Art provides a sense of freedom that enables one to bend things most people see as a straight line. For Rita Shapiro, who lives at La Posada, that sense of freedom is everything.
Although Shapiro maintained a love for fine art throughout her life, her passion and talent for creating abstract masterpieces didn’t blossom until she was in her 50s. With encouragement from her husband, Shapiro returned to school to study painting at the Pratt Institute and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She has amassed her oeuvre by creating a variety of abstract pieces that are inspired by nature, and celebrate the optical pleasures of color and light.
Today, her work can be found in numerous corporate and private collections. Her pieces have also been featured in several different galleries across Florida and Pennsylvania, where Shapiro resided for most of her life. “Every artist is looking for affirmation,” believes Shapiro. “For me, it’s my identity. It’s just what I do.”
Naturally, when browsing retirement communities, Shapiro prioritized finding a place where she could continue her work and have enough space to expand and store her personal art collection. Although she had previously toured other communities, she never felt at ease until she toured La Posada.
“I felt at home the minute I walked in,” says Shapiro. “The staff is the most wonderful, caring group of people and they all knew my name within a few weeks.”
As a Kisco Senior Living community, the staff at La Posada are trained to embody Kisco Confidence — that is, the promise to put residents first by providing safety and security, health and well-being, and quality services to every resident. The La Posada team is comprised of passionate caregivers who proudly work to serve their residents each day.
“We have always operated from our principal values and beliefs, which means putting residents first and constantly striving to improve,” says Brad Cadiere, executive director of La Posada. “We work together every day to make La Posada feel like home and make sure every resident feels valued and respected.”
Like many seniors after retirement, Shapiro felt overwhelmed at the thought of being alone. Despite being fiercely independent, Shapiro still desired a sense of community. Thus, she’s forever thankful that she found in La Posada a place that not only provided a sense of community and comradery but also enabled her to maintain her independence and the ability to express herself while living a truly maintenance-free lifestyle.
“Here at La Posada, I can just be Rita,” confirms Shapiro. “If I desire, I can be anonymous and spend hours in my art studio, or be a present part of the community anytime I want. I enjoy attending the various lectures they have and the movies they show each week.”
Whether a resident is pursuing a current interest or cultivating new passions, La Posada offers a world of opportunity. The wellness team provides residents with weekly calendars stacked with upwards of 50 different programs that include game and movie nights, exercise classes, excursions to local areas of Palm Beach Gardens and so much more.
“We want our residents to be at the forefront of their care,” says Rick Minichino, wellness director at La Posada. “We equip our residents with a surplus of amenities and programs, so they have the ability to take charge of their health and well-being.”
Even after transitioning into life at La Posada, Shapiro has remained booked and busy. Her most recent art gallery exhibition was in Palm Beach Gardens City Hall, where some of her oil painting pieces such as Quattro and Inconito were featured along with the works of another local artist. Among her other oil paintings is a piece titled La Posada, inspired by her new home.
“La Posada is the place where I continue to live and work as an artist,” notes Shapiro. “I am no longer physically able to do what I used to but living at La Posada has provided me the best time of my life. They take care of me, and now I live a maintenance-free lifestyle with no nagging responsibilities. This allows me to hone my passions and maintain my love for art. Life can continue and blossom at La Posada.”
“Our residents live a maintenance-free lifestyle that allows them more time to do the things they love,” says Cadiere. “Kisco communities are at the forefront of a shift in the senior living experience, where residents are not only taken care of, but are provided with an enriched lifestyle — one that offers many opportunities to stay healthy, happy and engaged.”