15 Fun Rainy Day Activities For Independent Living In St. Petersburg

Here’s something fun you might not have known about stunning St. Petersburg: Our city sports the nickname of “Sunshine City” due to the immense sunshine we’re privileged to enjoy all year long! To have that distinction in a state that’s already so famous for its golden rays means a lot, and we love finding fun ways to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather — from neighborhood strolls to bike rides, swimming sessions, and much more!

Of course, when you’re independent living in St. Petersburg, you might still experience your share of showers. But that’s OK! Fortunately, a little precipitation doesn’t have to get in the way of a fun-filled day here at Westminster Shores. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are 15 meaningful, rewarding activities you can enjoy on the next rainy day.

Enjoy The Show

In our book, of the best ways to spend a rainy day is to lean into it! After all, stormy weather can be quite beautiful to watch — so from a safe location like your apartment or villa, settle in with a cozy tea and admire nature at work. Our unparalleled views of Tampa Bay and the surrounding area make this easy to do!

Try The Recipe You’ve Been Meaning To Make

A rainy day is the perfect opportunity to cook a new meal or bake something delicious — especially if it’s something you have been meaning to try for a while.

Check Out The Library & Computer Center

Westminster Shores’ library and computer center provides a cozy environment to spend an enriching, educational rainy day.

Get Lost In A Good Book

If the rain already started and you’re settled in at home, you can just as easily have a literary afternoon on your couch! Now is the perfect time to head to your bookshelf and revisit an old favorite, or get immersed in a new one.

Have A Movie Marathon

Rainy days give us an opportunity to kick back and relax at home — so why not enjoy a themed movie marathon for one? Whether it’s familiar classics from the Golden Age of Hollywood, or romantic comedies you love to rewatch again and again, there’s no shortage of titles to choose from.

Host A Virtual Game Night

A rainy day is a great time to enjoy a solo game, like solitaire — but it can also be the perfect backdrop to a virtual game night, where you and your loved ones have fun playing online games from your respective locations across the country (or world).

Exercise At The Fitness Center

If the rainy weather put a wrench in your workout plan, fear not — Westminster Shores’ fitness center has everything you need to stay active even when the skies don’t cooperate.

Do Yoga

Another great fitness idea is to do yoga from the comfort of home! This restorative practice is all about achieving balance and mindfulness, and that can be done just about anywhere — even your living room.

Get Crafty

From poetry to painting, there’s no shortage of ways to embrace your creative side on a rainy afternoon.

Reach Out To A Loved One

Whether it’s a video chat or special just-because letter, the slow pace of a rainy day provides the ideal time to reach out to a friend or family member who you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Complete A Puzzle

Puzzles are a fun but time-consuming pastime — which means they’re great for a rainy day when you don’t have any specific plans to jet off to.

Declutter In A Fun Way

Organizing your closet may not sound like a fun rainy day activity — but put on some fun, nostalgic music and watch your closet finds come to life and remind you of meaningful memories!


If you’ve been meaning to rework your space, a rainy day can be a great time to explore new styles and read design magazines for inspiration.

Have A DIY Spa Session

Treat yourself to a relaxing pamper session, whether that means a cooling cucumber eye treatment or listening to your favorite relaxing spa music. The options are endless!

Plan Your Next Adventure

A rainy day can also be a great opportunity to look ahead and spend some time planning your next adventure — whether it’s a family reunion or local beach staycation.

If you’re a sun lover, you might not think rainy days are for you — but we hope today’s list helps you reconsider! As you can see, there are countless ways to spend a rainy day that will help you feel recharged and refreshed for when the sun comes out again.

Get To Know The Big Benefits Of A Library At Westminster Shores

When you call Westminster Shores’ St. Petersburg life plan community “home,” you have access to some of the world’s most beautiful bayfront vistas at your fingertips — from our perch on Tampa Bay, to the white-sand beaches that stretch in either direction just a brief drive from your doorstep. And nothing says “Sunshine State” quite like a dip in the pool or walk outside in the balmy weather! However, even with all that natural splendor, sometimes it’s nice to embrace your inner bookworm and hang out in the Westminster Shores library!

That’s right — we have a library and computer center right on site, so you never have to venture far from home to learn something new, get connected with loved ones, or simply get lost in a good book. Just read on as we share a few of our favorite perks of having a library in our community.

A Center Of Community

When you were growing up, the library might have been associated with hushed study sessions and a “no talking” rule. And, sure, being considerate of others is important in a library — but there’s no reason this place of learning can’t also be a center of community. Here at Westminster Shores, we love to see the way our residents connect over their shared love of a good book or special project. Humans have been bonding over literature for about as long as the written word has been around, and we’re proud to be part of that long-running tradition in our own small way!

Learn Something New

Lifelong learning is one of the key pillars of Westminster Shores’ My W Life wellness program, so it’s a pursuit we take very seriously here! The library and computer center is a great place to study for classes you’re taking through our partnership with Eckerd College and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Even if you’re not enrolled in a specific class, of course, you can still use the library to discover something new! A recent study featured in Scientific American found that older adults who took up new skills in an “encouraging learning environment” had improved cognitive scores that continued (and, in fact, improved!) even after the program ended — suggesting that there are many benefits to reap from the simple act of learning.

Reconnect With A Long-Lost Passion

In addition to learning something new, Westminster Shores’ library and computer also provides the perfect setting to reconnect with a passion from your school days, from science to history to great works of literature.

Accessible Fun

One of our favorite things about the Westminster Shores library and computer center is that it’s right on site! You chose this community for many reasons, but its comfort and convenience are especially attractive — so it’s important to us that our residents feel they can experience a rich, full life without ever having to venture too far from their very own front door. Because of its on-site location, the library and computer center can be one of many fun activities you experience throughout the day — fit perfectly between a leisurely walk and delicious resort-style meal with friends, for example.

Support During Transitional Times

Moving into a new community is exciting, but it’s also a time of transition. Fortunately, if you’re new to Westminster Shores, spending some time at our myriad amenities and community gathering spaces — such as the library — can help you get acquainted with your new surroundings in a meaningful way. That’s something to feel good about!

If you haven’t been to the Westminster Shores library and computer center, be sure to swing by! There’s always something new to learn about — and don’t worry, the gorgeous Sunshine State weather isn’t going anywhere.

How To Set Up A Fitness Routine While Independent Living In St. Petersburg, FL

Fitness is an important part of life for people of all ages — and it’s an especially powerful tool as we grow, and want to stay healthy and limber for years to come! At Westminster Shores’ independent living facility in St. Petersburg, FL, there are endless opportunities for being active — whether you prefer the comfort and reliability of a fitness center, or the adventure of a kayak or canoe session on the Gulf of Mexico. We also boast a heated outdoor swimming pool, dog park, and bocce and pickleball courts for whatever fitness fun you might have in mind!

But of course, that’s the thing: What do you have in mind? With so many options, you may be wondering how to best craft a fitness routine that works for you and your unique needs and preferences. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Just read for a handy guide on how to get started with an active regimen that brings serious mind-and-body benefits.

Consult With A Professional

A good first step in establishing any fitness routine is consulting with a professional to assess your next steps! There are many exercises that are accessible to wide groups of people (such as swimming), but it can still be helpful to go into a new workout with your doctor or expert’s guidance.

After all, physical fitness is one of the eight dimensions of our My W Life wellness program here at Westminster Shores — and our fitness classes encourage participants to achieve their maximum level of fitness while seeking medical assistance and insights whenever necessary!

What’s Your Personality?

Not sure where to start? Think back to when you were a little kid: What was your favorite way to spend recess, or free time at school? This can be a handy benchmark to help you find a fitness path that’s true to your unique preferences. For example, are you someone who always loved getting dirty at recess by exploring new corners of the playground — and maybe examining local wildlife like birds and butterflies in the process? It sounds like you might benefit from a nature-based fitness activity, like kayaking or birding.

Alternatively, if you’re someone who always enjoyed uniform playground games like jumping rope, you probably don’t mind a more methodical approach to fitness — like, say, working out in Westminster Shores’ fitness center.

Now, the point isn’t to pick one activity, per se — rather, this thought exercise should help you embark upon a new path and add fun fitness elements from there! In fact, mixing up your routine with different types of activities — like strength, cardio, or cross-training, for example — is a great way to prevent yourself from getting into a workout rut with a specific routine.

Back To Basics

With all that being said, fitness doesn’t have to be complicated. Tried-and-true exercises — whether they be leisurely laps around the pool, or a stroll about the community — are classics for a reason!

We hope that today’s guide gives you all the tools and confidence you need to get started on your new fitness routine. And of course, be sure to let us know if we can help with any questions you might have along the way. That’s what life at Westminster Shores is all about!

Fun Ways To Settle In At Your Life Plan Community In St. Petersburg, FL

If you’ve been eyeing a move to Westminster Shores’ life plan community in St. Petersburg, FL, we can’t wait to meet you! We serve our residents’ assisted and independent living needs every day — from our wellness program, My W Life, to fun fitness opportunities and a beautiful grounds to explore and immerse yourself in the Gulf Coast lifestyle.

There’s a lot to love about life at Westminster Shores. And as is the case any time you move somewhere new, you might be wondering about ways to transition into our eye-catching community and maximize your experience here! We’ve been there — and we’ve got you covered. Just read on as we share a few helpful ways to settle in and feel “at home” in no time.

Surround Yourself With Smiles

Now is a great time to break out the family photos and mementos from loved ones — sweet surroundings for your new digs! However, these don’t all have to be traditional, framed portraits. In today’s tech-loving age, you can turn classic photos into anything from cozy blankets and pillows, to coasters and keepsake mugs.

Get Involved With The Community

The best way to get to know your new community is to immerse yourself in it! Instead of observing from afar, considering joining local events, book clubs, volunteer activities, and other opportunities to connect with new friends. The great thing about calling Westminster Shores “home” is that you already have something major in common with your new neighbors: You’re all passionate about crafting an active, community-oriented lifestyle at the heart of Florida’s Gulf Coast paradise!

Enjoy A Wholesome Meal

There’s no better way to say “welcome” than a hearty meal — so why not stop by Westminster Shores’ restaurant-style dining venue from a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner and accompanying bay views? This isn’t just a sweet way to feel at home in your new neighborhood — after all, “breaking bread” is a time-honored tradition for a reason — but it also serves a practical purpose, too. Why scramble to organize your kitchen utensils and pantry ingredients upon moving in when you could simply leave the cooking to us?

Of course, when you’re a bit more settled in, you might find it rewarding to host a housewarming get-together with loved ones — or new friends you meet here at Westminster Shores!

Ask Away

Moving to a brand-new place comes with lots of questions — and we’re happy to help with it all! This next stage is all about enriching your life with fun, fitness, and activities that make you feel most like “you,” so be sure to check in about maximizing your My W Life wellness program, how to get involved in local events, our recommendations for St. Petersburg attractions, and whatever else might come to mind.

Fill Your Calendar

Westminster Shores’ maintenance-free living means you never need to spend time on yard work or other weekend to-do tasks — so you’re free to fill your calendar with, well, fun! Allotting dedicating time blocks to feel-good activities like afternoon swims, fitness classes, community walks, and more can help you be more intentional and get your Westminster Shores experience started on a thrilling note.

By following these tips, your move can set the tone for a fun, rewarding experience every day at Westminster Shores! We hope that today’s guide helps you at every stage of the process — whether you’re perusing options for assisted living in St. Petersburg, or are already moved in and simply want some fun ways to mix up your routine.

Embark Upon An Educational Spring Break While Independent Living In St. Petersburg, Florida

When we were kids, spring break typically meant a welcome reprieve from schoolbooks and studies. And, yes, that was always fun! But as we grow up, we tend to fall back in love with learning — and at our destination for independent living in St. Petersburg, Florida, there are plenty of ways to do embrace that passion.

This season, why not think about taking a “reverse” spring break — that is, dedicate some time specifically to studying, learning, or picking up a new interest or hobby? Keep reading to see some of our favorite ways to enjoy an educational staycation at Westminster Shores.

Take A Class

One of the most obvious ways to prioritize learning in your life is with a college course! At Westminster Shores, our partnership with Eckerd College and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute gives your residents access to unparalleled educational opportunities close to home. Just a few of the offerings residents have enjoyed include History by Hollywood, Current Issues in Constitutional Law, The Transformation of Our St. Petersburg Community, and Radio Astronomy.

As you can see, there’s a lot to choose from — so whether your interest is arts, STEM, or local history, there’s something for every kind of learner.

Hang Out At The Westminster Shores Library & Computer Center

Even if you’re not studying up for a specific course, being in an educational environment can help get you into the learning mindset. That’s the idea behind Westminster Shore’s library and computer center, an on-site destination where you can spend leisurely time reading up on, well, just about anything you can imagine!

Take Yourself On A Tour Of The Community

Just like guided walking tours help you get to know museums and new cities, you can take the same approach with your daily stroll at Westminster Shores! Whether you turn your attention toward our gorgeous shorebirds, local history, or plant-lined walking paths, there’s always something new to discover wherever you may roam. And our staff is always more than happy to help give you fun tidbits and did-you-know facts about this community we call “home.” Plus, the very act of getting out and exploring encourages you to be curious — an essential pillar of the lifelong learning process.

Explore The City’s Offerings, Too

Interested in exploring the city beyond Westminster Shores? There’s a lot to explore while out and about in the greater St. Petersburg community, too! For example, the local parks and recreation department has a handy online tool for finding classes related to everything from painting to pottery and beyond. There’s also a host of educational day trips you can embark upon, too! The bottom line? Educational opportunities — even the ones that are disguised as, well, pure fun — abound in and around Westminster Shores and the greater St. Petersburg community. And they’re waiting for you!

There’s no shortage of fun, engaging ways to expand your educational horizons at Westminster Shores — this spring “break” and all year long! We hope that today’s guide helps connect you to a learning opportunity you truly love.

Embrace Your Love Of Music At Your Life Plan Community In St Petersburg Fl

We all have a soundtrack to our lives — the music that shapes our internal monologues, memories, and the very way we see the world. The beautiful thing about music is that it’s such a personal experience, so no two “soundtracks” sound the same. Perhaps that’s why the National Institute on Aging recently shared a report about the potential power of music to promote healthy aging?

Of course, you don’t need scientific data to tell you that music has a powerful impact on the mind and body! Just read on as we share some of the best ways to embrace your love of music at your premiere life plan community in St. Petersburg, FL, Westminster Shores.

Practice Your Instrument

Maybe you played an instrument as a kid, or always wanted to but never knew where to start. Well, this is the place to start! From the comfort of your own Westminster Shores apartment or villa, you can enjoy some quality time practicing your piano or violin, for example. Modern technology makes this even easier, since you can pick up an electric keyboard that takes up less space and lets you set the volume to your preferences.

Playing an instrument isn’t just fun, after all: According to a study from the University of South Florida, making music as a senior can reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and provide a host of other benefits as well.

Start A Band

The same study noted that the benefits of music participation only increase when there are more people involved, so why not start a band with your friends, family members, or neighbors? OK, even if it isn’t a proper “band,” you can still have impromptu jam sessions where you get together and play your respective instruments just for fun — and serious mental perks.

Check Out A Local Performance

Westminster Shores is located at the heart of Florida’s thriving Gulf Coast arts and culture scene, so there’s always a fun live performance to check out.

Make A Playlist Of Classic Favorites…

Modern technology makes it easier than ever to revisit classic tunes. You can even make playlists with family and friends, so your loved ones can share music they care about and vice versa!

… Or Discover Something New

At the same time, there’s a lot of modern music to discover! You can make it a regular practice to purchase new CDs or listen to a new album each week, so you’re constantly in the process of discovery.

Engage In Mindful Listening

According to the National Institute on Aging, one 8-week mindful listening program for older adults led to improved connectivity between key parts of the brain — suggesting that there’s a powerful link between music and the mind. So why not dedicate some time each week to sitting down and really focusing on a piece of music — perhaps even journaling your thoughts and observances about the melody, lyrics, instrumentation, and more? You might just find that it has a lasting mental impact.

As you can see, something as simple as a song can have positive, reverberating effects on your entire life — so lean into the power of music here at Westminster Shores! We can’t wait to see where the rhythm takes you.

Looking for Holiday Gifts for Loved Ones? Make Sure to Hit These Saint Petersburg Hotspots

One of the best parts about the holiday season is sharing gifts with loved ones. After all, ‘tis the season for giving and spending time together.

Whether you’re celebrating the holidays in independent living in St. Petersburg, Florida, or at your family home, you need a good place to shop. Check out these local hotspots.

The Merchant

The Merchant is a great place to find unique gifts from local artists. The store sells art, gifts, and handmade goods from more than 80 local craftspeople, makers, and artisans. It even publishes a holiday gift guide that can give you some inspiration if you don’t know where to start.

The Merchant also changes out their inventory frequently, which means you can keep shopping here year after year. Not sure what to get? Purchase an e-gift card and let your loved ones pick out their own special treasure.

Sunken Gardens

Nowadays, experiences are often more sought-after than physical objects. If you have a loved one looking for an exciting experience, consider taking them on an adventure at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg.

Sunken Gardens is a 100-year-old historic attraction home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the state. Visitors can walk through a collection of more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers amidst breathtaking gardens, waterfalls, and wildlife. The site is situated on six acres and features a golf course and other activities. 

And since most of the garden’s paths are ADA-accessible, this wonderful gift can be enjoyed by all ages and levels of ability.

Tyrone Square

Tyrone Square is a one-stop shop for your holiday gifting needs — literally. The mall includes dozens of stores, from small local merchants to big-name department stores. Whether you’re looking for fine jewelry, food, or trendy clothing, you’ll find it at Tyrone Square.

The mall also publishes a mega-gift guide that includes ideas for gifts and deals for various stores. With so much available, you can even get a gift for yourself!

Holiday Shopping from Assisted Living Facilities in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Even those in assisted living facilities in Saint Petersburg, Florida, have plenty of options for holiday shopping. Many of the businesses highlighted here offer local delivery or shipping, allowing you to shop from the comfort of your community. 

Whether you’re in assisted living or at home with the family, you can make sure all of your loved ones get the perfect gifts this season.

Skilled Nursing at Westminster Shores: Ensuring Your Loved Ones Get the Care They Deserve

If you’re like us, you know that finding just the right spot for a loved one in their golden years isn’t always a walk in the park. That’s where Westminster Shores comes in. Nestled in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida, we’ve got everything from top-notch medical care to stunning waterfront views. Let’s dive in and explore what skilled nursing at Westminster Shores means for you and your family.

Skilled Nursing: What’s It All About?

So, what’s this “skilled nursing” we’re talking about? It’s more than just medical care. Think of it as a special friend ready to lend a hand whenever it’s needed, whether that’s with daily tasks or more serious medical conditions. Our skilled nursing staff is a group of superheroes in disguise, trained and ready to make life easier. Whether your loved one needs a little extra assistance with daily routines or specialized medical attention, we’re here to help, making every day brighter and more comfortable. It’s like having a team of friendly, professional caregivers right by your side, day in and day out.

A Seamless Transition

Life’s full of twists and turns, isn’t it? At Westminster Shores, we’ve made it our mission to help folks navigate those bends with grace. We’re a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), which means you or your loved ones can glide smoothly from independent living to skilled nursing without skipping a beat. No need to pack up or say goodbye to friends; it’s all about making sure you feel right at home. With us, it’s like having different chapters of life’s journey all in one friendly neighborhood, so you can keep enjoying life’s adventures without a hitch.

Exceptional Amenities and Comforts

Who says that skilled nursing has to be dull? Not us! Imagine spacious rooms, exciting activities, and meals that’ll make you say “yum.” Westminster Shores is here to make sure that skilled nursing feels like a pleasant stay at a cozy resort. And did I mention the waterfront views? You can take a stroll by the water or enjoy the sunset from your room. Our activities are geared towards keeping everyone engaged and entertained, from art classes to movie nights. It’s like living in a vacation spot where the staff knows you personally and caters to your every whim. Now, that’s the way to live!

Family Involvement and Support

Family is the heart of everything, right? We think so too! We love seeing families get involved and stay connected. Pop in anytime, join us for a meal, or simply catch up with your loved ones. At Westminster Shores, you’re not just a visitor – you’re part of the family. Whether it’s celebrating a birthday together or just sharing a simple Sunday brunch, your presence is always cherished. After all, it’s about creating memories and bonds that last. So, bring the grandkids, tell your stories, and let’s make every visit a special occasion.

Safety and Compliance

Now, we all want to be sure that everything’s up to snuff, especially when it comes to safety. You can rest easy knowing that we’ve dotted our i’s and crossed our t’s. From cleanliness to emergency readiness, we’ve got everything handled. You focus on living the good life, and we’ll take care of the rest. And hey, if you ever want to chat about our protocols or take a look at how we run things, we’re all ears. Our doors are always open, and transparency is our motto. We want you to feel as comfortable with us as you do in your favorite recliner, knowing that we’ve got your back every step of the way.

So, there you have it! Finding the right care option doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Westminster Shores is all about top-quality care, smooth transitions, a splash of fun, family connections, and peace of mind. It’s like finding a treasure trove of joy, care, and comfort all wrapped into one beautiful waterfront community. If this sounds like just what you’re looking for, why not check us out at Westminster Shores? We’d love to meet you and show you around the place. Grab a coffee with us, share your stories, and let’s see how we can make life’s next chapter a thrilling adventure for you or your loved ones. See you at the shore!

‘God put us here for a reason’: Serving the residents during Hurricane Idalia is part of our Mission

When a hurricane or tropical storm threatens Florida, like Hurricane Idalia this week, team members at Westminster Communities of Florida have a top priority: Ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents we serve. Our Mission is to serve from the heart and inspire older adults to enjoy happy, healthy and purposeful lives.

What impact has Hurricane Idalia had? Some of our dedicated team members are living out our Mission, today, by evacuating with residents or sheltering at their communities through the storm. Regardless of their normal jobs, their principal responsibility right now is to provide for the residents’ needs.

Today we caught up with five of these team members to learn about their experiences, why they chose to stay at their community or evacuate with residents, and what is inspiring them to stay hard at work during a storm.

Jackie Walker Ellison, Cook, Westminster Shores, temporarily at Westminster Winter Park

In St. Petersburg, Westminster Shores was forced to relocate residents out of the path of the storm. Jackie Walker Ellison always knew she would be with the residents, from the moment she first heard. “The residents said to me, ‘Jackie, are you coming with us? I know we’ll be OK if you come with us.’ So I had no doubt,” Ellison said. “I knew for sure I would be evacuating, I called my husband and my mother and I told them, ‘I’m going with my residents, I’ll see you whenever.’ ”

The group of 24 residents was accompanied by Ellison to Westminster Winter Park, where they’re enjoying the hospitality of the residents and team members there. The Westminster Shores team is occupied with providing for the needs of the residents during Hurricane Idalia. “I think it brings everyone together as a team,” she said.

Ellison has worked at Westminster Shores for 29 years, and “I love my residents. I wouldn’t have been here so long if I didn’t love this place and my residents. God put us here for a reason,” she said. “Right now, the residents are happy, we’ve been watching movies and playing games, and everything is going smoothly.”

Michele McCann, Assisted Living Activities Coordinator, Westminster Palms, sheltering in place

“I choose to be with the residents during the most emotional time, like a hurricane, because that’s my quality as a caregiver,” said Michele McCann, Assisted Living Activities Coordinator at Westminster Palms. “Challenging times like this bring out the best in people, and I get to see it and share it.”

McCann was sheltering in place at the community in St. Petersburg, along with residents from Westminster Palms and residents from Westminster Point Pleasant in Bradenton. She has lived in Florida for more than 7 years, and has experienced three hurricanes in St. Petersburg so far. McCann said she feels that the way the team bonds, whether through an evacuation or sheltering in place, makes the team stronger. “We are going to come out better on the other side of this! We always do. We are so lucky that we are here, in our home, together, instead of relocating like so many had to. I have come to feel like this is my home, too.”

Carlos Santiago, Maintenance Engineer, Westminster Point Pleasant and Tiffany Mestre, Administrative Assistant, Community Support Services, temporarily at Legacy Pointe at UCF

A group of residents from Westminster Point Pleasant were also with Maintenance Engineer Carlos Santiago and Tiffany Mestre, an administrative assistant at our Community Support Services office in Orlando. The residents had evacuated from Bradenton due to the risk of storm surge and flooding, and were enjoying the hospitality of Legacy Pointe at UCF.

Santiago, the maintenance engineer, said that he had been through the worst in 2017 when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. “We were there with no power for 60 days, and we weren’t able to do anything,” he said. By comparison, he felt that everything was under control and being well maintained for the residents through both of his hurricane experiences as a Westminster team member.

“This job is personal for me,” Santiago said. “The residents are my family and I want to make sure that they are well taken care of.” In 2022, Santiago was recognized as Westminster Point Pleasant’s Team Member of the Year for his dedicated service to the residents. He said it was his honor to serve the residents.

Evacuating with the residents is just another extension of his commitment to the community, Santiago said. “This is my second time evacuating with the residents, and it doesn’t matter how many more. I will always volunteer to be there for them. We are here for each other and for the residents.”

Countless storms had also affected Mestre, a Florida native. But she had never had an experience like today’s. “It’s wonderful to help the residents and hear about their interests and stories. This is a great way to see how the residents live,” Mestre said. “I am getting to know what a day in the life of a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and an ADON (Assistant Director of Nursing) are like. It has opened my eyes. Bless their souls for doing all of this.”

The effects of the storm had been mild in Orlando, but Mestre said that nevertheless, she and the residents felt more secure and had been brought closer together by the experience – and the residents were thankful for the security. “This has really brought our Mission to life for me in a way I had not experienced it,” said Mestre.

For Santiago, part of living in a hurricane zone meant more practice – and that he had found that the team is getting stronger through the experience. “The more we do this together, the more we become comfortable with each other, and the better organized we become. When you send a group of people together for one purpose and for our Mission, we get the opportunity to grow together and learn from each other,” said Santiago.

Beth Szabo, Services Coordinator, Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, sheltering in place

Another part of the Westminster Mission is to serve residents with low to moderate incomes, in our affordable Rental Retirement Communities. Beth Szabo, services coordinator at Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, was sheltering in place at the community to ensure that the residents were well cared for throughout the potential effects of the storm in Jacksonville.

“I’ve lived in Jacksonville since 1976, so I have lost count of how many hurricanes I’ve been through now. In 2004 they were coming so frequently we all said, ‘I’m over it, just let it go,’ ” said Szabo. “We have had to evacuate a few times over the years, like for Hurricane Matthew in 2016. But we did not have to this time.”

For Szabo, serving during a hurricane is a natural extension of her choice to work at the community, because the residents are like her extended family. “I have a heart for seniors, and the residents here mean a lot to me,” she said. “If something happens then I want to be here to help them.”

Szabo added that she feels safer riding out a storm at Riverside Presbyterian Apartments than at home. “Here at the community, I know that we have a great team looking out for everyone. We’re very small but we support each other.”

A facet of our Mission

While a hurricane is unexpected, serving the residents and supporting their fellow team members wherever we are and however we can is just another facet of the Mission of Westminster Communities of Florida: We serve from the heart and inspire older adults to enjoy happy, healthy and purposeful lives.

Be sure to learn all about how you can make a Westminster community your home to live or to work – find a community near you or follow us on Facebook and on LinkedIn!

Simple Tips to Stay in Shape After Retirement

Staying active is crucial at any age in life, but it’s especially important for seniors to make an effort to stay in shape as they get older. Older adults are at higher risk of many ailments and physical issues. Remaining active can help minimize these risks and enable them to live long, healthy lives. 

Staying in shape doesn’t have to demand a lot of time or effort. Here are some simple ways to stay in shape after retirement, whether you’re living on your own or taking advantage of assisted living in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Walk Every Day

Many people equate fitness with intense workout classes or hours spent pumping iron in the gym. But one of the most effective ways for seniors to stay in shape is simply walking. Going for a walk every day offers endless health and wellness benefits, including:

  • Improved circulation
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved muscle strength and coordination
  • Disease prevention

In addition to these perks, walking has mental health benefits like boosting mood and enhancing clarity of thought. Seniors who walk daily are more likely to live longer and stay capable.

Find an Active Hobby

Retirement is the ideal time for seniors to explore new interests, and finding a hobby that promotes physical activity is like killing two health-related birds with one stone. 

Examples of active hobbies include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Golfing
  • Yoga or tai chi
  • Volunteering for public service

Active hobbies make exercise more fun, and seniors are more likely to stick with pastimes they actually enjoy.

Make Exercise Social

Getting your daily exercise in doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. There are plenty of ways for seniors to make exercise social, from participating in clubs to signing up for group exercise classes to simply joining a friend for a rousing game of pickleball.

Adding a social element to exercise increases its benefits even more, as it allows seniors to get the social interaction they need.

Staying in Shape in Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Seniors have many excellent options when it comes to staying in shape in assisted or independent living in St. Petersburg, Florida.  No matter how fit, strong, or mobile you are, there are always opportunities to stay active and in shape. With some creative thinking and a little effort, older adults can stay active — and therefore healthy — through retirement and well into their later years.

My W Life
my w life
Options for a healthier
and happier you!
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Health Choices
You’ll be happy knowing a continuum of care is there if you need it.
Floor Plans
Find the fit for your lifestyle.
Find the fit for
your lifestyle.
To infuse your personal style
is to be happy by design.
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Contact Information

(727) 273-7125