UCC-related Brewster Place Refresh Brings Innovation to Senior Life

Residents of Brewster Place gather for conversation.

The United Church of Christ’s Brewster Place, a 54-year-old community for older adults in Topeka, Kan., has one basic philosophy: a holistic approach to providing the programming and services needed for its residents to thrive. To that end, the community is in the middle of a $21-million, three-year project to modernize and renovate the 30-acre campus.

The first phase includes Cottonwood Villas, a new set of apartments. But that’s only a small part of the plans. Brewster place also will construct a 60-foot exercise pool in a new Aquatics Center that will feature a hot tub, full-service spa and locker rooms; a Culinary Center that will include a two-story greenhouse for horticulture classes, a vegetable garden for campus restaurants, and a meditative space for residents and visitors; and a 266-seat Cultural Arts Center that will include a multi-purpose space, an art gallery, and a live performance stage that will enable increased partnership opportunities with nearby Washburn University, Topeka Civic Center, Topeka Performing Arts Center, and area high schools.

The improvements are part of Brewster Place’s philosophy of care called “Vitalize 360.” The philosophy uses art and science to promote optimal wellness for successful aging. It “embraces the entire well-being of a person — a 360-degree view — and encourages older adults to consider all aspects of their lives, including health, nutrition, physical and mental fitness, social and community activities, spirituality and lifelong learning,” says David Beck, president and CEO.

To that end, says Beck, the innovative renovations underway will help Brewster Place accommodate all of its residents, regardless of physical abilities or limitations. The new facilities will enable the community “to offer new types of opportunities and additional individual choices, as well as expand and improve our current offerings,” he says.

And to facilitate access for all participants, the CHHSM-member ministry’s renovations will include accessible, indoor walkways between buildings on-campus.

“Brewster Place has been known for its commitment to holistic wellness,” Beck says. “The facilities expansion is an important step in establishing a culture of wellness and vitality that permits residents to age successfully on their own terms.”

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