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Living life to the fullest

Shaker Pointe at Carondelet unveils new residence

Sister Lauren Van Dermark, left, and Sister Kay Ryan, members of the executive team at Shaker Pointe, show a model room at the recently opened Carondelet.

Sister Lauren Van Dermark, left, and Sister Kay Ryan, members of the executive team at Shaker Pointe, show a model room at the recently opened Carondelet. Photo by Billy DeLap.

— An independent living center for people ages 55 and older held its grand opening to showcase the amenities its executive team says will help seniors live a healthy, independent lifestyle.

Shaker Pointe at Carondelet had its three-day grand opening May 5-8 to highlight the 40,000-square-foot, energy-efficient building that includes 68 residences, a beauty salon and a movie theater.

The Watervliet campus is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who have been in Albany for 278 years. Although the facility is sponsored by the Catholic organization, it is non-denominational and open to everyone. The only requirement is that people be over 55 years old and have an urge to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

“As we age, if we can provide physical, spiritual, cultural, recreational aspects of life, then we age as fully as we can until the day we die,” said Sister Lauren Van Dermark, a member of the executive team at Shaker Pointe.

The mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph is to meet the independent living needs of senior citizens, which is why they aimed to get virtually everything the seniors would need into one building. There is a pool, weight room and aerobics room and a trainer that offers yoga and other exercise classes.

“St. Peters Health Partners has a physician in this space; we have an activities director who offers a variety of programs, trips, paint, watercolor — those kinds of things; there’s a book club, library club, walking club,” said Sister Kay Ryan.

While the campus is built for seniors, and most residents live there until they die, there is still an abundance of life and activity that one might not expect from an independent living center.

“I think the philosophy we’re trying to impart here is that we live every aspect of our life as fully as we can, so therefore when we reach this age of 55 plus, we’re living independently. So, we want it to be as nourishing and hospitable to the person and the larger community. So, life is thriving here,” said Van Dermark.

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