We’ve all heard the adage “60 is the new 40, 70 is the new 50.” And it’s true, life after 55 has never felt more invigorating and exciting. Given the rise of this dynamic class, it makes sense that residential centers would evolve to feel more like an all-inclusive resort than a traditional care facility. To understand just how far senior living has come, check out Omaha’s Ovation Heartwood Preserve (ovationbyavamere.com/omaha-nebraska), a stunning new development opening this winter that will definitely set a new standard. Divided into independent, assisted, and memory care living buildings, the campus features a variety of restaurants, rooftop clubs, an indoor pool, and other amenities associated with high-end resorts and cruise ships. The engaged living concept emphasizes individualized choices with opportunities to take French classes, gardening, and cooking workshops with area chefs, among many offerings. Each of the three senior living choices caters to its residents with customized programs designed to reflect the needs and interests of each specific resident.
“Many of our staff come from the hospitality industry,” says General Manager Stephanie Grade. “It is our goal to offer a resort hotel experience every day for our residents, whether they are in the independent, assisted, or memory care programs.”
Ms. Grade says an independent living resident’s typical day begins over Starbucks coffee at the Bees Knees Bistro, a morning café that transitions to a wine lounge come evening. They may take an oil painting class or attend a workshop, then head into Miller’s Restaurant for a salad for lunch with friends on the terrace. Many residents take advantage of shopping in the West Omaha area and the more than 80 acres of walking and biking trails that begin right outside the property. Come evening, residents may choose to dine in their apartments, enjoy a casual dinner at Miller’s, or dress up for a fine dining experience inside 1863, named for the historic Omaha groundbreaking of the transcontinental railroad. The Route 6 billiards room as well as the rooftop 360 Social Club are also favorite evening haunts.
“Our assisted living residents seem to really appreciate the opportunity to go to the spa for beauty and massage treatments,” Ms. Grade says, “as well as time together on the terrace overlooking the private courtyard and nightly films followed by conversation in the Carson Theater and multi-denominational chapel services. We also have around-the-clock nursing to make sure expert assistance is always available when needed.”
The memory care residence is also customized based on the latest research. The Cottonwood and Meadowlark both offer specialized dining with familiar favorites and daily specials. The Peony Park Bistro also serves the community with lighter meals in a comfortable setting. The resident’s day is filled with engaging activities from gardening to state-of-the-art virtual experiences that are proven to be soothing and help stimulate memory.
Ovation Heartwood Preserve truly demonstrates the potential of what the future of senior housing should look like, separate residences for individuals at different stages of their lives that offer equal part healthcare and lifestyle amenities.