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In the past year at Still Hopes Retirement Community West Columbia, SC, we’ve heard horror stories of isolation and neglect among older adults living either in nursing homes or in their own homes. And for those communities who have effectively and safely navigated Covid, there is the false assumption that those residents must have been quarantined for nearly a year.

That’s why Nela Edgar’s friend was shocked to see her out at her favorite grocery store in Columbia last summer, under the misperception that Nela, a resident of Still Hopes, was in isolation under lockdown. Nela and her husband, Walter, moved to Still Hopes in June 2019. And while life outside of Still Hopes has drastically changed for many older adults this past year, Nela and Walter’s lifestyle has remained predominantly unchanged, thanks to the numerous amenities Still Hopes has to offer.

So this begs the question, is now the right time to move to Still Hopes? Despite the tendency to “hunker down” and wait out Covid, many residents including the Edgars would say the time is definitely now.

“Of course, everyone here takes it seriously. We are all like-minded at Still Hopes and feel a responsibility to keep our community safe and well,” said Nela. “But the main reason is... I am glad we moved while we are relatively healthy and can still get involved and enjoy it.”

Stewart Rawson, Director of Sales and Marketing at Still Hopes Retirement Community in West Columbia, SC agrees. 

“I often hear, wow, I wish I had done that sooner,” said Rawson. “You get to a certain age where you are ready to get rid of the hassles of homeownership and the fears of ‘what if’... so you can focus on an enriching lifestyle among a community of friends.”

Four years ago, Still Hopes had a high demand that couldn’t keep up with the supply. So they started planning construction on a new independent living apartment building called HopeWell (previously called WellPointe), providing 80 new apartments that are filling up fast. 

Two of those apartments are already reserved by friends of the Edgars, who have not held back on sharing the joys of embracing their maintenance-free and full lives with family and friends. 

“Our son-in-law walked in and saw our vaulted ceilings and said to Walter, ‘how are you going to change those lightbulbs?’ Walter’s response was ‘I’m not’,” Nela laughed. “We’ll just put in a work order and it will be taken care of.”

“Every prospective owner I meet with admits a weariness and frustration with taking care of a house,” said Rawson. “Painting, a new roof, cleaning the gutters, changing the water filter, cleaning your toilets, yard work - it never goes away. At Still Hopes, all of that is taken care of for you so you can enjoy really living.”

Nela’s husband, Walter, likes to garden and she occasionally likes to cook. But neither have to do either. Nela said she has a friend who has never even turned on her oven.  

Rawson and Nela describe a day in the life of a typical resident. Go to the coffee shop for a muffin in the morning with friends, then walk down to the wellness center for a morning swim or a workout. Take a forest or garden walk, or peruse the monthly events calendar for the day’s movies, lectures, a bible study or an art class. And in the evening, grab a bottle of wine and dinner from the dining room - with impressive and ever-changing meals - including lobster rolls, ahi tuna poke or fried chicken. 

But there is so much more to Still Hopes, like the overwhelmingly warm and welcoming community of residents and staff that, according to Nela, knew them by first name within a week of moving here. Or the concierge physician who is available exclusively to Still Hopes residents. 

“There are so many medical and health resources available to residents. Along with having access to a Still Hopes concierge physician and nursing staff, workshops and lectures addressing healthy living topics are also available. Not to mention, we are in some of the earliest phases to receive a Covid vaccine,” said Rawson. “We’re continuing to improve the quality of our physical spaces and adding amenities all the time.”

Rawson says they plan to start moving dozens of new residents within the next few weeks into the HopeWell building. And there is limited availability throughout other residences within the community.

“We can counsel you based on your interests and your lifestyle to find the most appropriate residential option that fits both your financial well being and your lifestyle,” said Rawson. "But our residents tell the story best, so I encourage you to watch the video below."

To learn more, explore the interactive map through our Virtual Visit, read about the Still Hopes lifestyle and amenities, take a virtual tour of several HopeWell floor plans, and get all your questions answered by Rawson and his team.

Why Move?

Why Move? Video

Launch Video