By Kevin Greer
Lakeside Communications Manager

Copeland Oaks and Lakeside are completely different organizations, but they share many similarities. That would explain why they continue to have a solid relationship.

Copeland Oaks is a senior community for adults ages 55 and older in Sebring, Ohio, 5 miles from the University of Mount Union and about 35 miles from Youngstown and Akron. Every stage of living is offered, from independent to assisted, on a beautiful 250-acre campus.

Beauty is one thing Lakeside and Copeland Oaks have in common, but how could there possibly be anything else? Well, both non-profit communities were started by Methodists, and all faiths are welcome. Both also have religious, recreational, arts and educational programs.

Plus, many Copeland Oaks residents have been to or still visit Lakeside.

“People here talk about Lakeside all the time,” Copeland Oaks Chief Development Officer and Senior Campus Director Lisa Gentile said. “We have a number of residents who used to own homes there. They have a lot of memories.”

Copeland Oaks opened in 1968, and a large majority of board members and founders were Methodist, and they had connections to Lakeside. The staff and many of the residents with ties to Lakeside would always attend the East Ohio Conference.

“I think we have a spiritual connection with Lakeside,” Gentile said. “Some of our residents were extremely involved in Lakeside, and they all loved it.”

Gentile has been to Lakeside on a few occasions for the East Ohio Conference. While she remained busy and hasn’t gotten much a chance to take in what Lakeside has to offer, she understands why residents at Copeland Oaks speak so highly about Lakeside.

“It’s very nostalgic the first time you go through that gate.” Gentile said. “You’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, it looks like a 1950s very pristine neighborhood.’ Our residents have a lot of memories of where they would take their families in the summer, like their children riding around the streets on their bicycles or walking out on the dock.”

Like Lakeside, Copeland Oaks is its own village. Copeland Oaks offers standalone ranch style homes that include a full basement and one- and two-car garages. Lakeshore Apartments are all-inclusive apartments for self-sufficient individuals or couples who simply want to downsize. Beeghly Apartments is Catered Living for residents who want to continue an independent lifestyle, but require support for daily tasks like common household chores, scheduling appointments and reminders. There are apartments with assisted living services catered to each resident’s individual needs.

Crandall Medical Center is a 176-bed rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility at Copeland Oaks. It has one of Ohio’s best Memory Care facilities for those dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It offers a wide variety of activities with a primary goal to help slow the progression of memory loss while allowing residents to enjoy their independence.

Copeland Oaks has plenty of amenities throughout the campus. There is a chapel, computer lab, library, barbershop and beauty shop, gift shop, TV station and studio and three dining locations. For those who want to stay active, there are several options, including an indoor Olympic-sized swimming pool, wellness center with scheduled classes, Buckeye Aerobics Studio, fitness room, walking trials, game room, pickleball courts and the five-acre Copeland Lake for bass fishing. If the putting green isn’t enough, a free lifetime membership is available for residents at the nearby Berlin Lake Golf Club.

Since Copeland Oaks is nonprofit, it has raised millions of dollars toward many different programs and projects for the community over the last few years. The fundraiser that is top priority is the Life Care Fund. Residents must meet certain financial guidelines and criteria to qualify for housing or care. Once they’re in and if they ever run out of money or their investments depreciated, money from the fund assists them so they don’t have to leave.

“We have never asked anyone to move out,” Gentile said. “The Life Care Fund is always our number one fundraiser. We put the residents first and everything else we have on campus is extra. It’s always due to the kindness of our donors and their support.”

Copeland Oaks has outstanding homes, apartments and facilities, but what makes it even more special is the socialization. Studies have proven that people living in retirement communities tend to live longer than those living alone. However, more people are opting to live in their own in their homes, and Marketing Director Chelsea Venables says Copeland Oaks is a great cure for isolation.

“What they can’t get at their home is that socialization and fellowship there is always somebody there to check on them and make sure that they’re doing OK,” Venables said. “That’s just one thing we can offer at Copeland Oaks that they won’t get at home.

Special thanks to D&D Accounting for being a Corporate Sponsor for the Sesquicentennial Celebration.