Highgrove at Tates Creek, one of the newest retirement communities in Lexington, is devoted to providing the absolute best community for our residents. Highgrove is committed to helping young people achieve their dreams, too! Late last year, Highgrove, which offers independent living cottages, assisted living and memory care, held a scholarship contest for area college students, who had the opportunity to meet a Highgrove resident and write an essay about their lives.
Their mission was to write an essay of 750 words or less, exploring the residents’ life stories, how they’ve met the challenges of aging, and what they love about living at Highgrove.
In February, we shared excerpts from many of the essays; this month, we’d like you to meet residents Ethel, Genevieve, Barbara, Joyce, Priscilla and Margie.
Emma, an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky, met Ethel. Born in 1929, in Carlisle, Pa., Ethel was one of four children. Her father owned a bakery and taught her how to read beginning at a very young age. Ethel attended East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, where she met future husband, Donald. She transferred to University of Cincinnati to be closer to him. By the time she graduated from UC, they were married. Ethel enjoyed her time at UC, focusing on liberal arts, advanced history and anthropology. Ethel was an elementary teacher at Mount Washington, Cincinnati, where Donald taught high school and middle school orchestra.
The couple had two sons, Robert and Scott; once Scott entered first-grade, Ethel returned to teaching. She is very proud of all the students she taught and their successes. Ethel moved to Highgrove in 2017 to be closer to Robert and loves the community – the activities, travel, and crafts. “Her kind soul shines through to all who know her, Emma wrote.
Payton, a medical student at UK, interviewed Genevieve, one of Highgrove’s first residents. Miss Gen loves to go places, especially Hall’s on The River, and the Toyota plant, where she enjoyed seeing the machines working with giant sheets of steel. It’s not surprising, as Miss Gen worked as a secretary in the aerospace industry, including Fairchild Aircraft (where she met her husband) during the development the America’s missile program. In her 30s, Miss Gen earned her pilot’s license, and remembers taking a solo flight in a 40-hp Piper J3 aircraft in the Northeast. Miss Gen has stories to tell – like how her broken shoulder looked like a chicken wing before moving to Highgrove; how her husband contracted chickenpox on their honeymoon to Bermuda; or the struggles of being raised in a single-parent home after her father was killed by mustard gas in World War I. She has had many roles in her life, including Girl Scout troop leader, seamstress, Sunday school teacher, artist, daughter, pilot, wife, grandmother, great-grandmother
Kaitlin, a third-year student in the College of Pharmacy at UK, met with Frank. Born and raised in Broad Ripple, Ind., Frank graduated from Indiana University and earned his law degree from Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Ind. For more than 50 years, Frank worked with a law firm in Indiana, focusing on corporate law, litigation and finance. He and his wife raised two children but divorced in 1992. Three years later, Frank drove to Lexington for a blind date. He and Susan fell in love and married in 1999. Frank relocated to the town he grew to love – Keeneland, the neighborhoods, restaurants, and people. In 2017, complications of surgery left Frank a paraplegic. He moved to Highgrove, where he has been receiving rehab. He credits much of his improvement to the team at Highgrove and is confident he will one day walk again with their help. Frank serves as president of the Resident Council.
Olivia, an undergraduate student at UK, interviewed Helen, who was born in 1929 on a farm in rural Bourbon County, he seventh of eight children. Life was hard and each of the children, including the girls, tended to the farm and the animals. Helen aspired to become a nurse or a doctor. But after graduating from high school, she became a typist at the school, where she worked for a short time. Eventually, she moved to Lexington, met her husband, and took a job with Greyhound Lines. The couple raised two children and Helen now enjoys four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Her favorite things at Highgrove include the fitness center and the healthy foods that are served. She describes living at Highgrove as receiving “royal treatment” that includes room service, restaurant-
like dining, social events, barbershop, planned activities, community events and transportation. Although Helen doesn’t drink, she enjoys Happy Hour because it gives her – and her friends – an opportunity to catch up on the day’s happenings.
Amy is a doctoral candidate in gerontology at UK. She talked with Barbara in the Cinema Room at Highgrove. Barbara and her husband Charlton moved to Highgrove when she began to need additional assistance but didn’t want to depend on her children or grandchildren. At Highgrove, Barbara been able to continue her lifelong passing for gardening, planting a perennial garden at the entrance. On warm days, you can find Barbara weeding the garden and tending the land. She loves the feeling of dirt in her fingers and is happy to know that others enjoy the flowers. The natural world is part of Barbara’s poetry – she has published three books. “The reason I’m happy here is because of the people who take care of us.” Talking with Barbara, Amy realized living at Highgrove was more than just having someone to help … it’s a community that encourages residents to connect and continue their lifelong passions.
Selma, an undergraduate at UK, interviewed Joyce, a Somerset native, who was at Highgrove to recover from leg and hip surgeries. Joyce, 81, had retired from teaching, spending most of her career teaching home economics. Joyce was looking forward to returning to her home, her friends and her church (which she was able to do after only a short time at Highgrove). Joyce, a big basketball and football fan, has traveled to all 50 states, Canada, Germany and several islands. As an educator, Joyce saw traveling as a way to learn more about the world we live in and things outside our normal experiences.
Shannon, an undergraduate student at Georgetown College, interviewed Priscilla. Born in Stanton, Priscilla’s father was a mechanic and her mother a schoolteacher. Priscilla attended the University of Mary Washington in Virginia but after her first year, returned to Powell County, where she was offered a teaching position in a one-room schoolhouse. After a few years there, she enrolled at UK, working toward her Home Economics major. She lived in Lexington with her grandmother and, eventually, her husband, who was a World War II vet finishing his degree. They had a good life – he had a government job – which took them many places.
Emily, an undergraduate in animal sciences at UK, interviewed Margie. Emily sees a connection between caring for people’s pets and people. “I think it is important to not only focus on understanding the animals but their people as well.”
Miss Margie – or Nana as many call her – was someone Emily knew before their visit. She was interested in learning how Highgrove supports residents’ independence, helping them to remain active mentally and physically. Miss Margie worked at Dillard’s but a car accident ended that career. Miss Margie moved to Highgrove in mid-2018. “I love it here. They don’t take away my independence and they truly care about me.” Happy Hour is her favorite time of day because she loves to mingle with people, and she’s been able to make many friends. She participates in daily yoga or exercise at the gym, and looks forward to field trips to local businesses and sights of interest.
As the scholarship applicants found, Highgrove at Tates Creek is a beautiful, comfortable, safe, and serene place for seniors. Want to know more about how Highgrove might fit you’re your future plans … or the plans of someone you love? Call (859) 245-0100 today to schedule a free, no-obligation tour.
4251 SARON DRIVE . LEXINGTON, KY 40515