How to make the most of independent living

Meet a resident who has found wellness, community and connection in Nebraska

How to make the most of independent living

Melding people and activities, Good Samaritan Society – Hastings is a hub of residents who are the kings and queens of the Nebraska campus.

“They’re a lot of fun to play with except when I’m losing,” resident Eunice Turnquist jokes about her weekly card game of pinochle at the community center.

Turnquist grew up in Hawaii and Thailand, but the independent living resident is finding the highest value here amongst friends.

“I just thought this is the best place for me and I’ve never wanted to move,” Turnquist says.

“There are so many opportunities here if you would just take advantage of them.”

‘I feel free’

Senior living supervisor Chuck Conrad says residents can be as active as they choose.

“Our campus is unique because it is a community,” Conrad says. “It’s 140 acres and it’s roughly six city blocks wide by about eight city blocks long. So, it is a small town. I like to refer to it as a small town within the city.”

A small town where Turnquist’s wheels are always turning. The 75-year-old is often riding her bike or walking somewhere.

“I’m an outdoor person and I feel free, and I don’t feel closed in. It gives me an opportunity to just see flowers and trees and grass. See what people are doing and just be part of the community I guess.”

Making the rounds and building connections.

“Eunice is sunshine. She is the sunshine of the campus,” Conrad says. “It can be first thing in the morning, or it can be as I’m leaving campus in the evening. She’s walking or riding her bike and it’s always a smile and, ‘Hey Chuck how’s it going.’ I know that’s the way she is with everybody on campus.”

‘Neighbors helping neighbors’

Riding a bike every day, attending Bible studies, and hitting the links at the Society’s own golf course, Turnquist is pinning down the good life.

“I love it. I’ve lived out here, it’ll be 13 years in October,” Turnquist says.

“Neighbors helping neighbors. Caring for each other. Concerned for each other. Being there for each other.”

Conrad adds, “When you’re living on a campus that’s so diverse with so many different activities and places to be, it makes it totally different. It makes it more like home.

“(Residents) make family here. I know we feel like our residents are our family and I think they feel we’re a part of their family too.”

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Posted In Community, Senior Services