Glen and Sonya, residents of The Lakeside at Amelia Island, share with us the circumstances that brought them to the community, how they stay connected with friends and family, and their tips for downsizing and choosing a senior living community.

Video Transcript

 - Well, hey everybody. Welcome to "Senior Living Live." My name is Chris, and I am joined here today with Glenn and Sonya. And Glenn and Sonya are residents at a community with the Arbor Company called The Lakeside at Amelia Island. It's this beautiful community that we're in this week here at Amelia Island, Florida. So happy to have you with us today, Glenn and Sonya.

- Thank you.

- Thank you. Great to be with you.

- Thank you so much. Thank you for joining. Well, first off, let me just ask you, tell me a little bit about yourselves. How long have you been married?

- We've been married 64 years.

- Wow, congratulations.

- We celebrated in the middle of July, so we're looking on 65 now.

- Yeah.

- Oh, that's fantastic. And where have you lived most of your lives?

- My wife Sonya's a native Charlestonian. And I became a native down there in 1956. Entered the US Navy and ended up in Charleston, found her and stayed.

- That's great. And then when did you move into this area at Amelia Island?

- We moved here, you correct me on the dates again. We moved here in the early 2000s, built a house out here. And her mother needed assistance, so we moved back to Charleston for 10 years, and we came back here two years ago. We have quite a family here. We have a son and daughter and....

- Grandchildren.

- Three grandchildren and one potential great-grandchild.

- Oh, that's so exciting. And they all live close by right here?

- Right around the corner.

- Oh, that's fantastic. That's fantastic. So how long have you lived here in the community?

- A year and a half.

- Okay, so kind of started in the pandemic, kind of the middle stages, later stages, I guess of the pandemic, and then here we are. So thankfully things are opened back up and yeah, a little bit easier. So what was that transition like moving from the various places that you lived and your homes that you've built here into the community?

- It was kind of stressful. We went from a large house to a small apartment and got rid of so many things that we had saved over the years. But we're happy we did it. There's no regrets. Looking forward to the next two or three years here.

- What led you to making the decision to move into the community?

- We wanted to stay on the island, Amelia Island beaches. It's so beautiful. We wanted to stay on the island. We checked several places out in Yulee. There was very limited here on the island, one or two other places like this. And we saw it when they were building it. When we come down to visit the children, we saw them building this. So we decided to check it out, not realizing that we would end up here.

- So once you moved into the community, we hear a lot about there's a lot of clubs and groups and folks that gather. Have you been able to connect with others and make friends here?

- Oh yeah. We made quite a few friends. One, one couple especially that we've gotten close to and we have dinner together and don't socialize that much outside of this, outside of the Lakeside. Most of our activities here are inside the Lakeside, we participate in the aqua swimming.

- Aerobics in the pool.

- And the gym downstairs. And Bingo, of course we play Bingo.

- Yeah. So it sounds like there's enough to keep you active.

- Yes, it is.

- Well, Sonya, tell me about what does a day look like for you here in the community?

- Oh, that's a good question. You can kind of go your own pace and do whatever you want, which is nice. And I sew and I cross-stitch. So between the two of those, it keeps me kind of busy.

- [Chris] Do you do that with others or is that more on your own?

- More on my own.

- And Glenn, same question for you. What keeps you busy during the day?

- I fish a lot. My son, like I said, lives around the corner. He's got a four wheel drive and we load up the truck and we go with fishing mostly down at the bridge out in the beach. And I work out a little bit. I haven't been able to play golf, but I keep busy in the crossword puzzles and I read a lot.

- Oh, that's good.

- Which aggravates mama here.

- Do you have in your apartment, do you have spaces set up? I mean, you've got your sewing, you must have a corner or a room that you have set for that, and then for reading and things like that. So do you have any favorite activities or things in the community that you prefer you look forward to whenever they plan them?

- We enjoy the pool quite a bit. We enjoy the Bingo.

- [Chris] It's a beautiful pool also here, we've been out there before.

- The activities that they have, well, there's cross-stitching for her and different activities like that.

- Well, let me back up a little bit. Tell me a little bit about how you two met. So I know you said you were in the Army?

- Navy.

- Navy, okay. Navy in Charleston. And so what did that look like meeting? Funny story?

- Well I went to a YWCA dance with some buddies and I met her and we connected, ended up marrying. I got deployed overseas for a year and came back and we got married.

- So nice. And I'd love to hear these stories of all of that and the memories that you have. Well I think the purpose of "Senior Living Live" is to educate people and to help them to make similar decisions that you did. At some point you had to make a decision to move from where you were living into the community. So what advice do you have or maybe you've even given to other people before who may be considering something like this?

- Take the tour first of all and then talk to these staff people that will take you around on the tour. And they're very knowledgeable on what you can do here. And that's about all I can recommend, but it's well worth the time and trouble to explore this place.

- Was it what you thought it would be before you first came to visit?

- I think it's actually more than what we thought.

- I do too. I do too.

- In what ways?

- We didn't realize that the meals, we have two meals a day that we can choose. We have a very extensive a la carte menu if you're not happy with what the selections are. The people here, everybody's friendly and no malcontents and they smile and greet and we enjoy going down to happy hour at 4:30 and have a glass of wine before we go and talk. And they have entertainment every night, just about every night. And so it's like being on cruise ship all the time.

- And you don't necessarily get that in your home. I guess some people who maybe live in big communities may have that. It's a little harder when you're isolated. All right. Well thank you so much for joining us today, and thank you for joining us online at We have stories like Glenn and Sonya's posted pretty regularly and also other episodes where we kind of dive into specific senior living issues and topics that may be of interest. And it's all in hopes that we give you the information that you need to make a decision like Glenn and Sonya, and whatever it is you choose, we hope to be of some assistance to you. So visit us at to learn more. And until next time, I'm Chris for Glenn and Sonya, and thanks for joining us. Have a great day. Bye-bye.

- Thank you.

- Bye.

Get Senior Living LIVE! Updates

Begin Your Senior Living Journey with Arbor

Begin Your Senior Living Journey with Arbor

Find a Community