Residents holding up book

Arrow Senior Living residents Eleanor Stewart and Donna Birdsong each hold a copy of The Old and the Beautiful.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have chosen to occupy themselves in various ways. Some residents at Arrow Senior Living communities decided to get creative. 

For the past two years, they have gathered in virtual meeting rooms to partake in various activities and simply enjoy socialization with one another. That’s not all that took place in these virtual meeting rooms, however: a book also was created. 

Forty-seven residents joined forces to co-write murder mystery “The Old and the Beautiful.”

“I loved the book, because we were able to make the story bounce and we had fun with that,” remarked Judy Flick, author of chapter 13 and a resident of Arrow’s Vitality Senior Residences at Stow senior living community in Stow, OH. “Every time we would discuss it, we had a different story to add.” 

Not only was writing the book an enjoyable, collaborative experience, but one of the main goals of its publication was to change how others view aging, specifically those who reside in senior living communities. 

According to Howard Simmons, the residents’ editor and archivist, working on “The Old and the Beautiful” with the residents has been one of the most memorable chapters of his career. Some Arrow Senior Living communities opted to workshop their contributions to the book as a group, whereas other communities had one resident take the reins on a section.

“The project has been a reminder that creativity and the joy of writing is rewarding at any age and that senior living can, and must, expand how it approaches resident events and activities so that residents feel engaged, fulfilled and excited for what senior living can offer in a wide variety of ways,” Simmons said.

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