Thriving in Community: A Journey to Independent Living

United Church Homes, a compassionate and forward-thinking organization, is revolutionizing the lives of older adults by creating systems of support that extend far beyond their traditional homes. Through their thriving independent living communities, they are redefining what it means to age gracefully, surrounded by community, and freedom from worries.

Sarah’s journey

Sarah, a retired teacher, spent decades in her cozy suburban house. The upkeep became a burden, leaving her longing for a simpler, more vibrant life. A cottage or apartment in a United Church Homes community seemed like a dream come true. But like many others, Sarah had her hesitations—what would she be giving up? The familiar sights and sounds, the memories tied to every corner of her home, and her cherished belongings.

Not losing, but liberating

As Sarah began her journey, she found that letting go wasn’t really about losing, but rather gaining a new sense of liberation. The worries of home maintenance vanished, replaced by an abundance of activities that stirred her passions. United Church Homes had meticulously designed the community to foster engagement, providing residents with a range of classes and social events that ignited her passion for painting and gardening.

But what about all her possessions? United Church Homes recognized the emotional attachment and ease the transition. With their assistance, and the help of a right-sizing specialist, Sarah carefully curated her cherished items, choosing what would accompany her to her new space. The rest found new homes through charitable donations and with family members. Sarah was able to pass on the love she had for these belongings to others who could benefit from them. Her act of passing on love transformed her possessions into symbols of connection.

Once settled in, Sarah discovered a vibrant, inclusive community of individuals in the same stage of life. The beauty of United Church Homes’ approach lay not only in the physical comforts of her apartment, but also in the connections she formed. From impromptu coffee chats to group outings, she found herself surrounded by friends who quickly became an extended family.

Jerry and his wife Marty had a similar experience when they moved into The Polaris Community. “When we visited for the first time, we knew right away it was the best place for us.” Goldstein added, “It’s a very friendly and open community and quickly has become home.”

Life with purpose

The United Church Homes community dispelled the worries of isolation that often accompanies aging. Sarah’s eyes were opened to a side of herself she had long forgotten. Their commitment to supporting residents’ emotional well-being was evident in the creation of spaces for shared meals, games and meaningful conversations. A dedicated support network and access to Chaplain support, provided reassurance that help was always within reach, allowing residents like Sarah to age with grace and dignity.

A shift toward freedom

The move to a United Church Homes independent living community wasn’t just a change in residence—it was a transformative shift towards a life filled with purpose, belonging, and the freedom to embrace every moment. UCH’s innovative approach and education through The Parker Center for Abundant Aging demonstrated that age is merely a number, and a vibrant, fulfilling life can flourish when barriers are overcome, and support systems are put in place.

The Buenconsejo’s, who moved into a UCH community early this year jumped right into the community activities leading chess and bridge clubs. “The friendly atmosphere is a good fit for us,” they said.

Every resident’s journey toward abundant living is different—some arrive there quickly, some take more time, but it is bound to flourish when embraced by a community that cares. United Church Homes’ commitment to creating environments where older adults can thrive serves as an inspiring testament to the power of inclusion, innovation, and human connection.