by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer
The final full week in September was homecoming week for Tealridge Retirement Community in Edmond.
A traditional fall activity, homecoming meant something different for the gathered friends and residents.
Tealridge’s rich 30-year history was on display with the community touting almost $1 million in ongoing improvements to the Edmond mainstay.
Residents past and present toured, reliving memories and looking ahead to what is sure to be a future focused on meeting resident needs.
“It doesn’t really matter how much things are made ‘new’ it’s still the essence of the people and I think that’s a huge piece of this community,” Tealridge Executive Director Melissa Mahaffey said during a break in the festivities.
“And the heart and the spirit,” Tealridge Retirement Counselor Kristen Moss echoed. “Everybody has a story. This community has a story and a history. It’s 30 years old and that’s why we picked the theme of homecoming. Come tell us your story.”
“We’re all fresh eyes in the community but for them this is homecoming week.”
Jon Paden, president of Affordable Community Housing Trust, had a vision of what the community should look and feel like many months ago.
“Our goal is for Tealridge to feel like the home I grew up in. My parents created an environment that was warm, welcoming, safe and a lot of fun. That is how my wife and I tried to raise our three kids and I hope that is how our folks at Tealridge feel about their home”.
Early on, Paden’s group tabbed Mahaffey to make that vision a reality.
“I have a great team,” Mahaffey said simply. “I hire great people. The number one criteria for being on this team is having a heart and soul for people because if they don’t, it doesn’t work.
“The true measurement of a good community all relies on who you have in place.”
A legendary property, Tealridge Retirement Community celebrated its next chapter with new ownership and property improvements.
The two-day event was open to the community.
Edmond Chamber of Commerce members were on hand Wednesday for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Former University of Oklahoma quarterback and NEWS9 personality Dean Blevins entertained the crowd on Thursday.
Nestled next to the 200-acre Oklahoma Christian campus is Tealridge Retirement Community, a full-service, private and locally-owned community providing independent, assisted living and memory care services to the Community of Edmond.
Nancy and Todd Markum were sold on Tealridge from the very beginning.
“We’re excited,” Nancy said. “We were the first ones to get to move back in. It’s awesome. We love it. We always wanted to be here after living across the street.
“We wanted to be home. It’s our friends and our people.”
According to the National Institute on Aging, research studies have shown a strong correlation between social interaction and health and well-being among older adults and have suggested that social isolation may have significant adverse effects for older adults.
Moss said. “What works in New York or Los Angeles and all those cities in between doesn’t necessarily work in Oklahoma.
Jon is open to receive feedback from Melissa & the team on how we can help our retirees live their best life. The decision to move is not easy, we desire to work beside someone through their journey”.
The future is strong for the Edmond senior community, which has evolved in the last 30 years. The addition of the independent component compliments the full care campus concept.
“Who knows what independent living will look like in the next 10 years,” Mahaffey said. “But for right now we’re striving to meet the expectations of this generation. In the future, these services will evolve to a different clientele as our population continues to change.
“Nobody really knows what that’s going to be. It’s going to be wellness and nutrition but what else? Could it be additional traveling opportunities and other outlets for socialization?
One thing is for sure, “It’s about being a community with traditions in which someone feels welcome and that they are’“HOME’”.
For more information about Tealridge Retirement Community call 405-608-8020 or visit www.tealridge.com