Active Adult Living

Editorial StaffNovember 3, 2023
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The Valley boasts a rich array of retirement communities, each tailored to fit a diverse range of care requirements and lifestyles. Whether you seek personalized fitness regimes, a vibrant sense of community, luxurious living spaces or cutting-edge dining experiences, there’s a local senior community that perfectly aligns with your home and lifestyle requirements. With innovative specialty clinics and care centers, the Valley is also full of facilities that are the gold standard for your golden years.

Part of the Christian Care family of communities, Fellowship Square Phoenix is a nonprofit, faith-based retirement facility nestled next to picturesque North Mountain Park in Phoenix. Built in 1987, the property has since undergone several renovations to improve the quality of its amenities, which include a dog park, fitness center, pool and putting green.

“Keeping up with our residents’ active lifestyles and diverse interests is just one way we strive to make our retirement community the best place to call home,” says Amy Borders, Fellowship Square’s director of sales and resident services.

Providing a fulfilling lifestyle and promoting independence are at the core of Fellowship Square’s care philosophy. Various levels of care, including independent living, assisted living, short-term rehab, memory care and health-care services allow residents to feel safe, secure and comfortable. Independent living residents receive 25 meals per month and have access to scheduled transportation, specialized wellness and fitness programs, biweekly housekeeping services and planned social activities.

The community’s activities department works tirelessly to put together a creative monthly calendar with a little something for everyone, including a continuing education program that offers classes on everything from history to how to use a cell phone.

Large campus events, such as the annual Fall Festival and Spring Fling, are favorites for residents and staff alike. These events are open to the public, and residents and employees invite their families to attend. This year’s Fall Festival will be held on November 4. “Residents and staff love these events because it gives them an opportunity to have a great time and to enjoy each other’s company. Bringing friends and family together is at the heart of who we are,” Borders says. 

She points to a recent review from a resident to summarize what sets Fellowship Square apart: “Everything we need is available here: clean apartments, good food, wonderful activities for all abilities, a good fitness center and swimming pool, and most of all, a friendly and competent staff! Also, the beautiful grounds with safe walking paths and well-landscaped courtyards,” Janet T. says.

Providing a fulfilling lifestyle and promoting independence are at the core of Fellowship Square’s care philosophy.

According to chief marketing officer Cathy McCullough, Westminster Village’s status as Scottsdale’s sole not-for-profit continuing care retirement community provides peace of mind to its residents. “When our residents move into our community, they have the reassurance of knowing they have a home for life,” she says.

The resort-style community offers an approachable air of luxury while actively engaging its residents through various committees that dictate decisions from dining to landscaping. “Our CEO and entire management team are on-site, so residents can easily interact directly to share their ideas, concerns and accolades,” McCullough says.

Enhancing the independence, dignity, health and well-being of all residents is at the center of Westminster Village’s ideology, contributing to an elevated environment of inspired living. Residents thrive within a secure, connected community committed to a broad and balanced landscape of residential life care programs and services.

Nature – and its ability to foster healing and connection – is also at the heart of Westminster Village. Two of the community’s most popular campus amenities are the on-site observatory and Monarch Garden, a certified monarch butterfly waystation in collaboration with Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale. These popular programs encourage residents to enjoy the outdoors and connect with friends and neighbors who share similar interests.

“Westminster Village is a place where new neighbors quickly become old friends,”
McCullough says.

This orthopedic and spine care practice, with more than 15 locations across Phoenix, ensures that patients remain active regardless of their age. Focusing on improving patient outcomes while reducing costs, The CORE Institute has set the benchmark for orthopedic care through evidence-based medicine and standardized protocols.

Each of The CORE Institute’s sub-specialized physicians adheres to clinical pathways and protocols that cater to each patient’s condition or circumstances.

If surgery is needed, patients have the option to have their procedure at a number of hospitals across the Valley or The CORE Institute Specialty Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility with some of the most advanced surgical technology anywhere in the Valley. It is frequently touted for its quality, safety and positive patient experience.

Non-surgical care options include physical therapy and interventional pain management.

The CORE Institute’s founding principle was to create a better patient experience at every level, whether that’s offering convenient orthopedic urgent care and extended hours in its clinics or ensuring patients are fully informed about their condition and engaged in their treatment.

People don’t typically equate senior living communities with fine dining, but the culinary experience at Maravilla Scottsdale is just one example of why this retirement resort is a cut above.  

To say the dining at Maravilla is special is an understatement. Helmed by executive chef Erika Scharnick, the ever-evolving menu and elevated dining experience at Maravilla Scottsdale includes two morning specials, two lunch specials and four daily chef-inspired evening specials in addition to a full menu of traditional favorites with modern twists.  

Scharnick enjoys mingling with residents and learning their preferences to add a personal touch to the community’s dining choices. She and her talented staff are constantly coming up with new and exciting ways to introduce fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. Her signature dish is a spin on beef Wellington with salmon instead of the traditional tenderloin. She also offers a vegetarian version with wild mushrooms. 

Six years ago, the American Culinary Federation-certified chef and her team launched FreshZest®, a diverse and thoughtful plant-forward dining program for those looking for an alternative to meat-based menu options. 

“Cooking really is an art form,” Scharnick says. “You look at your blank canvas, which is the plate, and then begin to be inspired by all the exciting ways to create a spectacular dish.” 

Maravilla Scottsdale offers a signature restaurant and bar called Ironwood as well as a cozy, intimate bistro and a picturesque patio for al fresco dining. The community hosts elaborate wine or themed dinners for residents throughout the year.  

Scharnick was granted an MVS scholarship to continue her culinary education. She pays it forward with the Let’s Dish program, during which she hosts monthly menu previews and cooking demonstrations. This provides a hands-on forum for Maravilla Scottsdale residents to give feedback in a fun and engaging way.

For more than 60 years, Swagel Wootton Eye Institute has been improving patients’ lives through better vision and outstanding patient experiences. 

With locations in Mesa and Chandler, Swagel Wootton Eye Institute is a full-service medical ophthalmology provider committed to providing comprehensive, individualized eye care from a team of highly trained surgeons and optometrists with decades of combined experience. 

At Swagel Wootton Eye Institute, they know that vision changes and challenges are an unavoidable part of aging. Symptoms of many of the most common eye conditions develop slowly, and early diagnosis is the key to proper treatment. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends seniors have a comprehensive eye exam once a year, and that frequency increases if they have high risk factors (like high blood pressure or diabetes) or a family history of eye disease.  

One of the most common conditions patients come to see us for is cataracts. In fact, by the age of 65 more than 90 percent of Americans will have developed cataracts. Cataracts usually develop because, as people age, the proteins in the eye’s natural lens build up and become less flexible, leading to blurry or cloudy vision. 

Swagel Wootton Eye Institute offers a wide range of surgical and medical services including cuwwtting-edge surgical choices for cataract treatment with advanced technology lenses to offer clear vision at near-, mid- and distance ranges; vision correction procedures including refractive lens exchange; treatment of medical eye conditions including glaucoma through minimally invasive surgery; diabetic eye care; and corneal and retinal conditions. 

At Swagel Wootton, the providers and staff understand that vision changes can be challenging, and their team of eye care experts is there to help guide you through the treatment and surgery options available to get you back to seeing your world with confidence. 

The Swagel Wootton team includes Loan Ramsey, MD, F.A.C.S.; Lance Stutz, MD; Joshua Brozek, MD; Renée Hanson, OD; Janice Pierce, OD; Leah Janousek, OD; Kathleen Vize, OD; and Vance Lewis, OD. To learn more about their providers or dive into the resources on their blog, visit

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