January 8, 2010

USA: Mimi Misiuta believes in 'active aging'

. STUART, Florida / TCPalm.com / News / January 8, 2010 Mimi Misiuta believes in 'active aging' By Katie Huffstetler, YourNews contributor Mimi Misiuta participates in water aerobics at The Lakes at Pointe West. VERO BEACH — Mimi Misiuta likes to stay busy. In fact, the 84-year-old Vero Beach resident claims activity is the essence of life. That's why this native New Yorker loves life at The Lakes at Pointe West. It's also why her children think she looks a smidge more than 60 on a bad day. When Misiuta's husband, Chet, brought up the subject of retirement back in 2005, she dug both heels in and firmly declared she was too young to retire. But he insisted they at least see what their local communities offered and so reluctantly, the pair began their quest for the perfect retirement destination. The Misiutas were avid golfers so the manicured course at The Lakes was a huge selling point, and the gourmet food they enjoyed while touring almost sealed the deal. But they had to call their son in to make the final decision. "We were having brunch in the clubhouse with our son who had come to check everything out," Misiuta said. "After eating, he stepped outside and disappeared for quite some time. When he finally returned, we asked him where he had been for so long and he replied 'I was trying to find someone who could say something negative about the property … I didn't have any luck.' We moved in shortly after. " Not long after moving in, life got in the way of her best-laid plans. Chet Misiuta passed away suddenly in their villa, and Mimi Misiuta was left alone after 55 years of marriage. Although his death was one of the most traumatic experiences of her life, she credits The Lakes staff with helping her cope with his passing. According to Misiuta, it's the little things that make you feel like a family member instead of a resident. Three years after moving into the community, Misiuta had another life-changing experience. Facing a long, difficult rehab after knee-replacement surgery, she sought out the help of Wellness Coordinator Dawn Lash. Before she knew it, she was off the cane and addicted to exercise, exploring Tai Chi, water aerobics and strength-building. Thanks to an array of activity offerings, Misiuta participates in up to 15 exercise classes a week. "The exercise is wonderful for me, and Dawn is so good … I almost feel as if I have a personal trainer," Misiuta said. Her social calendar is as full as her exercise schedule and includes craft classes with "The Crafty Ladies," a group of women who make jewelry by hand; daily dinners with musical entertainment; reading groups and sewing classes. Misiuta and her friends are even planning to go on a cruise in January. With a full-time director of member services, a wellness coordinator and a plethora of offerings, The Lakes at Pointe West members are limited only by the number of hours in a day. Misiuta expects nothing less from a retirement community. "People here care about each other," she said. "The Lakes at Pointe West offers me more than a place to live … it fulfills my need to relate." This story is contributed by Katie Huffstetler, a member of the Treasure Coast community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with TCPalm.com [rc]