Voted Best in Orange County, Reata Glen Helps Rancho Mission Viejo Seniors Get More From
Frank Sinatra couldn’t say it better himself: The best is yet to come. At least hundreds of seniors are finding this out after a move to Reata Glen. The South Orange County community is celebrating its third year in a row of being voted #1 senior living community in Orange County by the readers of The Orange County Register.
But what makes this community so unique? Why are so many seniors flocking here for their retirement? The answers to these questions can be found by asking the residents themselves and looking back at the events and activities that make this community their home.
You couldn’t find one person who wasn’t smiling at the dining room table as they enjoyed the Passover Seder Dinner. The traditional event, hosted in April, was a first for many of them as they indulged in the matzo ball soup and poached fish dumplings made by the chefs at Reata Glen. For resident Esther Sterling, it’s been a holiday she’s celebrated since she was a child living in Poland.
Reata Glen is home to many residents of diverse backgrounds and nationalities, and they’re all interested in learning from one another and sharing their experiences.
“It’s a good feeling to bring my religion to people who have never experienced it before,” said Sterling. The Passover Seder Dinner is one of many events hosted by the Blum Judah Group, which is named after resident Steven Blum. Nearly 100 residents attend the monthly meetings that promote people of diverse backgrounds.
“We started the group to teach others about Judaism. There are so many people here interested in learning about it,” said Sterling.
You Decide the Activities
Karen Phelps is enjoying art like never before. “I now have more time to spend creating my artwork,” noted Phelps. She’s been an artist her whole life, even owning her own art studio. Now, her studio is located inside her two-bedroom apartment.
“This is the best move I ever made in my life. I stimulate my mind with painting and get my exercise by going to the pool three to four times a week.”
In January, Phelps and 24 other residents showcased their artwork for the entire community to see. With the help of Activities Director Jayne Austin, Phelps hosted the first Art Guild. From drawings and paintings to prints, sculptures and photographs, residents displayed meaningful art they created before and after
moving into the community.
Friendships Are Formed Every Day
Cheri Brumleu was apprehensive at first about a move to Reata Glen, but looking back, she’s thankful to her husband for making the decision when he did. “He knew Reata Glen would meet our wants today and our needs tomorrow. He wanted me to be surrounded by people instead of living at home by myself.”
After 62 years of marriage, Brumleu’s husband passed away last year. She was comforted by her friends and neighbors at the community. Over time, she’s participated in numerous events, including this summer’s Murder Mystery, where she portrayed a silver-screen star in the Prohibition era.
Brumleu still enjoys working part time as a travel consultant and hosts cruises, which is something she enjoyed doing with her husband. “It’s wonderful to continue to travel,” said Brumleu. “I have peace of mind knowing that everything is taken care of.”
Peace of Mind for the Future
Roberta and Patrick Jackson say peace of mind is important to them and their lives at Reata Glen. The two newlyweds met at the community in 2019 and hosted their wedding in the gazebo of the community in May 2022.
“When you live at Reata Glen, it opens you up and expands your horizons,” said Roberta. “I have more friends here than I’ve ever had before.”
The couple now lives together in the Life Plan Community. They feel comforted knowing that they have convenient access to The Orchards Health Center adjacent to the community – offering care if they ever need it.