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Solstice resident leaps into 104th year

El Cajon resident Eleanore Goodwin turned 104-years-old on Feb. 28. A resident of Solstice at El Cajon, Goodwin has lived at Solstice for six years after moving cross-country from Massachusetts, to live closer to her only daughter Bunny, who lives in East County.

“You know, just waking up happy every day and having a good attitude,” Goodwin said when asked what the secret was to live a long life.

Goodwin married her best friend who passed away 20 years ago. They owned a company together in Massachusetts. The company did very well. She was on the board for the company and the accountant. Goodwin retired when she turned 75.

Solstice of El Cajon Director of Sales and Marketing Jennifer Booth said she is always telling Bunny how jealous she is that she still has her mom at 75-years-old.

Booth said Goodwin was only using a walker for stability, but just before Christmas she fell and broke her leg.

“She is recovering, but it is taking a while,” she said. “She plays the piano at our community every other day for everyone for a half hour before lunch. She not only plays but plays completely from memory as everyone gathers around her and sings songs.”

Booth said Solstice is home to several residents over 100. She said Solstice is an independent community.

“We are a very unique model that although we are independent, we bring in partners so that our residents can live here forever,” she said. “Our model is about aging in place. Certainly, having over 10 residents over 100, they do need assistance. We bring in our care partners who can assist with things like getting dressed, help with showers, medication reminders, and activities of daily living. Bunny said they looked at many places when they were trying to look for a community for her mother, and they knew Solstice was the choice. There was a certain feeling. It felt good and she said that her mom has ‘come into her own’ here, and really blossomed because she is around people her own age, her peers, and has much in common with them.”

Booth said the camaraderie between patients is amazing as they have the same experiences. Many have lost their spouses, they like the same entertainers, the same movies, so they have common interests and experiences.

“Eleanore comes down to lunch every day and socializes, really enjoying the day-to-day living in this community,” she said. “When I am meeting new people and telling them about our community, the culture of Solstice, and the socialization, is a huge part of why people choose us.”

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