Couple Finds a Second Home
Tom and Judy Pinger have been married for either 43 or 47 years, depending on which one you ask. But they agree on most everything else. They value their independence and love spending time together at St. Ann Center.
The Pingers live in a supported independent living apartment and come to the Bucyrus Campus five days a week. “After we retired, it didn’t take long for us to get antsy,” Tom said. “Our social worker suggested we get involved in the day program at St. Ann Center. We took a tour, and here we are four years later.”inter
Opposites really do attract in Tom and Judy’s case. Judy, 70, is bubbly and likes socializing, while Tom, 76, is quiet and reserved. “I love all the activities,” Judy said, listing balloon volleyball, karaoke, art and jigsaw puzzles among her favorites. Tom prefers to settle down in a comfy chair to read with a cup of coffee. The flexible day program suits them both.
With no children of their own, the close-knit couple appreciates the chance to spend their day with the younger generation at St. Ann Center. “I think older people feel better when they’re around kids,” Tom said. “They keep your mind working.” Judy looks forward to the end of the pandemic, so she’ll be able to spend more time with the children. “We could paint, dance and do science experiments together,” she said. “They catch on so quickly.”
Independence is important to both Tom and Judy. When he fell and injured his hip a couple of winters ago, Tom wasn’t sidelined for long. “The staff at St. Ann Center was there when I needed help,” he said, remembering his introduction to using a walker. “Now, I get around pretty good.”
Judy recalls an attentive activity director who recognized her hidden talent. “I was singing to myself, when she came up and told me, ‘You have a beautiful voice,’” she said, smiling. The next thing Judy knew, she was on stage at the Bucyrus Campus band shell as part of an intergenerational talent show.
“I sang ‘Climb Every Mountain’…until you find your dream,” Judy said of that performance. “Now, I’m not afraid to sing loud, so people can hear me.”