Busy Life is Key to Good Health as an Older Adult

Busy Life is Key to Good Health as an Older Adult

June 26, 2018

Annette Lerner doesn’t let her age slow her down. At 87, she swims in our pool almost every morning, serves on Glenmeadow’s Board of Directors and Food Committee, works at the store in our life plan community, plays canasta and bridge with fellow residents, and calls bingo on Thursday nights.

Annette’s active lifestyle also extends outside Glenmeadow; she’s a docent at the Springfield Museums, guiding guests and helping to educate them about the paintings on exhibit. She also belongs to a book club in Longmeadow.

“I do everything, and I think that’s the secret to a healthy and productive life,” Annette says. “Keeping busy will make sure you aren’t bored or alone. Those are two very important components. I fill my time every day, and I love all the things that I do.”

Annette moved to Glenmeadow two years ago from Florida to be closer to her two daughters who live in Northampton and recommended Glenmeadow based on feedback from friends who had parents living here. (She also has two sons, one living in Oregon and one in Florida.)

“I looked at places closer to Northampton, but when I walked into Glenmeadow, I felt something,” Annette remembers. “It seemed to be a very comfortable place.”

The prospect of moving seemed frightening at the time, Annette recalls.

“It was a big move for me,” she says. “It was a difficult move because I had a full life in Florida, and I didn’t know anyone here aside from my children.”

Annette quickly felt welcomed by residents and began to build her active life.

“There’s a feeling of family at Glenmeadow,” she says. “Once you’re here, people engage you and encourage you to participate in many activities as well as sometimes including you in their lunch or dinner plans. When someone is ill, people send cards, and there’s an outpouring of love and caring to the person and their family.”

Annette’s spent the bulk of her career working for a British publishing company and stock photo agency. She became a single mother to her children after her husband died suddenly almost 30 years ago, at 59. “You pick yourself up, and you start over,” she says, noting that she remarried three years later, and her second husband has also died.

Now, most of her mornings begin in the pool. Rather than swimming laps, she does a series of exercises, and the results help her to remain pain-free. This routine is sometimes altered when Annette is scheduled as a docent at the Springfield Museums—then she’s apt to work out in the pool in the afternoon.

The interest in serving at the museum came about because Annette previously experienced being a docent at Gracie Mansion in New York City. In Springfield, she took a weekly class for almost a year and presented oral and written reports to demonstrate her readiness for the job.

“I found it to be a wonderful thing for me,” she says of her roles in Springfield and New York City. “You learn so much and have the opportunity to meet such interesting people.”

Annette has traveled the world from China to India, Europe, and the Far East. Exploring new places is one of her most ardent pleasures.

Six months ago, Annette joined our board and says the appointment is an honor.

“It gives me an opportunity to represent the residents of Glenmeadow,” she says, noting that she feels like she provides a voice for those who live here. “Other members of the board know about the financial aspects of Glenmeadow, but they don’t live here and experience our everyday lives, and I feel like that’s an important perspective. Being on the board gives me a way to express my feelings and to offer suggestions as to what can be done to make this an even better community.

“Glenmeadow is a wonderful place, and I’m so fortunate to live here,” Annette adds.


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