From my son’s family in Cherry Hill, I’d heard about what a special place Lions Gate was, just the right choice for moving to from my home on Long Island. From the first day I moved in, I knew I’d be happy here. Independent Living has so many choices of activities! The residents are lovely people; intelligent, interesting, talented, friendly and welcoming to newcomers. As a life-long learner, I was delighted to quickly find classes and interests to savor. Oil painting, water color painting, French class, Yiddish conversation group, stimulating Art History lectures by a brilliant professor, monthly book discussion group, short story discussion group, concerts of classical and contemporary music, programs highlighting composers and musicians, with frequent guest soloists and musical groups, Astral concerts sponsored by residents celebrating Special Birthdays, movies and discussions for film buffs; optional trips to theaters, ballet, museums, and fun playing Bridge, Mahjong, Canasta instruction by a lovely resident couple who are patient with beginners, Rummykube, Blackjack, enjoying the company of sports enthusiasts at the Pub, with snacks and drinks, Monthly Brunches for residents celebrating their birthdays: all this and more. Developing friendships here is easy. We share many interests in common. Six of us each painted two replicas of Chagall’s Windows of the Twelve Tribes, which now adorn the Chapel walls here. This was the idea of our art teacher David Butler, who encourages all the artist residents to develop their talents. Every morning, I look forward to attending my college-on-site with friends. Even homework is fun.
Physical exercise geared to Seniors is encouraged, from chair exercises promoting better balance to stretching, flexibility at any age, abdominal breathing, walking safely, working out at machines in the gym, aquatic exercise in the heated pool, all after evaluation by our fine instructor Gary or physical therapy personnel. The Wellness Clinic office is staffed with nurses and doctors on site to provide medical care and information for our wellbeing. Every prospective resident is given a preliminary physical to determine whether Independent Living is right for them. Our cheery greeter at the Concierge desk is Carmelina, who posts the daily menus and activities and eases our transition from elsewhere to here. We have bus transportation twice a week to supermarkets, banks and more frequent transportation to doctors off site. Library books are here for your reading pleasure, maintained by our resident volunteer librarian, Bonnie. Our bus driver picks up books and videos for us from the Camden County Library, and returns them as well. We dine together in a beautiful large dining room staffed by charming young servers who aim to please. The food is attractively presented and nourishing. Our new Chef is accommodating and interested in providing the most appealing food choices to keep us healthy and happy. Our Bistro is another area for breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Dining there is also available at posted times. Their soups are always wonderful. I cannot imagine wanting to live anywhere else at this stage of life, and am very happy here, living fully and safely in the company of kindred spirits.
Religious Services are conducted by our Rabbi Rayna Grossman on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings in our beautiful Chapel. Rabbi Grossman also presides at a Torah Study Class every Wednesday afternoon. Video lectures on the Three Great Religions are shown every Saturday afternoon in Chapel.
Gladys Greene – July 31, 2018
Although I had signed up at another CCRC before Lions Gate became a reality, I decided LG was a better all around choice: Close to where I lived so that I was familiar with the area, having the best of two worlds, shopping and movies across the road and walk paths to make you feel you are transplanted back in time to nature. I also wanted to be in a place with many amenities under one roof and of great importance is community, a need to be with like minded people.
I thought retirement would be long walks and reading books. you can have this at LG but much, much more. before long I was a member of the Dramatic Groupand teaching tap dancing and choreographing at least 16 shows.
I take art instruction from a professional artist, a member of the novel book club, many exercise programs and involved with Committees.
Yes, the American front porch is alive and here in Lions Gate every night at dinner time when you can talk about your family and the events of the day.
So why wait, jump in the pool of life as well as our swimming pool. see you soon!
Jacqueline (Jackie) Levitt – July 23, 2018
I am an old-timer at Lions Gate, one who moved here in the first year of its operation. Because of my wife’s advancing Alzheimer’s, we needed to find a place like this, and our daughter Marilyn told us about Lions Gate, just a mile from her home.
As we were being shown around, we passed an attractive room in the Commons area and our guide said, “This is the chapel of all faiths.” Being a retired Presbyterian minister, I liked that. Also, a little later, we happened to meet Rabbi Lewis Eron, chaplain at that time, and I said to myself, “That’s someone I’ll look forward to getting to know.” A couple of our children—we have six—said that we wouldn’t like the kosher cuisine; but we found that it was, and continues to be, very good.
After her long struggle, my wife died several years ago, but I have stayed on in our comfortable apartment, with its pleasant orientation, looking toward a patch of woods that is beautiful in every season. The recently amplified Commons rooms at Lions Gate, including the Great Room, Formal Dining Room, and handsome, versatile Commons Hall, are attractively furnished and very pleasant. We are happy to have a quite constant flow of new members with whom to share them. I recommend Lions Gate most cordially to anyone looking for a generous, secure home for retirement living.
Donald R. Fletcher – June 14, 2018
I’ve told my story so many times that I’m sure, if you’ve heard it, you really don’t need to hear it again. It seems to surprise people that my husband and I live here at Lions Gate. I always have to add,”…in the independent apartments.” Sometimes, when I think about it, I also am surprised.
We just came to give a deposit so that when (in five or ten years from now) we were ready, we would be next on the list. We already knew that Lions Gate was the premier CCRC in the area. My dear mother lived in Safe Haven (the memory care area at Lions Gate) for over three meaningful years. Mom could think but not remember. She took part in activities and enjoyed three kosher meals a day.
We lived in our Cherry Hill house for over fifty years and had no plans to move. We finally got here for that deposit; we saw a perfect apartment and made plans to move in. That’s right, it was a quick decision! We are not sorry! It’s much easier to do things when you are not forced by circumstances. Everything went smoothly! I’m not saying that it is easy to downsize after living in one place so long, but we did it!
My beautiful mother lives on within my heart. Two things she said made this move easy. “Everything is on loan” and “You don’t put an age on friendship.” Getting rid of things like our house and much of its contents went without regret. We enjoyed all during our time and are happy others will continue to find our blessings useful. And what we found in our new home was new friends who are welcoming, kind and wise.
Lions Gate has services available to help with moving. We were able to do it on our own. Our children are appreciative that they did not have to make decisions about what to take and what to pass on. We had a great realtor who had our house sold the first week it went on the market. She helped us prepare to show it, and we followed her advice. An ‘estate sale’ company efficiently sold years of ‘stuff’ we would no longer need. Of course, we first asked family and friends what they could use. We gave away a lot! Remember, “Everything is on loan.”
We have been here a bit over seven months. People keep asking, “Are you still happy there?” What’s not to be happy? We have the convenience of a lovely apartment. We have a delicious kosher dinner waiting every night and breakfast and lunch options available. We have a great gym and personal trainer, a swimming pool, excellent informative and entertaining programs, and even a book club!
Summary of a recent program on successful aging: Stay positive, be social and keep moving. At Lions Gate, we are blessed to have it all!
Barbara Waxman – June 8, 2018