The delicious scent of freshly baked cookies wafts from the kitchen. Residents and staff come drooling from floors away.
This weekly occurrence is a delightful ritual at The Waterford.
But it’s not the chef who’s in action. Or anyone on the culinary team for that matter. It’s Alice Thiele, an energetic 81-year old resident who has baked up a storm ever since she moved in two years ago.
“I put my batters together in my suite,” she explains, “Then I take them down to the kitchen to bake.” Cookies, muffins, special requests… she does it all.
With children and grandchildren close by too, she has quite the contingent to bake for, including her grandson’s soccer team. Every Saturday she attends his games, and provides the entire team (and sometimes the opposing team) with up to five dozen cookies to fuel them up.
Not only does Alice delight in baking and sharing her goodies, she seems to gain much more from the entire experience. Her walks to the Town Centre to buy her ingredients are part of it. “I love to walk. Sometimes I take two walks a day,” Alice says, smiling. “Everything is so convenient.” She explains that the location of The Waterford is one of the main reasons she moved in. Her previous home was much further from town, making it necessary for her to drive everywhere. Now, although she still drives, it’s on Alice’s terms. When she wants. Not because she has to.
Being busy is her thing. Alice lunches out several times a week with friends or family, enjoys her walks and baking, socializes at happy hour twice weekly, plays BINGO every Friday, attends most of the excursions on the Bria Bus and joins in to sing along and dance when entertainers are brought in. Certainly not a schedule for the sedentary…
“I like to keep busy while I still can. I can’t stand sitting around,” she laughs. “My kids gave me one of those recently,” she says pointing to the iphone on her side table. “Because they say they can never get a hold of me!”
There is no shortage of options for Alice to keep busy. Bus excursions take her to plays, movies, dinners downtown, even basketball games and themed events for holidays. “Whenever we are out on the BRIA bus, the people we encounter are always astounded at all the activities we have here.” she says.
She speaks highly of the staff as well, explaining how welcoming they are and how the atmosphere is always a happy one. “We have such a good time and everyone is so cheerful and accommodating.” She is impressed how the staff seem to get everyone involved, even working around what residents ask for.
Practically like staff herself, Alice includes residents from assisted living in her baking efforts, having them stir or mix. She also assists the recreation assistant with decorating for events they hold at the community. And she loves every single minute of it!
As for what Alice aspires to do next….. “Hang on to my independence as long as I can. Period.” It seems she has the right recipe for success.