Thinking about retirement communities, most of us don’t imagine spas, classes, and a campus in the middle of a thriving part of the city. But The Waters of Highland Park is not your run-of-the-mill retirement community. First founded in Plymouth in 2013, this retirement community was created by Lynn Carlson Schell, who saw the opportunity to bring a sense of hospitality to senior living. There are now several locations (including Highland, Excelsior, and a new Wisconsin campus), all of which are driven by that same core principle of creating an environment where retirees can continue to live vibrant, meaningful lives.
“Everyone tells me, ‘I’m not there yet!’” laughed marketing representative Lisa Bien-Sinz, recounting several conversations she had at the Highland Fest block party. “They have a very particular idea of what it means to join a senior community and we are trying to change that perspective… When you enter The Waters, you look around and say ‘Wow!’ It’s a place you can feel safe, comfortable, and want to bring your friends and family to.”
The Waters works hard to appeal to retirees of all stripes. Whether you are freshly retired and wanting to downsize, need extra care or are somewhere in that middle area, the Waters might just be the perfect place for you to live.
Many of The Waters locations are in neighborhoods with fun shopping, restaurants, and nearby entertainment. Because their emphasis on building a community in which seniors can thrive, proximity to fun activities is key to The Waters’ guiding principles.
The programming and services that are available at the Waters are built on six dimensions of well-being: health, relationships, security, purpose, community, and environment. These six dimensions of well-being are the foundational principles on which most of the programming at the Waters is built. “We want [our residents] to thrive,” Bien-Sinz explained. “We are focused on creating environments in which our residents can live full and active lives.”
Whether it is an exercise class (which builds a sense of security and health) or a book club (which can build relationships and a sense of community), The Waters is always trying to create experiences that help its residents continue to thrive. There are classes, writing clubs, resident meetings, game nights, holiday parties—even dances and tea parties.
“We are all living better and longer,” Lisa noted. “We want to help our residents extend how long they can be active.” The Waters accomplishes this by offering things like Tai-Chi, drum circles, and a spa experience. There is something for everyone. Each activity is an opportunity for residents to develop a new skill, spark a new friendship, and forge a new memory.
There is a phenomenal restaurant and café at every location. Residents have the opportunity to meet with the chef regularly, and most locations are near a grocery store so if you want to cook for yourself, you can. The facilities also always include a spa with many treatments like massage, nail care, skin treatments, and services like aromatherapy and reflexology.
Most residents would agree, though, that the most important part of The Waters is the community. “We know that when seniors are engaged socially and feeling connected, their health is improved,” said Bien-Sinz. And The Waters does that with clubs, groups, and opportunities for a wide variety of hobbies and interests.
Of course, there are also care services for those who need extra help. Licensed nurses are available all day every day, there are highly capable memory care teams, and a team that that helps navigate doctor’s instructions, medicine, diabetes management and much more.
There is no better way to figure out if The Waters is right for you (or your loved ones) than by calling and talking over potential packages. Room size, what kind of care you want or need, and other variables make it difficult to ballpark packages, but it is worth checking to see if it might work well for you!
The Waters is clearly a place that Lisa takes pride in. “The Waters strives to create a culture that is focused on well-being and inclusiveness. We want everyone to feel welcomed because we believe in that philosophically: finding balance in body, mind, and spirit.”
The Waters of Highland Park
678 Snelling Ave. S.
St. Paul, MN