SIOUXFALLS.BUSINESS with Jodi Schwan
This paid piece is sponsored by Dow Rummel Village. Feb 21, 2023
The day typically starts at 9 a.m. with a trip to the pool for Margaret Jones, where she does water aerobics with friends.
“I have always been eager to keep up water exercise, and they have a lovely pool here and a class every morning,” she said. “You make friends with others, and it’s a good way to get acquainted.”
For Dave Martin, mornings mean the fitness center, where he spends Monday, Wednesday and Friday in a workout class and Tuesday and Thursday in a balance class followed by a swim workout.
“And before I got involved in exercise, I’d go down to the big Rose Room near the pool, and there must be 15 to 20 people gathered for breakfast, and I’ll still maybe stop by for a few minutes,” he said.
“My legs need strengthening though, and so our wellness director – who is a former champion weightlifter – came up with a special exercise program for me, so I try to do it every day, and that pretty much takes care of my morning.”
The rest of the days go by just as quickly for Jones and Martin, who are making the most of all the activities available to them at Dow Rummel Village.
“I think that’s something that sets us apart from other communities – just the really wide variety of activities we offer and amenities right within our building,” events and move-in coordinator Sonja Niles said.
“Our residents are able to stay within this community and have a very nice variety of options, plus we are continually trying to offer them ways to get out into the community and bring people in to visit with them.”
For instance, Dow Rummel residents frequently hear from community leaders, authors, entertainers and other outreach organizations within their own community.
At the same time, there are bus tours organized to show what’s new in Sioux Falls and fun day trips to destinations in area towns such as Dell Rapids and Yankton.
“And then within Sioux Falls, we’ll go to the Levitt, the Old Courthouse Museum, and we’ve done dinner at a number of local restaurants that have private dining areas,” Niles said.
Within Dow Rummel, though, the days can fly by even without additional activities, with residents bringing their personal touches to many groups and programs.
“I’ve played the piano quite a bit and have played with a group at chapel service,” said Jones, who has lived at Dow Rummel for eight years. “And I belong to a writing group here where there are five or six of us. I’m writing my life story, and others have written family histories, so we all help each other.”
She also enjoys a weekly Bible class, works in the Dow Rummel library once a week and enjoys going to movies in the on-site theater.
“And when I want to leave, they have a van that takes me to my church once a week where I work in the library,” she said. “We have an exceptional activity director, and she keeps us busy with programs and activities. I’m not much of a crafter, but if I were, she’d have something for me every week.”
For Martin, life at Dow Rummel is equally engaging. He moved to independent living last summer from an apartment community where he never saw others.
“It was nice, but I never saw anybody coming or going, and I need to see people,” he said. “Now, I’m so busy my days go quickly. I’m not the first person to join something, but when I do, I’m all-in.”
He’s not kidding. He enjoys a weekly documentary film in the theater, where “they even had ‘Top Gun’ not long ago,” and loves putting together large jigsaw puzzles with a group of friends.
“I can go there after exercising, and all of a sudden it’s 2 p.m.,” he said. “I’m also in the book club, which meets once a month, and I noticed painting, and I’d always wanted to try it, so there’s a painting class, and it was a lot of fun, and I plan to do it again. A couple guys are really into woodworking, and there’s a shop, and they do a fantastic job.”
Every Friday, he can head to beanbag toss, and a couple of times a month, “I was shocked they had a happy hour,” he said. “They set up a real bar and ask what you want, and they have special drinks and hors d’oeuvres.”
And that’s just a sampling of all there is to do, Niles added.
“There are coffee groups and card groups, people who play pitch and billiards and different entertainment all the time,” she said. “If you don’t find something to do in this community, it’s because you don’t want to.”
But thanks to the community itself, nearly everyone does want to join in, Niles said.
“When someone is new, we are lucky because we have really welcoming people who are looking for ways to involve others, and I try to be really creative to help support all of them,” she said.
It definitely works, Martin said.
“It’s just a good, friendly group of people,” he said. “It’s the most welcoming group I think I’ve ever been around, and that makes it really fun. It’s just been great, and I’d highly recommend it to anybody.”
To learn more about the complete Dow Rummel lifestyle, call 605-336-1490.