Vibrante's shared living concept draws global attention

When I first conceived of Vibrante Living, I never anticipated that it would attract interest from around the globe! The concept of providing a shared residence for four vibrant adult women aged 55+ is resonating with a lot of people. I am proud to be the first to be making it a reality.

Baby boomers have a broader view of the types of services and options they want as they enter the last 30 years of their lives. That’s why some corporations are now designing massive adult living complexes that offer travel services, healthier meals and other amenities that suit a more active lifestyle.

But you and I know that not everyone will thrive while living in a big complex. You can be lonely surrounded by people. The quality of your relationships matters.

As an alternative shared living environment, Vibrante Living will enable women to build friendships naturally. And my personal concierge service, similar to that offered at high-end hotels, will help ensure these women have everything they need to continue living big, abundant lives.

I’m so appreciative of everyone who is sharing my posts and sending me encouraging responses. It takes a village to bring a new concept to life. I’m receiving inquiries from women currently living as far away as the west coast. I’ve also had positive comments from followers in England and The Netherlands. I’m beyond excited.

Above all else, I want to prove that this idea has merit and that it is a viable solution for active baby boomers who don’t want to return to an empty house day after day.

We all need ongoing companionship if we are to remain healthy and involved in life. Some studies show that the impact of isolation and loneliness on our health may be equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Vibrante Living is a labor of love. America needs this concept. I look forward to sharing more updates with you very soon. 

FOX 9 reporter explores new living concept for older adult women

FOX 9 was so intrigued by the Vibrante Living concept that producers sent one of my favorite reporters, M.A. Rosko, to tour our beautifully remodeled Lake Nokomis home. Thanks to Rosko's skilled interview, the story turned out so great, they aired it four times!

Living options for active, independent women aren’t plentiful, but as Vibrante’s founder, I’m working to change that. And if it reminds you of the popular television show “The Golden Girls,” well, that’s no coincidence. They were in mind when the concept was created.

Rosko calls my concept, “Golden Girls living for modern times.” When I was asked about similarities, I told her, “Well, they had fun. They were up at midnight eating cheesecake and drinking coffee. They cared for each other, they loved each other. They ended up being really great friends.”

It was a thrill to give Rosko and her camera person a tour of the home. She seemed impressed by the shared living spaces. She also commented on the wonderful views of Lake Nokomis from each of the private suites. These suites are currently blank slates, waiting for the personal touches of the women who move into them. When women do move in, I expect them to bring their big, full lives. It’s important for us as we age to keep our lives active and interesting. I think that’s easier to do with a small community of like-minded, progressive women.

I’m also thankful to Rosko for telling viewers that Vibrante also features amenities that aren’t found in the average home, including concierge service. If you’re tired and have had a long week, I can arrange to have food brought in or even bring a chef into the house. If you are looking for activities, I can arrange tickets to the ballet, opera or theater; yoga classes; book clubs; educational forums and more. It’s all about keeping your world big.

As the U.S. population ages, more alternative living options for seniors who don’t want to live alone will be needed.  Ten thousand people in the United States turn 65 every day, and will for the next 19 years. This boutique living concept will grow more common as the population gets older.

If you are interested in seeing Vibrante for yourself, call me at 612-816-6940. I would be more than happy to give you a tour and share my vision for women who are vibrant and engaged in life.


Five ways for seniors to find joy this holiday season

The holidays can be a lonely time for many people, especially if you don’t have family nearby. One of Vibrante’s goals is to keep our members connected to the community, which is especially important at holiday time. While families and friends may be spread across the country, there are still ways to find joy this time of year. Here’s a list to get you started.

  • Take extra care of yourself. This becomes especially important when stress levels tend to rise. If you’re not sure where to start, consider taking a meditation class, which can teach you how to relax both physically and emotionally. Your activity level doesn’t matter, anyone can participate.
  • Assess your living situation. It may seem like a big step, but if you are feeling isolated during the holiday season, maybe it’s time to consider a new living arrangement. Shared living options, such as Vibrante, may be your best alternative to living alone. Vibrante provides fellowship that evolves from living with carefully chosen, like-minded people.
  • Organize outings with friends. Others may be feeling a little alone at the holidays, too. Gather friends and neighbors for a fun excursion. The Minnesota Orchestra offers senior ticket deals for groups. Their Sunday matinee series and Thursday morning coffee concerts offer senior groups of 10 or more $29 tickets for a variety of shows. Their facilities are fully accessible with amenities including bus parking, accessible seating and assistive listening devices.
  • Lift your mood by helping others. Lots of charities are desperate for volunteers during the holiday season. Give some time to others by volunteering at a local food bank or neighborhood community center. It’s a great way to meet new people and gain perspective on your own blessings.
  • Make some new traditions. If you are feeling the absence of family, fun and friendship, realize it is what it is and be kind to yourself. Read a funny book, enjoy a crossword puzzle or do a craft. Call family and friends who are far away. Pamper yourself with a trip to the salon or buy yourself a little gift that will bring you joy.

It can be hard to get through the holidays when you are feeling lonely, but taking time for yourself and giving to others can really help.

Try these resources for other ideas on making the holidays bright.

Feature article confirms Vibrante has a unique story worth telling!

What a great welcome to the neighborhood! Thank you to the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger and reporter Margie O’Loughlin for this full-page feature article on Vibrante. As I told O’Loughlin, “Vibrante is much bigger than me; it’s about changing the narrative of how we age.” It’s nice to have the local media embrace our unique senior living concept. I hope to show you what we’re all about during our upcoming open house.

Boomers do it our own way

Vibrante is about staying engaged with life as we age. Baby boomers have always changed the world around us, and there’s no reason to stop trailblazing now! I told O’Loughlin, “Since the 1960s, we’ve changed the way everything works in our country. We’re not going to go out quietly.”

More than just a place to live

The article does an excellent job of describing both the newly renovated home and the unique services Vibrante provides. As I said in the article, “My vision is simply to create a space that can hold four spicy, older, independent women—one that offers them the right balance of shared space and privacy so that they can continue to live happy, full, and satisfying lives.”

In the sidebar, I describe the six things that women should consider to bring them happiness and fulfillment as they age.

Join us during our open house

If the idea of Vibrante intrigues you, stop by our open house on Thursday, December 7 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The house is located at 5455 Woodlawn Boulevard in Minneapolis. Light appetizers will be served. Those who bring a nonperishable food item, benefitting those in need during the holidays, will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Target gift card. I would be more than happy to show you around.

Business Journal readers learn about new boomer living arrangement

I was pleased to talk about Vibrante Living with Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reporter Nick Williams. It’s gratifying that reporters think enough about this concept to want to share the Vibrante story with their readers. Nick compared Vibrante Living to the award-winning television show Golden Girls. That’s a nice compliment, but believe me, this is a new concept in shared senior living.

Young adults have enjoyed the shared living concept for a long time. With boomers redefining both retirement and what housing for people 55-plus looks like, shared living is now a great idea for senior women. Nick described Vibrante tenants as, “active, single women who no longer want to live alone, looking to downsize and who don't want to live on a senior living campus that can have up to 100 units.” He got it exactly right.

As I told Nick, after working in senior services for the past six years, I’m convinced that active older women want more out of life than bingo and bus trips to the mall. Vibrante Living’s proximity to Lake Nokomis, dedicated walking and biking trails, swimming and sailing areas, and great restaurants make it easy for members to continue living interesting, varied lives.

Nick and I also discussed the cost to live at Vibrante, which varies according to the size of each of our four private suites. All rooms offer en suite bathrooms and the largest has a seating area and fireplace. Shared living areas include a sunroom, library, LR, DR, kitchen, and patio. I’m pleased to share our newly revised pricing structure beginning November 1. Call me 612-816-6940 to learn more – it may be more affordable than you think!

Vibrante Living has other amenities that you may not find in most senior living facilities, like our concierge service, which is included in the monthly membership fee. We can do anything from arranging for tickets to shows or sporting events, to booking travel plans or even arranging to bring in a chef for special dinners. We can also help you vet and connect with businesses to help you move in, or other services if you should need them as you age. We make staying active easy.

Take look at the Vibrante Living photos in the article’s slideshow. If you like what you see, call me at 612-816-6940 to set up a tour.

Harvard study shows community contributes to longer, healthier life

An 80-year-long Harvard study, published in 2017, found that the key to living a longer, healthier life may be having a sense of community as you age. The study confirms what I’ve observed in my own career as clinical social worker: Having close, happy relationships is a powerful influence on health and how well you flourish as you age. Those with the best relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80. Maintaining social connections that help you feel loved and worthwhile is a lot easier to accomplish on a smaller, community level. That’s why I created Vibrante Living.

Social interaction is important at all ages, and the Harvard study shows that it may be even more important as you age. Although the study was conducted only on men, and Vibrante is only for women, the findings are pretty universal. Isolation can be as debilitating to your health as drinking alcohol in excess or smoking. In a popular TED talk, psychiatrist and Harvard study director Robert Waldinger said, “Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies; they protect our brains.” To help protect our health as we age so that we may remain active, we should put ourselves in environments that encourage social interactions. 

Often older adults move into condos or apartments, but those can be isolating, especially if you don’t have children or your kids are spread across the United States. With room for four women, Vibrante strives to give members the private space they need plus shared living spaces that enable members to interact with each other. Vibrante offers the companionship of strong, smart, interesting women who want to live their purpose as they age. Members have opportunities to stay actively involved in volunteering, mentoring and other philanthropic activities.

As the Harvard researchers pointed out, maintaining healthy relationships is as important as taking care of your physical needs. Vibrante is more than just a place to live, it’s a place to flourish. This is an ideal setting for active, independent older women who simply don’t want to live alone any longer. 

If you are interested in learning more about Vibrante Living, give me a call at 612-816-6940 or fill out this simple form. I would be happy to set up a tour or meeting.

Five things to consider before selecting a shared living community

Shared living communities are a great place to live, grow, thrive and participate in community as we grow older. “As a clinical social worker, I know that women, especially, can thrive in a shared social setting,” comments Vibrante Living Founder Roxanne Cornell. “They may be alone because they are divorced, widowed or never married. If they are brought together with other like-minded, educated women who are still interested in learning and enjoying life, they can continue to live full, rich lives.” 

Here are five things to consider when evaluating shared senior living communities and tips for choosing the one best suited for your unique needs:

1. How do you prefer to spend your time? Community and independence are not mutually exclusive. Just like in your own home, privacy is as valuable as community. Consider: Do you want a private suite with your own bathroom? Is a quiet sitting area important to you? Would you enjoy having friendly conversations in a large kitchen and living area? 

2. Do you share a spirit and desire for collaboration and cooperative problem-solving?

Are you flexible and open to new people and ideas? “It’s a must have quality for living with others. If issues do come up, they need to be quickly resolved to everyone’s mutual benefit,” comments Cornell. If you consider yourself a doer and progressive thinker, a smaller, shared living environment with just two or three other residents may be your best choice.

3. What location would best suit your lifestyle and personality?

Location is important. What is within walking distance? What is a short drive away? If you prefer an urban environment with a neighborly feel, consider something in an established residential neighborhood. “I chose to remodel a large home across the street from Lake Nokomis, for example, because it gives Vibrante residents access to a serene setting plus an eclectic mix of nearby activities,” says Cornell.   Continue living life in your terms. If such activities as shopping, theatre and sporting events are important to you, then they should be part of your checklist.

4. Do you lead a healthy and active lifestyle?

Some larger shared living communities may offer games and organized tours. But if a sedentary lifestyle just isn’t you, a better option may be to look fora residence near dedicated walking and biking trails or with water activities such as swimming, kayaking, or boating. “You will also want to decide if you want someone determining your meal selections, as may be the case in some larger locations with hundreds of residents, or if you want to be responsible for your own healthy meals,” advises Cornell. 

5. Are you actively involved in volunteering, mentoring and other philanthropic activities?

Many of us find fulfillment in helping others. That passion to contribute doesn’t have to stop just because you’re getting older. Look for a residence that supports and encourages opportunities to stay involved in the community. “People want purpose,” confirms Cornell. “Staying involved with your community allows you to meet new people and feel that your activities have meaning.”

If you can see yourself living in a shared living community, come visit Vibrante Living.

Contact Roxanne at 612-816-6940 or fill out this simple form to set up a tour or meeting.

Top popular outings around Lake Nokomis, ideal for active older adults

Minneapolis has a high standard of living and the Lake Nokomis area perhaps has an even better standard than the rest of the city. Its blend of scenic beauty and popular outings makes this area an ideal setting for Vibrante Living.

The Lake Nokomis area is one of the gems of the beautiful, thriving city of Minneapolis. It offers year-round activities for residents of all ages, whether you are looking to participate in outdoor activities, relax or dine.

●      Stay fit by exploring the lake’s walking, biking and water sports. Named “Best Place to Get Away from it All Without Leaving Town” by City Pages, Lake Nokomis Park has two main beaches surrounded by a dedicated 2.7-mile pedestrian trail or a 2.78-mile bike trail. Both beaches have lifeguards on duty and are easily accessible from the trails. In addition to picnic spots and a concession stand, the main beach, just a four-minute drive from Vibrante, offers canoe, kayak, paddle board and pedal boat rentals.

●      Experience nature and discover nearby volunteer opportunities. Nokomis Naturescape Garden is within easy walking distance, about .7 miles from Vibrante. Its garden offers space to explore, relax and learn about nature, as well as ongoing volunteer opportunities. Featuring native grasses and wildflowers, the 4-acre garden is a certified Monarch Waystation and the site of the annual Minneapolis Monarch Festival.

●      Grab a table at some of the Twin Cities’ best places to eat. Neighborhood restaurants abound, featuring everything from burgers and beers, to international cuisine. The restaurants near Lake Nokomis tend to be laid-back and cozy, with no need to dress up. Coffee shops are plentiful, including neighborhood favorite, Mel-O-Glaze Bakery, known for its jumbo donuts! Voted one of the Top Ten restaurants in the area, Xavi offers a globally inspired menu, an eclectic wine menu and many local beers on tap. It’s the perfect place to meet a friend for an afternoon or evening out.

The Lake Nokomis neighborhood is a community that fits an active lifestyle, but still has a serene setting.

If you are interested in finding out more about what Vibrante Living has to offer, start the conversation now at 612-816-6940 or fill out this simple form.

Six ways independent senior living brings women happiness as they age

Every woman deserves to live a joyful, purpose-filled life as she ages. That means a caring community, opportunities to serve the greater good, and the ability to grow and thrive. Social interaction is also important. If your kids are spread across the U.S., you still need social connections to feel loved and worthwhile. That is a lot easier to accomplish on a smaller, community level than in a larger independent senior living environment

Here are six things that women should consider to find happiness and fulfillment as they age:  

1.     Feeling pampered now and then. Sometimes you want things but need help getting them done. Monthly Vibrante membership includes concierge services similar to those available at high-end hotels. Do you want tickets to a Guthrie performance? Need to make travel arrangements to visit your sister in Florida? Dinner reservations at an exclusive restaurant? Help is always available.

2.     A choice of interesting activities. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you suddenly lose interest in the things you’ve been passionate about. Our members have access to things other than bingo. If they want to register for a French cooking class, we’ll make that happen. We’ll even arrange for a private chef if they want to give a dinner party.

3.     A shared living community. Yes, there are activities in those larger senior communities with hundreds of units, but if you’re not as outgoing, it may be harder to get involved. Vibrante Living offers the companionship of strong, smart, interesting women who want to live their purpose as they age. Members also have alone time in a peaceful environment.

4.     An ideal setting: What brings you peace? Do you have easy access to the things that bring you joy? Every room in the house has a view of Lake Nokomis. Walking and bike paths, the library, restaurants and shopping are all nearby. With so much to do and see, every day can be an adventure. 

5.     Opportunities to contribute to the community. Contributing to the greater good gives life meaning. Our members will have opportunities to stay actively involved in volunteering, mentoring and other philanthropic activities. 

6.     Access to social worker services. As you age and may need services brought into the home, we’ll help you navigate the elder care maze. It’s a large system that can be very confusing. Thankfully we have lots of experience.

Vibrante Living as a gathering place designed for do-ers who live life on their terms, regardless of their age