As the average senior adult in the United States embraces a healthier lifestyle, it has become increasingly important for retirement communities to include wellness benefits in their offerings for residents. Fair Haven, Birmingham’s largest continuing care retirement community, recently announced the purchase of a shared group membership at the Levite-Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Birmingham for its independent and assisted living residents.

Instead of a small on-site weight room, progressive retirement communities have found a more rewarding way to ensure seniors get the wellness benefits they want: through connections with health and wellness centers already offering a wide array of services for the mind, body and soul. The Levite-Jewish Community Center was a natural choice for Fair Haven since it is located in the Mountain Brook/Crestline area within 2 miles of the Fair Haven campus.

Lauren McLendon, Life Enrichment Leader at Fair Haven, helped nurture the JCC relationship for Fair Haven residents. “It’s a situation of ‘use it or lose it’. If you don’t use what you’ve got you’re going to lose it. Seniors who stay active, stay active longer. 

When a person hits retirement, the daily physical routines that were a normal part of work life have to be replaced with new physical routines to maintain one’s balance, flexibility and strength. According to the Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans (2nd edition), “Being physically active is one of the most important actions that people of all ages can take to improve their health. The evidence … is clear—physical activity fosters normal growth and development and can make people feel better, function better, sleep better, and reduce the risk of a large number of chronic diseases.”

Fair Haven Wellness Benefits

Freedom Whitworth, JCC Director of Membership & Wellness, takes residents on a tour of the facilities. Pictured with Freedom are Bernie and Lila Barton.

Fair Haven’s shared group membership allows access to all the benefits afforded to any other member of the JCC, including access to exercise classes, swimming pools, group games, weight training equipment and more. Fair Haven provides regular, weekly transportation for those who need a ride to take advantage of their membership benefits. Residents with access to their own transportation can take advantage of the JCC facilities any time the doors are open.

Lauren explains that the JCC membership also has a social benefit for residents. “Getting out of your apartment, talking to each other, and making new friends keeps people from just sitting around. The JCC offers another community of people to interact with and form new relationships.”

For information about life at Fair Haven, including details on our how to make Fair Haven your or your loved one’s new home, contact our admissions team at 205-956-4150, or send an email to Traci Kennedy at


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