Part of growing older is remembering the journey that led to where you are now, and for many - part of that journey were the many cars they rode in throughout the years. On Wednesday, Journey Senior Living of Valparaiso partnered with the oldest car club in Northwest Indiana, the Winamac Old Auto Club, to bring fun and nostalgia to their residents with a classic car auto show.
Opened just last March, Journey Senior Living of Valparaiso provides a comfortable home and compassionate care to their residents. After hearing about the Winamac Old Auto Club, which puts on car shows at many senior living centers across the Region, the team at Journey knew that it would be a perfect event for current and prospective residents.
“The biggest thing about this is the memories,” said Melissa Green, Executive Director at Journey Senior Living in Valparaiso. “They see all these old cars and it reminds them of their youth. Personally, I’m not usually a huge car person but I like seeing these old, old ones.”
In addition to the car show, Journey brought out an ice cream van offering classic selections like Bomb Pops, and fired up a grill to serve up hot dogs with the works. They also offered tours to individuals and families looking into options for quality senior living.
“We have a mission that’s big on compassion and dignity for our residents,” Green said. “This is their home, that’s how all our staff sees it. So we take it as a great privilege to provide care.”
Many of the members of the Winamac Old Auto Club are lifelong car lovers, and interacting with residents and seeing faces light up with eagerness to discuss their teenage joyrides keeps them participating in shows like Journey’s week after week.
“They seem to really appreciate us doing this, and it makes us feel so good,” said Glen Ewen, President of the Winamac Old Auto Club. “We enjoy looking at all these different cars, just like the people that come see us. Everyone’s so nice, they always ask us to come back. Since I’ve been a member, my life’s been much better.”
Just like all the residents, every car has a story. The club members and residents swapped tales about drive-in movie theatres and their old high school rides.
“We can’t wheel them around anymore - insurance reasons,” joked Donald Kline, a longtime club member. “They always say ‘oh jeez, I had one of those!’ or ‘Oh, I remember those!’, and you know, one day we’re going to be in one of these places so it’s nice to see something like this.”
Learn more about Journey Senior Living of Valparaiso at www.journeyseniorliving.com/valparaiso/.