While nearby Disneyland may be the happiest place on Earth, Dr. Lucia Dean says Walnut Village may be the friendliest.
"I am so happy to be here," said the retired family medicine physician. "I'm a very social being and Walnut Village is perfect for me. The interesting people I have met here are extraordinary. And the staff are top notch. I couldn't ask for nicer people."
As a self-proclaimed people person who enjoys meeting new friends, living at Walnut Village is a far cry from her previous residence. "The condo I lived in was beautiful but so unfriendly," Lucia remembers. "Many people lived there but everyone was so isolated. Here, it's like living at a resort with all of your close friends."
"A friend at my church worked in the dining room here and recommended I come visit," Lucia said. "I was unsure about living at a retirement community, so I didn't realize how much I would love it until I got here."
Lucia moved to Walnut Village about a year ago and has not looked back. Her passion is reading and conversations with practically everyone she meets. From her first day as a resident, Lucia began making connections with fellow USC and UCLA alumni and other retired medical professionals. "I have split college loyalties," Lucia says with a smile.
Lucia's biggest joy is to have her children and grandchildren visit. At her condo, she felt visiting grandchildren were not welcome. "Neighbors would complain about the noise, but not here," Lucia said. "Walnut Village realizes that family members are a joy to have visit and make them feel at home."
And Lucia is thrilled she was able to bring her grandmother's 120-year-old walnut dining table, matching buffet and china cabinet with her. "I just cherish those," she said. "Being able to bring those three pieces with me is special."
As an added bonus, Lucia likes that Walnut Village offers a continuum of care so if her health needs change, the community can accommodate them.
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