Judson, By the Book

Nancy Sherwin shares why living at Judson is ‘the thing to do’ and where she can create new experiences and relationships while nurturing the old.

A retired librarian and long-term Clevelander, Nancy Sherwin says Judson was always the plan- Cleveland is where she’s rooted, gathers with friends, and volunteers. “It would feel unnatural to leave,” she relates.

Knowing that longevity runs in the family—her mother lived to be over 100 years old—she appreciates that Judson offers a continuum of care as well as the financial securities that come with a nonprofit 501c3.

Nancy moved to Judson in May 2017. “It doesn’t seem like that long ago,” she says, adding that construction at Judson Park has welcomed appealing renovations and resources. Plus, with University Circle in Judson’s backyard, access to the arts and transportation options are aplenty. “There’s joy in being able to continue so much of what I already did—I just moved,” she says.

A Smooth Transition

No move is easy, but there are ways to alleviate the stress and complexity of downsizing and establishing a new home at Judson. Judson partners with a move-in consultant to ease the transition. “The consultant comes to your home with a grid of your new apartment and measures the furniture you want to take,” Nancy describes, admitting that editing a life’s worth of belongings can be overwhelming.

“The biggest chore is downsizing, there’s no question about that,” Nancy acknowledges. “But better do it while we can think and make our own decisions rather than someone else making decisions for us.”

On moving day, the move-in coordinator is on-site. Following the move, the consultant assures that all the details are handled. “And she hangs all of your pictures, which is marvelous,” Nancy says.

Before joining Judson, Nancy says she knew people from her church who also are residents. Not to mention, her church visits Judson monthly for those who cannot make in-person services, so that connection already existed and was fortified by the congregation’s presence on campus.

But Nancy says even if you do not have relationships at Judson before moving, “you can make new friends who think the way you do, have intellectual conversations, and enjoy the same activities.”

Connections, New and Old

It’s hard to be bored at Judson if you ask Nancy. “You can make the Judson experience your own and be as involved or little involved as you want,” she says. After all, that is what bringing community to life is about.

For her, bringing community to life includes calling “bingo” on Saturdays, serving on the Home Care and Judson Foundation Boards, and participating on two committees: Quality and Dining. She’s part of the Lunch Bunch, and not surprisingly enjoys the Judson Book Club. “If it’s old but you haven’t read it, then it’s new,” she quips.

She walks daily. “It’s such a gorgeous neighborhood—we are blessed.” Also, she keeps up with old friends and continues the activities she’s always enjoyed. That includes watching Cleveland Indians Baseball with her 20-game ticket package. You won’t see her on Opening Day, though. “I stay at Judson Park because it’s more fun to watch here with the big screen, hotdogs, and peanuts,” she says.

Nancy appreciates the opportunity to organize and bag food for The Cleveland Food Bank, which delivers groceries to St. Paul’s, where she volunteers in various capacities. She also gives time to a small Episcopal church on the west side on Wednesdays, helping with community meals. As a steward for four little free libraries, Nancy is ever still the librarian sharing a love of books and reading with the community.

“I would be so isolated if I was home by myself,” says Nancy, relating how Judson Park residents look forward to Hallway Holler, a tradition that started amid Covid-19. ‘We all stand at our doors and talk to each other down the hall, and now it continues when we gather at the elevators between 7 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays,” she says. She adds, “They took such good care of us here during Covid.”

Indeed, Nancy is making the Judson experience her own. And, to those who haven’t tasted what bringing community to life is, she says, “It’s the thing to do.”



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