents have enjoyed, and find out how you can volunteer to help.
Buying essentials at Walmart. (Left to right) Susan Davis, Sara Chandler| Michele LeBlanc.

One of the many exciting activities that Willow Pond residents enjoy is getting out and checking out Statesboro, Bulloch County, and its surroundings.

There is a lot to do. Contrary to common belief, many people think that an assisted living facility is a boring and NOT engaging lifestyle. WELL, I am here to tell you that simply is not true as I share some of the ‘Funnest Times’ that the residents at Willow Pond enjoy!

What is Willow Pond?

‘Willow Pond Senior Care, located on Country Club Rd, in Statesboro is a magical combination of serenity and beauty’ as their brochure says. They have an inviting community that focuses on keeping everyone active, healthy and engaged. The residents enjoy dining out, visiting local parks and numerous planned activities. There is never a shortage of options for Seniors looking for something to do.

The residents are very fortunate to have Sara Chandler, Life Enrichment Director, that keeps them moving about the town. Sara said, “We have a minimum of two staple outings a month, the Statesboro Mall, Walmart and occasionally Belks and it doesn't stop there. We also participate in outings that are season dates. Last month the residents were treated to an amazing TMT lights and on the 26th of January they traveled to the Statesboro-Bulloch County Library to participate in ‘Senior Bingo and Coffee.’

Chandler, far right, joins residents around the fire pit for s'mores

Being a Bulloch County native her entire life, Sara is familiar with most of the activities and events that occur in and around Statesboro, Bulloch County and surrounding areas. A resident of Brooklet, she is married with 1 son and an array of home pets (cats, dogs, bearded dragon, hamster and fish), as well as Georgia Southern University graduate, with a Bachelor of Arts in modern languages focusing on Spanish and theater.

Sara, wanting to capture the magic of bringing purpose to one's life and age says, “My goal is to incorporate all my previous experience, education and bring in enrichment to the Willow Pond community.

That is exactly what she does. “Life Enrichment is not simply ‘activities’, it is what it states: the ‘Enrichment of Life’. This can be on a personal level or community level. We strive to ensure that our residents are fully enriched from the time they wake up and to the time they go to bed” she continued.

Around the Town!

One sunny, chilly, south Georgia January morning, a few hearty residents ventured for a shopping trip to our Super Walmart. Despite the brutal elements, they hopped on the Willow Pond van and journeyed over to Super Walmart. Their mission was to shop for essentials, favorite treats, and mostly to get out and about. Dunkin Donuts was available, if they desired. Each took their own cart (buggy) and wandered off to meet back at DD at a designated time, to return to Willow Pond for lunch. Off they went with enthusiasm!

Willow Pond van at Walmart | Michele LeBlanc.

Every other Friday, the residents are treated to a ‘tour of the town’ where they ride on the bus and get a chance to see and experience the ever-growing Statesboro
and surrounding cities.

"This really gives our residents a chance to feel and be involved in activities that are part of everyday life. They get to socialize with others independently to meet their needs and of course shop” says Chandler. This allows the residents to maintain their independence without the worry of driving. Several other outings, including church performances and lunches, are included on their calendar.

(Front to back) Susan Davis, Sara Melford, Willie Coleman on the Van | Michele LeBlanc.

Let’s not forget the ‘in-house activities,’ which include: Birdwatching, Paint and Chat, Book Club, Manicures, Movies with Popcorn (at Mooney's Snack Shack), Bingo, Friday Happy Hour with local guest pianists like Dr. Michael Braz, Devotionals, Exercise, and many others.

Friday Happy Hour at Willow Pond | Michele LeBlanc. 
Bingo in the Activity Room | Michele LeBlanc.

As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do. In February, a traditional ‘Tea Party’ with the fine china and snacks (hosted by one of the residents' daughter’s book clubs) will provide a proper good time. In March, there will be a resident indoor Easter Egg Hunt,’ and in April a ‘Charity Sale’ will be held. Stay tuned for more information.

Currently, Chandler and the staff at Willow Pond are seeking ‘Volunteers’ to enrich the lives of their current residents. If you feel the need, please reach out to Sara Chandler at 912-489-4774 or [email protected].

You too can have an ‘Enriched’ Senior Moment!