living the good life.
one of the many fabulous, photogenic residents of the goodwin house.
a few weeks ago i was given the opportunity to work with the american association of homes and services for the aging — AAHSA — documenting a day in the life at one of their communities. AAHSA has a clear and admirable mission :: healthy, affordable, ethical aging services for america. AAHSA is an association of over 5,500 non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing policies, practices, and research that empowers aging americans to continue to live life to its fullest potential. i was intrigued and excited by the project — spending a day talking with residents, capturing spontaneous portraits, documenting daily activites, and providing a glimpse into life at a local retirement community.
the goodwin house far exceeded all my expectations of a continuing care community — honestly, i wasnt sure what to expect. offering everything from independent residences to assisted living to full-time care, i found the residents to be a diverse and fascinating group of people. i experienced an immediate feeling of comfort, and a true sense of calm and well-being at the goodwin house. the light-filled community areas were decorated beautifully, and residents sat and chatted with each other, poured over the morning paper, enjoyed coffee, and worked on puzzles. outside i met gardeners actively tending to their plots in the community garden — caring for everything from roses to ripe tomatoes in the morning sun.
i was smitten with the incredible art studio where aspiring artists learn and experiment with painting, pottery, mosaic, and various other art forms. additionally,the woodworking studio blew my mind — i was so impressed! of course i loved checking out the library, computer room, chapel, and dance studio. peeking in on a dance class i was thrilled to meet an incredible 90-year-old sky diving enthusiast who shared her experiences with me. exploring the gym + indoor pool i chatted with the “mermaids” who were doing water aerobics and they told me about performing at events throughout the community!
truth be told, i absolutely fell in love with everyone i met — these self-proclaimed citizens of the world inspired and amazed me with their stories. from the retired professors to the brand new artists, the life-long partners to the newlyweds who recently found love, and the two brothers who escaped from nazi germany to the states years ago and found their way back to each other as neighbors in this community, i was in awe. everyone i met was so happy and full of life — so obviously thriving in such an ideal environment conducive to enabling and embracing individuals of all interests, in all stages of retirement. one man i met was active and healthy, living in one of the apartments, while his wife received full-time care just a few floors above him. in this way he was able to maintain his independence and still live with her, surrounded by a supportive community. i was struck with the same thought over and over — how everyone should have the opportunity to live somewhere like this when they retire, and im truly thankful that organizations like AAHSA are committed to making that possibilty a reality.
with many thanks to the gracious people who let me photograph them, below are just a few of my favorite images from my day at the goodwin house –enjoy!