by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer
Meals anytime, pilates, new amenities, and smiling faces.
Norman’s newest independent all-inclusive senior community – the Carlstone – stands out in so many different ways.
Talking to Senior Executive Supervisor Judy Ernst and you quickly come to realize that that was always the vision.
“We’re not like everybody else,” Ernst said. “Everybody is very friendly.”
From music and records events to wine and book clubs, Ernst and her staff like to offer events tailored to Carlstone’s residents.
The Carlstone is a 55-plus senior independent living community situated in northeast Norman featuring one and two-bedroom apartments at 501 E. Robinson.
Carlstone opened in June 2020 with spacious layouts and amenities to welcome residents home. The location is within walking distance of shopping, dining, and entertainment options as well as healthcare from one of the largest providers in the state, Norman Regional Health System.
“It’s just all-inclusive here,” Ernst said. “They like the newness of it. They like the look. They love the staff, we’re very hospitable.”
The living spaces at Carlstone are thoughtfully designed with comfort and convenience in mind and stylishly appointed with premium materials and finishes.
Pets are also welcome allowing residents to bring their companions with them wherever they go. A dog park is slated for the spring.
Ernst has worked for the company since 2002, focusing on senior communities since 2007.
She started in property management in 2002 as a leasing agent for multifamily properties. In 2007, she became a property supervisor for the Carlsbad Management Group senior communities.
As senior executive supervisor, she oversees the operations of CMG’s senior communities: the Carlstone, their newest senior independent living community in Norman, and their Savannah houses in Norman and Moore.
She’s no stranger to advocating for seniors after serving as her mother’s primary caregiver and then becoming an ombudsman to provide a voice to seniors living in Oklahoma care centers.
A sense of community is the focus with Ernst making sure she touches base with every resident regularly and offering meaningful opportunities for residents to bond with one another.
“I told them from the beginning I’m not going to put a bunch of activities up there just to look good,” Ernst said. “We gear it to what people want.”
Anytime dining is a favorite of many residents offering meals throughout the day with a keen focus on resident special requests.
“It’s open dining which is very successful,” Ernst said. “They don’t have to eat breakfast at 9 a.m. or lunch at 12. They can order breakfast all day, anytime. They can take it to the room or we deliver. We do not charge for that. We’re not going to do that.”
Valet trash pickup and shuttle service are other popular amenities as well as the barber shop and pedicure options.
The Carlstone offers a fitness area complete with Pilates tables and instructors. Research shows doing beginner Pilates at least twice a week is enough to notice a difference in your strength, flexibility, and balance.
Many Pilates activities can be performed non-weight-bearing while lying, reclining, or seated. And it’s virtually non-impact, which is especially beneficial for aging joints. The method offers the benefits of other exercise programs without the injury risks.
“A personalized one-on-one is what works,” she said. “We have a pilates instructor that takes two at a time but gears each one to what they need because not everyone can do the same thing. The engagement has been really good.”
For more information visIt: www.thecarlstone.com