Photos by Cameron Flaisch and Derek Bell
IT has been said that “aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” That may have been exactly the notion that Charles S. Williams Sr. had in mind when he began paving the way for dedicated senior care communities in North Georgia. It was back in 1983 when Charles, then-proprietor of the Ramada Inn Hotel on Rome’s Hwy. 411, recognized a need for senior living options in the area. He decided that he would fulfill that need and set about retrofitting and redesign-ing the hotel to create lifestyle options for aging adults and their families. The result was Winthrop Court Senior Living: a concept that combines a fulfilling way of living combined with a rich legacy for the Rome community.
For the past 30 years, Winthrop Senior Living has been dedicated to providing a standard of excellence in the senior care industry. The legacy that Charles S. Williams Sr. began is carried on today by his sons, Charles Williams Jr. and Gardner Williams, with their continued commitment to provide excellent care in a safe and stimulating environment for those who live in the Winthrop Senior Living community.
Home Without the Hassle
Winthrop Court’s unique, apartment-style living gives each resident independence and privacy among the array of services available: no more home repairs, cleaning, laundry utili-ty bills, or landscaping. Shopping and medical appointments are not a problem either. Residents can take a ride with the Winthrop private bus or van service. Assistance with a servant’s heart; this is the Winthrop Way!
Winthrop Court offers a choice of luxury accommodations designed to suit individual taste. These include one-bedroom apartments, interior studios and exterior studios, which open onto the gardens; just like home. Each apartment is serviced with individually controlled heating and air conditioning, an emergency call system, a smoke alarm, and sprinkler system for safety and comfort. The spacious closets provide plenty of storage room and telephone connections allow easy access to communication with friends and family. Rooms can be individualized with carpeting or hardwood floors and a kitchenette with refrigerator and microwave.
The atmosphere is ideal for senior living, as it requires very little adjustment from lifestyles prior to Winthrop Court. In fact, residents are encouraged to continue their favorite pastimes. One of the reasons the gardens at Winthrop are so fruitful is because of the residents’ participation.
“A lot of our residents have developed a green thumb over their lifetime and enjoy gardening, and we want to help them continue doing that,” says Shane Rehberg, Winthrop’s marketing manager.
One of their recent projects is hay bale gardening. Shane explained that this involves planting vegetables directly into bales of hay. As the hay begins to decompose, it supplies nutrients to the plants, while making them easily accessible to the senior residents who do not have to bend over low garden beds. The Winthrop hay bale garden is currently producing a hardy crop of succulent tomatoes.
Navigating leisurely throughout Winthrop Court is simple with trouble-free features designed to ensure safety and promote mobility. The entire building and grounds are open for residents to enjoy dining, activities, and engaging with neighbors and family. When they’re in the mood for quiet time, residents can enjoy a shady bench in the courtyard, a quiet nook in the library, or the privacy of their own apartment to relax and recharge.
Keeping it Social
Socialization is an important part of the Winthrop Way and Activities Director Carol Greissinger’s upbeat attitude inspires all the activities at Winthrop Court. “I want our residents to look forward to getting up every day,” she says, and that is reflected in the entertainment, activities, trips and games that residents participate in daily.
Winthrop Court is ever-evolving through continued improvements and upgrades. One of the more recent additions is a recreation room, affectionately known as “the garage” because of the Route 66-themed photographs that line the walls. Residents meet here on a daily basis to participate in a rich tapestry of activities that cater to all tastes. Whether it’s chair yoga, craft projects, Bible study, a sing-along with local musicians, or a lively bingo game, there’s always something going on in the garage.
Meal times at Winthrop are among the highlights of each day and often something that residents look forward to the most. The dining rooms not only offer tempting, southern-style selections, they create comfortable social spaces. Menus are carefully planned by a registered dietitian and offer a variety of options to satisfy the savviest of taste buds. Each meal provides nutritional balance with heart-healthy menus and delicious treats; this, too, is an integral part of the Winthrop Way.
For residents who are in the mood for a retro social setting, there is a 1950s-style ice cream parlor, reminiscent of the days of the family-run sweet spots where people would go for milkshakes, malts and sundaes. Winthrop’s seniors often gather there to eat, play cards or share memories of the good old days.
Many a relaxing evening at Winthrop is spent sitting around the fireplace in the elegant great room. Residents are welcome to take a seat at the baby grand piano and share their musical gifts or sit back and listen to a guest play their favorite tunes.
Commitment to the Community
The staff and residents of Winthrop Court have a strong and vibrant connection with the local community. Nothing reflects this more strongly than the resident group Women of Winthrop (WOW). “They are a welcoming committee and ambassadors for Winthrop,” says Rehberg.
The committee is comprised of President Edna Carter, Vice President Edna Battles, Treasurer Shirley Modlin and Secretary Helen Smith, who also takes care of membership. This group of ladies and their team not only act as a welcoming committee to Winthrop Court’s new residents, they work hard to develop fundraising efforts to benefit non-profit organizations throughout the Rome area. Some of their past community accomplishments include raising funds for the local Pregnancy Center and for the renovation of Sunshine House. The WOW team is preparing for an August fundraiser for local children who are in foster care, waiting for a loving family.
The transition from the old Ramada Hotel to Winthrop Court has been a challenge, but one that Charles Williams and his team have not only met, but exceeded. Moving forward, Winthrop Court will continue to evolve and adapt to suit the needs of its current and future residents and to provide a unique, intimate experience that residents and their families can enjoy.
For more information, find them online at winthropseniorliving.com or call at 706-235-3030.