Oak Hammock Recognized Among Nation’s  Premier University-Based Retirement Communities 

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University of Florida alum Judy Plaut, 69, and current student Gabby Nease, 20, examine plants in one of the greenhouses on the Gainesville, Florida, campus. Video still by Steve Mort/PBS NewsHour
University of Florida alum Judy Plaut, 69, and current student Gabby Nease, 20, examine plants in one of the greenhouses on the Gainesville, Florida, campus. Video still by Steve Mort/PBS NewsHour

Oak Hammock at the University of Florida, a Life Fulfilling Community,® was recently recognized as one of the nation’s leading University-Based Retirement Communities (UBRCs). Its campus and members were featured in a PBS NewsHour series that highlighted retirement options for baby boomers and aired on affiliate stations across the U.S. on May 14.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Oak Hammock focuses on lifelong learning, fitness and health in a resort-style environment energized by its affiliation with the University of Florida. PBS special correspondent Spencer Michels and a camera crew spent two days filming on the Oak Hammock campus – interviewing University of Florida president Bernie Machen, as well as six Oak Hammock members who participated in a focus group conducted by PBS. 

The segment outlined the benefits of Oak Hammock’s Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) model, which provides members with access to all levels of care they may need as they age. Additionally, Oak Hammock was recognized for its Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR), with courses taught by current and former UF professors. 

“Oak Hammock did an outstanding job of incorporating the best resources of the university into the retirement community – and they were one of the first communities to put in place formal letters of agreement with a university, which helps ensure the longevity of the partnership and the value it provides to members,” said Andrew Carle, founding director and executive in residence for the Program in Senior Housing Administration at George Mason University. Carle coined the term “UBRC” and recommended Oak Hammock to the PBS producers from among several dozen university-affiliated communities nationwide. 

The segment featured the Oak Hammock art studio and music ensembles and captured a “day in the life” of member Ray Goldwire. Producers followed Goldwire across the Oak Hammock campus – in a personal training session with a UF student staff member at the 22,000-square-foot Fitness Center, tending the community beehives, having lunch with friends in the Dining Room and taking an on-site ILR class. “As two of the first members to move to Oak Hammock, my wife and I found that the day with the PBS interviewers pleasantly reminded us why we chose this community and have been so happy living here,” Goldwire remarked. 

Added CEO Cathy Ferguson: “Since the beginning, Oak Hammock has combined the vitality of a university setting with the security of quality long-term care. We’re honored to receive this recognition and have the opportunity to showcase our campus and our members.”

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Oak Hammock at the University of Florida, a Life Fulfilling Community®, is located on 136 acres of woodlands just minutes from downtown Gainesville and the UF campus. Focused on lifelong learning, fitness and health, the community features individual club homes/ villas and low-rise residences, a 22,000-square-foot Fitness Center, two heated indoor pools, multiple dining venues, and on-site Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Memory Support. Oak Hammock’s affiliation with the University of Florida enables members to have campus privileges similar to those of university faculty.The University of Florida is not responsible for the financial or contractual obligations of Oak Hammock at the University of Florida, Inc.

 

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