Meet Our Residents: Norrene Thompson  

A huge part of what makes Rose Villa such a unique and colorful place to live are the residents and their remarkable stories that contribute to shaping our community. Residents are continuously bringing us fresh ideas for how we can communicate better, spark new interests and hobbies, celebrate life and give back to the communities surrounding us. Starting this month, we’d like to profile some of the Rose Villa residents who inspire us every day. In this edition of “meet our residents,” we’re thrilled to introduce you to Norrene Thompson.

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Norrene has always been one to shatter stereotypes and defy the rules of aging. At 92 years old, she has dealt with severe arthritis and joint pain for more than 10 years and relies on a walker for mobility. She refuses to let chronic pain slow her down, though, as she pushes past her comfort zone in the Rose Villa Aquatic Center each week. Most people are shocked to learn that Norrene swims one-third of a mile twice a week with the same excitement and rigor she had in her younger years.

Prior to living at Rose Villa and before her physical restrictions, Norrene used to swim half a mile, six days a week. It quickly became more than an exercise for her, but a passion. It granted her time to be social and visit with regulars at the gym, while also improving her flexibility, joint discomfort, and muscle strength. She maintained this consistent swimming schedule six times a week for more than 30 years, so you can imagine her excitement when she finally stepped back in the pool after taking many years off!   

Norrene has thoroughly enjoyed the social aspect of swimming at Rose Villa, as it forces her to get out of the house and engage with other residents in the community. She’s already made a strong network of friends and loves talking to other residents, improving her overall happiness and wellbeing. She continues to push the boundaries of aging and challenges herself physically every day. She turns 93 this October and is already working with her Rose Villa Wellness Director, Rene’ Swar, to start swimming one third of a mile, three times a week before then.

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Rose Villa residents have extraordinary, awe-inspiring stories to tell. We love hearing about people like Norrene who are challenging the way others view aging. It’s never too late to find a new passion, and Norrene shows no signs of slowing down as she clocks her laps each week! We hope you’ve taken away some inspiration in her story and will continue to do so with this monthly resident series.