Active Adult Communities

10/22/2020 | By Rachel Marsh

“Where you are always among friends”

Residents, staff, and visitors agree: there’s just something different about Friends Care Community. Located in the already friendly town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, this senior community has, for years, managed to foster an environment of inclusivity, geniality, and, well, friendships.

Who Is Friends Care Community?

Founded in 1980 by individuals from the Quaker community, Friends Care began as a 50-bed nursing home. Since then, it has been steadily growing and evolving in order to accommodate more seniors in the area.

Now, in addition to the original nursing home, they offer rehabilitation, independent living, and assisted living. And as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), they are able to guide residents through each stage of aging.

But – it’s more than just the vast continuum of care that draws in residents. According to Becky Baker, marketing admission director for Friends Care Community, their hospitable, inclusive, community-focused atmosphere has such a strong attraction to seniors from all over. “It’s all about the customer service we provide here,” she explains. “The caring environment. The friendliness of Friends.”

In fact, some people, Baker says, come for the short-term rehabilitation program only to return years later when they’re ready for a retirement community. “They just had such a great experience!”

Resident at Friends Care Community
Resident at Friends Care Community

Celebrating 40 Years!

And it’s those positive experiences – along with many other contributing factors – that has kept Friends Care Community successful enough to celebrate their 40th anniversary this year.

Contributing factors such as … 

A Tight-Knit Community

Though technically considered a senior living community, Friends Care is, as many would agree, really more like a mini village. Regardless of how large it’s grown throughout its years in Yellow Springs, it still harbors that cozy, communal feeling.

Residents agree that it’s like living in a town filled with your … well, friends!

An Actively Laid Back Lifestyle

One complaint residents never have at Friends Care Community? Boredom! With a team of activities staff and events seven days a week, residents always have the opportunity to participate in social time.

“We do our best to try to keep everybody upbeat and happy,” says Joanie Gifford, activities assistant and staff member at Friends Care Community for 40 years.

The team offers on-campus activities like trivia, spa sessions, or group walks around the pond. They even have field trips: to local shows, baseball games, or even out to dinner. “But their favorite thing is still bingo!” Gifford says.

Names Over Numbers

But one of the biggest guiding principles of this community is that the residents are never merely room numbers. “[This is] where you’re always among friends,” Baker says of Friends Care. “We’re small enough we get to know our families … and what their needs and wants are on a daily basis.”

That Countryside City Life

When it comes to its location, Friends Care Community is in a “best of both worlds” situation.

Located on 23 sprawling acres, residents get to enjoy the clean, fresh air of nature – literally right at their fingertips. It’s so natural, in fact, that wildlife is frequently spotted roaming the wooded campus!

The bucolic setting also permits a vastly active and nature-oriented lifestyle. There is always a lot to see, whether during an on-premise stroll or merely sitting and soaking up the great outdoors. The campus is also in close proximity to walking paths and bike trails, and there’s even a “beautiful garden … We plant a garden every year, the residents and myself,” Gifford explains.

Residents at Friends Care Community

But just down the road from this rural paradise lies the urban appeal of Yellow Springs. “We’re very close to the grocery, the pharmacy, a lot of cultural activities,” says Baker, noting that Friends Care is situated in the heart of Yellow Springs.

The artsy town has plenty to do for both residents and visitors: from shopping, dining, wellness, culture, and farmers markets, plus events throughout the year. It’s so close, in fact, many residents bike to it!

A Community Within a Community

Not only does Friends Care offer communal hospitality to those within their campus, they also extend their reach to the rest of the area. In an effort to spread the love, they’ve established multiple programs that bring together other arenas of the Yellow Springs community.


Though not affiliated with Friends Care Community, there is a preschool located on their property. Preschool leaders find as many opportunities as they can to intertwine their programs with Friends Care seniors: intergenerational activities may include a reading hour, student song-and-dance performances, parades, and even, according to Baker, a “Valentine party.”

Plus, a burst of young energy is proven to increase morale – especially in senior communities!

Community Garden with the Local High School

Over a decade ago, staff began getting local high school students involved with their community garden. Students would pick vegetables from the land, and afterwards, sort through them with residents. Then, to extend their reach even further, they would go off to sell fresh vegetables to the community.

Talk about a win-win-win … win.

Animal Rescue

Resident at Friends Care Community

And, in addition to the often-spotted wildlife, Friends Care also invites community pets to live on campus. In the past, they’ve adopted dogs from 4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit in Xenia that trains puppies to become service dogs for kids.

Those that don’t make the cut, however, go off to find good homes – and occasionally, that good home is Friends Care Community. 

Though they don’t currently have any communal dogs, staff bring their four-legged babies in on a regular basis. And then, of course, there’s Jack the cat, the community feline who always seems to instinctively know who needs him most.

The Friends You Never Knew You Needed

Whether resident, visitor, or staff; young or old; even animal or human! Friends Care Community has an open and accepting welcome policy.

“I hear the families say, ‘It’s so family-oriented. It’s so home-like,’” says Baker. “I’ve worked here 13 years … it’s just different here.”

Rachel Marsh

Award-winning writer Rachel Marsh has written for many different sites and publications on a variety of topics. She is the multimedia editor for Seniors Guide and works hard to make sure seniors and their families have the best information possible. When she’s not writing for work, she can be found writing for fun. Really!

Rachel Marsh