Three years ago, Josephine Olson and her husband Roger were looking forward to celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. After 69 years of marriage, Roger’s heart gave out and Josephine found herself alone in the northern California home she once shared with her husband and four children, who now lived scattered across the country with their own children and grandchildren. 

When Josephine, who goes by “Jo,” started having health issues, she decided she needed to move closer to her family. While visiting her daughter for Christmas in Utah, Jo asked her family to tour retirement homes with her. She knew she was home when she visited Sagewood at Daybreak.

“Sagewood happened to be the first place we visited,” says Jo. “I went to three other places and I came right back to Sagewood. It’s just so wonderful.”

Jo says she’s particularly fond of her apartment, especially the mountain view that allows her to watch storms move in. She also loves the fact that Sagewood makes it possible for her to stay connected to her family in ways that might not be an option elsewhere.

“They have a family room and it’s really nice because you can sign up to use it, so I can entertain my family when they come from out of state,” she says. “Right outside the family room, there’s a big game room with a pool table, chess, checkers, board games, and a Nintendo Wii hooked up to the television.”

Ms. Olson with her grandson and Wade Vest, Executive Director of Sagewood at Daybreak. | Courtesy of Sagewood at Daybreak

Last summer, when her grandson and his friends came from out of state to visit, Jo reserved the family room and ordered delivery pizza. After dinner the group headed to the game room where they wound up having so much fun, they were eventually asked to keep the volume down.

“We were laughing and just having a good time,” she says with a chuckle. “It was great!”

Jo values the independence that comes with being able to host her family for parties. She says her family loves it at Sagewood and they spend a lot of time there because there is always something happening, and families are always welcome to participate.

She says she is looking forward to the upcoming holidays with her daughter’s family, where they have carried on many of Jo and Roger’s holiday traditions, but also added many of their own. Among other things, the family plays chimes and sings carols, they read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and they do a gift exchange.

Although Jo spends Christmas at her daughter’s home, she is grateful to know that, even if she stayed at Sagewood, there would be something to look forward to.

“When there are holidays, if you don’t go see your family, Sagewood always provides something special,” says Jo. “So people don’t feel alone because there’s something going on.”

Have you ever considered what life is like at a senior living community? Stop by Sagewood at Daybreak and you can meet residents like Josephine Olson, and her family, to learn more about the community.

Sagewood is hosting an Open House and Pie Pick-up on Tuesday, November 26. Members of the community are welcome to stop by to see Sagewood and pick up a pie before Thanksgiving. Call (801) 938-9389 to learn more.