My name is Nick, and I’m new here. So when I recently visited a Discovery Village community for the first time, I viewed it through the same lens you might. Here are my true and honest thoughts and first impression…

I had only been in my new marketing role at Discovery Senior Living a few weeks when I learned my onboarding process would soon afford me a first-ever chance to visit a Discovery Village community.

This was a big deal for me. For that was going to be my first real-world exposure to the communities I’ve been entrusted to represent. I’d seen plenty of pictures, of course, and heard from most everyone I now work with how luxurious and unique these communities are. And yes, it all looked and sounded great, but having had grandparents, I’d been to plenty of senior communities before, and had yet to be really blown away by one.

As I walked through the doors, I remember thinking that a lot was riding on that experience. And this is how it all went….

I was only a few steps into the lobby when I realized it was immaculate in there. Clean, polished floors, stylish, modern décor, a pleasant color palette, and upscale finishes including moldings, woodwork, and granite surfaces. Nice, but I was even more delighted by the fresh and fragrant smell that began in the lobby and permeated throughout every hallway and common area…even in the community’s Memory Care neighborhood.

Being from the corporate office, my status afforded me access to team members and parts of the community that aren’t on any tours. I learned from the Operations Director about the science (yes, science) in play to ensure resident safety, comfort, and quality of life. I witnessed the hard work happening outside of residents’ view that keeps the community looking as good as when it opened. And I was even in the kitchen while Chef and his team prepared a slow-cooked pork shoulder drizzled in Bordeaux sauce, with scalloped potatoes, mixed vegetables, and a ricotta pie dessert for lunch, all of which residents raved about…and I did, too.

Speaking of the food…the culinary quality was superior to any other community I’ve ever visited. In fact, so far elevated is the dining experience that I wouldn’t even call it “restaurant quality” because plenty of those use prepared foods. What I saw was scratch cooking and baking using only fresh ingredients and the best meats, dairy, and produce around. How do I know? Because I was there when they were delivered, and if any didn’t stand up to Chef’s inspection, they didn’t even make it into the building!

From the activities to the care quality and beyond, I had an experience that far surpassed my expectations. The lifestyle I saw at Discovery Village is an amazing way to live, and I don’t say it just because somebody asked me to, or because I now work for the company. Remember, I was a lot like you the day I visited, so my viewpoint and yours probably aren’t that far apart.

I’m just saying if you have an old picture in your head, or any preconceived notions about what senior living communities are like and who “belongs” there, then do yourself a favor and take another look. A lot has changed, and as I’ve been learning these past few weeks, this is an industry undergoing a massive transformation.

Today, there’s a level of activity, luxury, and lifestyle quality that wasn’t readily available in years past, and lots of potential appeal for a larger portion of the overall senior population. Don’t believe me? Then do what I did, and go see it for yourself!