By Steve Moran

I love it when I get unsolicited stories about resident engagement. When residents are involved in positive, life-affirming activities, senior living is at it’s very best. I hope this story warms your heart and inspires you as much as it does me.

Casa de las Campanas is a not-for-profit CCRC or Lifeplan Community in San Diego County. They have a newly formed club called “High Adventures Club”, or “HAC”.

HAC exists to create experiences for club members and other residents that are outside the norm for senior living communities.

Falling Down…

Recently HAC took the lead in setting up two tandem skydives with free falls from 13,000 feet. The freefall itself is more than 7,000 feet and lasts more than a minute (talking about time slowing down) with a vertical speed of more than 100 MPH.

The chute opens at 5,500 feet with a surprisingly gentle tug and the sightseeing begins.

From where they jumped it is possible to see the downtown San Diego skyline, Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, and Otay Lake near the Olympic training site.

And at the Sky Dive San Diego jump site the jumpers land only a few feet from the spectators. In the case of the HAC jumpers, that audience included many Casa residents.

Tandem jumping provides huge levels of confidence for residents. Many of them have nearly 20,000 jumps. Most of the jumpers had their jumps videotaped. An extra expense, but well worth it. Fourteen Casa jumpers now proudly wear the Casa Skydiving Team tee shirts.

Everyone who jumped and watched thought it was a blast and several have signed on to do it again. The club’s next adventure will be a sunset hot air balloon ride, that includes cheese and champagne, over Temecula valley.

Future adventures will include glider rides, hang gliding, and parasailing. Each of the events starts with an informational program in their dinner theater. Residents pay just for the events they participate in. The skydive ranged from $144 to $300 (with video).