business highlight: Enjoy life independently at The Inn at Garden Plaza

By Nancy M. Fuller

Upon entering The Inn at Garden Plaza, there’s a sense of comfortable elegance. The open space offers cozy seating areas around the fireplace, while a nearby baby grand piano beckons to be played. 

In the reception area, staff members greet residents, filling them in on the day’s menu and activities. One may also be greeted by resident Bev Limbaugh, an active member of the Inn’s Ambassador Program that helps new residents acclimate to their new home and surroundings. 

“We spend as much time as they need to get comfortable and have a companion here. It gives me a sense of value, and usefulness to help other residents,” Limbaugh said.

According to Limbaugh, moving to The Inn was the best decision she ever made. 

“I visited between 10-15 places in Colorado Springs, but I kept coming back here. I just love it,” she said.

Limbaugh especially appreciates the balance of privacy and social interaction The Inn provides. 

“When I go into my apartment I do what I want to do, but when I want to be social, there’s always something to do and someone to do it with.” 

Independent living

The Inn at Garden Plaza is a 55-plus independent living community with 150 apartments ranging from studio to two-bedroom units. Many include patios or balconies and offer ample outdoor courtyard space. Housekeeping, scheduled transportation, activity programs, 24-hour emergency response system, free Wi-Fi, and chef-led restaurant-style dining are just some of the services The Inn offers to residents. You can even make your own choices or special meal requests.

“Some have a stigma that a senior living community is like an old folks home with people just sitting around,” explained Julie Olson, the Inn’s sales director. “Our independent living facility is one where residents have decided they want an easier life, where others can take care of the chores so they are free to live and do what they want to do. It’s really a remarkable environment we have here that nourishes peoples’ souls.”

The Inn employs a holistic strategy to the residents’ programs, incorporating spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional components. Programs include an assortment of exercise classes, Safe Haven support group meetings, as well as Ted Talks and Philosophical Café for robust intellectual discussions.

Pandemic adaptations

To help protect residents from COVID-19, the facility conducts daily screenings for staff members and residents when they return from outings.

In August, the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce awarded the Inn’s executive director, Christine Ferguson, an accolade award for the way she managed COVID restrictions and kept operations thriving, along with residents’ quality of life.

Since the start of COVID, the Inn has had 13 new residents move in.

“We plan to celebrate when COVID is over. We are going to have a big party!” Ferguson added.

While she’s pleased to have new residents move in, Olson expressed concerns about how COVID-19 may be affecting seniors coping at home on their own.

“During the pandemic, people may be scared to move, but we worry about seniors living alone and being so isolated,” said Olson.

To find out more about The Inn at Garden Plaza, call 719-630-1155 or visit Their Continuum-of Care Campus includes assisted living at The Bridge and skilled nursing and rehabilitation at Life Care Center of Colorado Springs. ■

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