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Ingleside at Rock Creek Blog

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Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

91-year-old’s retirement dream comes true

But when she got to high school, a vocational counselor told her that girls didn’t go to engineering school—it wasn’t considered a suitable profession. So Barbara followed a different path. She served in the Army, and later became an occupational therapist.

But her ideas never stopped, and her dream never died.

Now she works part-time as a designer at IDEO, a Silicon Valley firm that designed the first mouse for Apple, among other devices. The company takes a “human-centered” approach to design and has been called one of the most innovative firms in the world.

Beskind got the job after she read a news report about IDEO and sent them a resume.

Every Thursday, Beskind takes a bus from her retirement community to the company’s offices and consults with co-workers whose average age is 30. She works with them to develop projects for older people, such as a modified walker that’s being prototyped by IDEO. Her fellow residents at her retirement community serve as test subjects.

Beskind has poor eyesight from macular degeneration and sometimes has trouble getting around. But she’s even turned her own situation into inventions. She uses a magnifying device to read, and she walks several miles a day using a pair of ski poles that she modified to her specifications.

Beskind was profiled recently on the Today Show. You can watch the video here.

Beskind believes everyone has resources they haven’t yet tapped. But she might not have been so successful if she hadn’t lived in an environment that encouraged her to keep learning and growing.

That’s the kind of environment you’ll find at the Ingleside communities—Ingleside at King Farm, Ingleside at Rock Creek and Westminster at Lake Ridge, unique continuing care retirement communities where residents enjoy engaged living, the highest quality of life and a stimulating environment where retirement dreams can come true.



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