Sep 27, 2021

Life behind the gates of OC’s Best Retirement Community

Not too long after moving to Reata Glen in 2019 to start an exciting new chapter in life, Katheryn Roberson’s husband, Barry, was diagnosed with cancer. As he started undergoing treatment, Katheryn says the staff at the retirement community in Rancho Mission Viejo rose to the occasion.

“The staff bent over backwards for us, and they’re so supportive,” Katheryn says. “There’s such a sense of family here, and it’s really meaningful.”

Of all the well wishes and encouragement, one of the most unlikely but touching came from a staff member who attended a Los Angeles Kings hockey game. It was a special night at STAPLES Center with a tribute to Hockey Fights Cancer™ where players and fans in the stands had signs saying “I Fight For” followed by the name of someone on each sign.

ReataGlenEditSpread Page 1 Image 0002Barry, who was going through chemotherapy and radiation, was at home with Katheryn watching that game.

“All of a sudden, I received a photo from someone who works here and she’s at the game, standing with a sign that said she’s fighting for Barry,” Katheryn vividly recalls. “Our eyes swelled up upon seeing it, and it was heartwarming.”

It’s just one example of why the Robersons were not surprised that Reata Glen was recently voted in as the “Best Retirement Community in Orange County 2021” by The Orange County Register.

Making strides as a young retirement community and growing fast

“Among other reviews and recognitions, to earn Best of Orange County is an extraordinary accomplishment for us in just two years of being open,” says Stephanie Riggs, director of marketing and sales at Reata Glen. “We are different than other senior living options, and there’s a great deal of pride among both residents and staff here.”

“I went to every senior community in south Orange County to compare when I was looking to make a move,” says resident Kathy Allen, who chose to call Reata Glen home in 2019. “I’m pretty athletic and outgoing, and I wanted socialization. Reata Glen is the future of how my generation acts – we aren’t sitting at home alone feeling sorry for ourselves – we want to be active, healthy and going places. I see Reata Glen as a hybrid between a university, cruise ship and country club.”

ReataGlenEditSpread Page 1 Image 0005Without the burdens of home maintenance and cooking everyday as Kathy enjoys the multiple dining venues at Reata Glen, she now has the freedom and time to getinvolved in what she really cares about.

We want to be active, healthy and going places.

Physical attributes, amenities and an abundance of activities stand out

“You could be busier here than you’ve ever been in your life,” Kathy says with a smile. “More than I ever had been before.”

With a fitness center, indoor pool, pickleball and tennis courts, woodshop, and activity rooms for educational, fine arts and fun classes, residents’ calendars are often full.

“They go full bore for parties and events here, and there’s excellent food, too,” notes Katheryn. “I also walk a lot, go to the gym for a class called crash cardio and also write for the monthly newsletter.”

It’s not just enjoying the activities and amenities on the Reata Glen campus, it’s the people you experience them with.

“In the beginning, I didn’t know anyone,” Kathy says. “Now, it’s like being part of an extended family. I love being surrounded by people and friends and not having that alone feeling.”

Intangibles and culture make the difference

“As much as I love my coworkers, I love residents more,” says Karter Farris, who started as a dining server at Reata Glen, then transitioned to EMT safety officer after schooling. “To win Best of Orange County makes me very proud.”

ReataGlenEditSpread Page 1 Image 0007

Karter’s team oversees security at the community, and she often wears many hats to serve residents’ needs. She’s a resident favorite, and some have labeled her as the happiest, bubbliest person they know.

“The residents always make me smile,” Karter says. “Even if I come in and I’m not in the greatest mood, they say one thing and it brightens my day up, and I forget why I was bummed.”

Recognized as a Great Place to Work by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Karter says the variety of job opportunities and the bonds with residents make it a fabulous place to start or continue a career.

“There’s a spirit here – we care for each other,” Kathy says. “It is a community, and you feel connected.”

Residents say they also feel safe – even during the challenging times recently.

ReataGlenEditSpread Page 1 Image 0008

“Over and over, we’ve said we can’t imagine being anywhere but here when the pandemic hit,” Katheryn adds. “Management did an excellent job, we had peace of mind, and they made it interesting and fun with little surprises and creativity.”

The Reata Glen experience

It’s no coincidence the word Reata translates to a lasso or loop of rope – a fitting representation of the bonds that connect those who live and work at Reata Glen to each other.

Receive an exclusive invitation to attend a lunch presentation and learn about the Reata Glen experience. You can even meet Katheryn, Kathy or Karter firsthand. Call 1-949-529-3134 to find more. State of California License #306005546. Certificate of Authority #840.