Not slowing down

One resident’s active life at Village Woods

Betty Kuipers

Betty Kuipers

CRETE, ILL. (December 2015) — Betty Kuipers has never spent her days sitting around, and she wasn’t about to start in retirement.

The 66-year-old maintains an active lifestyle at Village Woods, where she has lived for the last year and a half.

“I worked my whole life, so not working was a big adjustment,” Betty said, “I don’t have to be going 24/7, but if it interests me, I’ll do it.”

Betty has to check the monthly activity calendar to remember everything she participates in — it’s too much to keep track of. She makes the weekly trips for grocery shopping or a Target run, and makes monthly trips to restaurants, the movie theatre, and the library. She goes on all the scenic bus rides. She gets her nails done, attends musical performances, calls BINGO, and plays trivia. She’s part of the craft club, the kitchen club, and the food committee, and she’s president of the resident council.

She also makes time to see her family members, who live in the area. She enjoys days out shopping with her daughter. Her brother and sister visit her for dinner, or take her out to Aurelio’s for pizza.

On top of all that, Betty also serves as a part-time caregiver for a local senior.

Before she moved in at Village Woods, Betty lived with her daughter. But when her daughter made plans to move, Betty was overwhelmed by the idea of renting an apartment and living on her own. At Village Woods, she received all the help she needed with the moving process, and didn’t feel alone when she got there: “It’s very comfortable here,” she said. “They make a big effort to introduce people to each other. They check on you when you first move in, and they make sure that you know your way around.”

She appreciates the fact that she didn’t have to sign any long-term leases or contracts in order to move in. “People’s lives change,” she said. And even though she lives independently now, she knows she can get some extra help if she ever needs it.

For now, she’s happy just having the cooking and cleaning done for her. Betty doesn’t mind living in a smaller, simpler home — it gives her the freedom to focus her time and energy on social activities and helping others. She doesn’t want to worry about daily chores anymore.

“I used to look at great big houses and think, ‘Oh, aren’t they beautiful,’” she said. “Now I just think, ‘I’d have to clean all that!’”

Betty wasn’t aware of the social aspect of life at Village Woods before she lived there — it was a bonus for her. But for others, that interaction is the main draw to the retirement community. “A lady said this morning in the elevator that she came here because she didn’t want to sit in her house alone anymore — here, she’s surrounded by friends.”

For more information about what life is like at Village Woods, call us at (708) 672-6111, or email


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