An independent living center for people ages 55 and older held its grand opening to showcase the amenities its executive team says will help seniors live a healthy, independent lifestyle.
Shaker Pointe at Carondelet had its three-day grand opening May 5-8 to highlight the 40,000-square-foot, energy-efficient building that includes 68 residences, a beauty salon and a movie theater.
The Watervliet campus is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who have been in Albany for 278 years. Although the facility is sponsored by the Catholic organization, it is non-denominational and open to everyone. The only requirement is that people be over 55 years old and have an urge to live a healthy, active lifestyle.
“As we age, if we can provide physical, spiritual, cultural, recreational aspects of life, then we age as fully as we can until the day we die,” said Sister Lauren Van Dermark, a member of the executive team at Shaker Pointe.
The mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph is to meet the independent living needs of senior citizens, which is why they aimed to get virtually everything the seniors would need into one building. There is a pool, weight room and aerobics room and a trainer that offers yoga and other exercise classes.
“St. Peters Health Partners has a physician in this space; we have an activities director who offers a variety of programs, trips, paint, watercolor — those kinds of things; there’s a book club, library club, walking club,” said Sister Kay Ryan.
While the campus is built for seniors, and most residents live there until they die, there is still an abundance of life and activity that one might not expect from an independent living center.
“I think the philosophy we’re trying to impart here is that we live every aspect of our life as fully as we can, so therefore when we reach this age of 55 plus, we’re living independently. So, we want it to be as nourishing and hospitable to the person and the larger community. So, life is thriving here,” said Van Dermark.
The goal is that keeping people active and social helps them to live a longer, healthier, more fulfilling life, as opposed to staying in their own home and trying to take care of everything in the house themselves.
The state-of-the-art building, which was built in just 13 months, is the only building in the area to obtain a LEED Platinum award. The platinum award is the highest award given out by The U.S. Green Building Council.
There are a variety of apartments to choose from, with one- or two-bedrooms options and also floor plans that include dens. The tenants bring their own furniture and can decorate the apartments as they please. There is also storage available onsite.
“Some of our residents, their children live away, so it’s a security for them as well that they’re not outside shoveling snow by themselves and no one knows,” said Sister Ryan.
More information can be found at www.shakerpointe.org.