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Take it From Our Residents
Get a better feeling of what life is like at The Oaks at Denville by reading some of our resident testimonials:
Meet Lillian Wagner
Lillian Wagner and Stephen Wagner fell in love and married when they were a young couple in their 20s. They enjoyed a rich life together, raising three beautiful children and traveling to 46 destinations within five continents before moving to The Oaks in 2010 from a nearby town. The next year, Stephen was diagnosed with brain tumors and received excellent care at the health center before passing away in late 2011. Since then, Lillian has made a wonderful life for herself here.
As COVID-19 took hold in March 2020 and the community had to restrict everyone’s movements, Lillian watched as the administration and staff sprang into action: “It’s a lockdown, yes, but I’m telling you, The Oaks has taken exceptionally good care of its residents and that starts at the top with Executive Director Ann Ricci Kenah.”
Remarking on the overall approach to the pandemic, Lillian said, “They’ve do so much for our benefit. The housekeeping staff keep this place clean and virus-free. The nurses and aides dedicate themselves to keeping us healthy. They all do such a wonderful job. My children don’t have to worry about my safety—they receive daily notifications and they know I’m okay.”
As for tending to the emotional state of the residents, Lillian said, “We’re fortunate to have Chaplain Kim Baumgartner to help guide us through the pandemic. She provides inspirational quotes every day for every religion and that gives us something to think about beyond being lonely or depressed. Regardless of their position, everyone on the staff has helped out tremendously. They’ve devoted themselves to us.”
The Resident Life and LivWell teams have adapted to the pandemic as well. “From the earliest days of the lockdown, they effortlessly kept our spirits up in numerous ways,” said Lillian. Residents have enjoyed games, bingo, virtual baking and exercise classes, and special treats like ice cream and mini Zen gardens. “They think of all kinds of ways to keep our lives interesting,” she said. “We have to wear our masks but we go outside for walks and enjoy outdoor concerts.”
Dining is another area where The Oaks shines. “Chef Joe Pane is exceptional and we’re lucky to have him. He and his team provide delicious, nourishing meals to us every day. I don’t know how they do it,” she admits.
When asked if she had any advice for people considering a move to a full-service senior living community, Lillian said, “You don’t know what tomorrow brings and if you delay until you think it’s the perfect time, it may be too late. I just love it here. All we have to do is pick up the phone and they’re right here to help. You can’t ask for better than that.”
Meet Simone O'Keefe
Simone O’Keefe is a long-time resident of The Oaks at Denville, having moved to the community with her husband, Robert, in 2004. The couple “hit the ground running,” getting involved in activities that interested them; among other things, Simone volunteered in the library and Robert joined the finance committee. When Robert passed away in 2009, Simone said, “I always had support from the community.”
In 2016, when the community became an affiliate of Springpoint, Simone was wrapping up her four-year term as president of the Resident Council. She noticed a sense of immediacy and completeness as Springpoint established their presence: “As a group, we were impressed by Springpoint’s care, concern, and program offerings. The transition went well and we retained our marvelous staff.” Fast-forward four years to March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in increased safety measures and restrictions throughout the community. Once again, Springpoint’s care and concern impressed Simone: “Springpoint’s response to all of this has been both immediate and complete from the start. Our safety has been and remains their main concern. They anticipate what’s ahead and what has to be done. They take excellent care of us. It’s amazing.”
Noting that everyone from the executive staff on down pitches in to help the community thrive during these difficult times, Simone said: “I’m sure a lot of staff members come to work feeling a bit apprehensive, but you wouldn’t know it. They are fantastically courteous and helpful.” She also appreciates that the in-house TV channel provides community news and health updates, prayer groups and bible study with Chaplain Kim Baumgartner, exercise classes, and various forms of entertainment.
Regarding meals, Simone is full of praise for Chef Joe Pane. “When all of this started and we found out we couldn’t eat in the dining room, Chef Joe developed a new system right away,” she said. “He set up weekly menus for residents to fill out, and every day, he and his team make the food, pack it up in paper bags, and deliver it to our apartments. It’s incredible; the guy is a miracle worker.”
Displaying her characteristically positive attitude, Simone said, “I’ve not had this much time to myself to get things done. I sleep more and I enjoy the quiet time without having to be somewhere or do something. I’m having a blast.”
Meet Richard Schlenger
Before retiring and moving to The Oaks at Denville, I was a Recreation Supervisor. I feel that I have continued with my recreation career here at The Oaks because I can be as active as I wish. There are so many things to do here like exercising and keeping fit, I am always busy. Plus if I find that I want to try something new like the Senior Olympics the professional staff at The Oaks is happy to assist. They are caring, friendly and helpful.
While I loved my old house, The Oaks is my new home. It is the best place for me to be. My family is happy for me and I am happy to see them smile when I talk about The Oaks. It’s been the perfect place to call home!
Meet Lillian Wagner
Are you stressed-out, emotionally drained, exhausted or upset? Well consider The Oaks at Denville where life is worry free with not a care in the world.
Residents at The Oaks are always warm and welcoming. The professional staff is all about You and the atmosphere is wonderful and so relaxing.
Take it from me—The Oaks is the place you’ve been dreaming about for your later years in life. Think you can’t afford to live here? Think again, it can happen. Just do what I did, take that first step and call the community, the rest will all fall into place. This is heaven on earth!
Meet Libby and Tom Vona
Our first year living at The Oaks at Denville has met all our expectations and more. From our meetings with sales representatives as we were making the decision to move here to the present, we have been treated with respect, kindness, courtesy and the feeling of warmth you get from being with family or friends.
The Oaks is all that was promised. Our apartment is beautiful; the food in the newly refurbished dining room is outstanding (you can also have it delivered to your apartment); and there are activities, social events, and classes to fulfill a multitude of tastes. You can be as busy as you like if that is your desire or you can just relax.
There are activities for everyone and if something doesn’t exist, you can start it yourself. After not having sung in over 50 years, Tom finds himself in the Chorus of The Oaks and is having a great time. Libby enjoys all the exercise classes and is putting her Spanish to good use in the Spanish Club. These are only some of the many activities available to residents. There are a myriad trips and outings as well.
In addition, you are surrounded by wonderful people both those who live here and those who work here. There is a real sense of community that permeates The Oaks. After one year we have many new friends and our life is certainly a happy one!
Meet Joan Manning
You don’t really age at The Oaks, you marinate—savoring a carefree lifestyle while enjoying new friendships and the many amenities offered.
The Oaks at Denville is the ultimate in gracious living!