When you're getting older, it's just as important to stimulate your mind and keep busy as it is at any other point of your life, perhaps even more so.
For the residents of The Atria Assisted Living Home of Lynbrook, this fact of life is a mantra of sorts to them and the facility they live at tries to give them every opportunity to get out and experience something new and different whenever possible.
Case in point: on Thursday, a group of Atria residents took a trip to Merrick to see some of the many landmarks here, including the beautiful, Spanish-styled houses of the famed Merrick Gables, among other interesting local spots.
Joan Yuni, an energetic Merrick native and recent addition to The Atria, helps set up many fun events for her and her fellow retirees to enjoy.
"I've had sing-alongs, and I've organized funny little skits, and sometimes we take trips," she said. "I love Merrick and there's so many nice things about Merrick, that I though we should take a trip here."
Yuni also has yet another distinction – she is the grandmother of Merrick's very own American Idol contestant and singing sensation, Robbie Rosen.
"Being Robbie's grandma makes me the most famous person in the world," she said, laughing. "I'm very proud of him."
Real Estate agent Jill Sackler, a passionate supporter of the elderly who even writes a blog on the subject, was contacted by Yuni to set up the bus tour some of Merrick's architectural beauty.
"Joan was looking on the internet one day, and she saw an article I had written about the Merrick Gables," Sackler said. "She called me and told me that she had grown up in Merrick, that the Gables were very beautiful, and that she'd love to bring her friends at The Atria to see it."
Despite not being a tour guide, Sackler nonetheless did her best to set up a sightseeing excursion of the area, including an inside tour of one of the Gables, a lovely dwelling owned by Ira Ebbin, Rabbi of Merrick's Congregation Ohav Sholom. His wife, Chevi, said that she and her family are always happy to help others.
"We like to things for the community, and my husband is a community leader," she said. "We were happy to have these people visit our home."
Yuni was especially appreciative of the Ebbin's hospitality.
"The people enjoyed seeing all the Gable homes, and all the different styles," she said. "And we're very happy to be invited into someone's home. It means a lot to us."
Abe Sheakman, who also lives at The Atria, is 100 years old and a World War 2 veteran.
"I participated in ten invasions. I was a gunner," he said. "I'm having a great time today. The Rabbi's home is lovely."
Scotti Gilbert also very much enjoyed her outing to Merrick this day.
"I'm having a wonderful time," she said. "I've lived on Long Island for most of my adult life, so this is like a stroll down memory lane for me."