Hometown News interviews One Senior Place Director, Kathi Ridner about the 10th annual Senior Living Options Day event, held this year on Friday, March 18th from 12-4 pm at the Wickham Park Community Center.


Kathi Ridner Director One Senior Place

Q.  How much has this event grown in the past 10 years?

A. This event started out as a modest health fair at One Senior Place featuring a few senior retirement communities.  Over the past 10 years, the event has grown and morphed into an event that now needs more space.  We have observed two very significant trends- people are living longer, and since most people prefer to stay in their own home till the end of their life, they don’t know where to turn if they find themselves in need of alternative options.  Helping people find the appropriate place to live is the number one category of referral at One Senior Place.


Q.  On average, how many people attend Senior Living Options Day?

A. Our typical attendance over the past 9 years has increasingly grown, and last year reached 250+ people.  This year, we are anticipating that number to reach 350+. This will be our best event, yet!


Q.  Is this the first year you’ll host it at Wickham Park Community Center?

A. Yes, this is our first year hosting our event at the Wickham Park Community Center in order to accommodate more attendees.  One Senior Place recently published a ‘Parade of Senior Living Guide’ as a tool to help people navigate the complexities surrounding a move into a senior retirement community.  We will be providing this free resource guide to every attendee of our event.


Q.  Do you have a finalized list of senior communities that will be present at this event?

A. Buena Vida Estates, Courtenay Springs Village, Grand Villa, Hibiscus Court, RiverView Senior Resort Living, Sonata, The Fountains, Victoria Landing, Town Square, Zon Beachside Assisted Living, Autumn House, Brookdale Senior Living, Inspired Living, Palm Cottages, The Brennity, and Market Street Viera.


Q.  Why is it so important to explore different living options for seniors?

A. There are several key criteria that are important to consider when moving from your home into a senior retirement community.  There are services and amenities that are common amongst all of them: meals, housekeeping, activities and socialization, transportation, and the ability to age in place with services and care that are provided when the need arises.  But, each community has specific differences that make them unique: licensing, staffing, nursing care and cost.  One Senior Place provides a free consultation with an Aging Services Expert to help you through this process.


Q.  What communities will be participating in the Best Chef in Senior Living competition?

A. The following communities will be participating in our ‘Best Chef’ competition: The Fountains, Brookdale Senior Living, Buena Vida Estates, Grand Villa, Inspired Living, Palm Cottages, Hibiscus Court, The Brennity, Courtenay Springs Village and Sonata of Melbourne.


Q.  Why should people come out for this event?

A. One Senior Place has a goal to educate aging consumers and their loved ones about being prepared for the possible situations that are common and might occur.  We regularly meet with families that are in the midst of a crisis, and that is not a good situation to be in.  Everyone should have a ‘Plan B’- and knowing where you would live if you couldn’t stay at home is a key part of that plan.