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Christian Health Couples Are Loving Life in Our Communities

Christian Health Couples Are Loving Life in Our Communities

Norma and Nick Hagedoorn say the secret to a 67-year marriage is their strong faith.

“We pray together,” said Norma. “And that makes it work.”

The couple moved to Holland Christian Home*, a Christian Health senior-living community, over ten years ago, after several of their friends raved about how much they love the close-knit community.

“We came to visit them, and when we were on our way home, Nick said, ‘You know, I could easily live there,’” said Norma. “And I said, ‘I was going to say the same thing!’ So we felt mutually that Holland Christian Home is where we would like to be. And we've been very, very happy here.”

Nick and Norma love the social and vibrant atmosphere in the senior-living community and enjoy many activities with their friends and neighbors, such as shuffleboard, bingo, and cards.

“We just had a new couple move in, and they were very excited that there were things they could do together,” said Norma. “They asked us to play cards, so we set up a table with four chairs in our apartment. We can play cards just like we used to – it really makes it a home.”

The camaraderie among residents of Holland Christian Home is certainly a benefit of life in the community. Residents not only share hobbies and gather together to socialize but also support one another when times get tough.

“There's no reason to feel lonely because the people here are so friendly,” said Norma. “It's like one big, happy family. When people have health or family problems, we pray with them.”

The couple is also fond of the big, beautiful communal dining room, where they share daily meals and devotions with the community’s other residents. The food even impresses Nick, a self-proclaimed “picky eater.”

“If you don't care for something, they'll make something else for you instead of what is on the menu,” he said. “I can always find something to eat that I like.”

“I enjoy not having to go shopping for food and preparing it,” added Norma. “It's wonderful that we get to feel like we’re going out for dinner every night. Plus, you don't have to go far and no matter if the weather is good or bad, you'll still have a meal here.”

“It's very, very, ‘kozelek,’” she said. “That’s Dutch for warm and welcoming.”

Peter and Margaret Lau have been married 57 years. They met when Margaret was in eleventh grade and Peter moved across the street from her in Hong Kong. However, she was initially unimpressed.

“One day, I saw a boy standing outside my window,” she said. “He threw me a note that said, ‘Extend a Hand of Friendship.’ At the time, I believed that a good student doesn’t have a boyfriend, so I decided that this boy was very bold and ignored him.”

Six years later, Peter and Margaret got married. Early in their courtship, Peter immigrated to the United States with his parents and for almost four years, they lived apart in different countries and wrote each other a letter every week.

“We still keep these letters in our closet today,” said Margaret.

After they married, Margaret followed him to the United States to start a new life.

“We can't believe time flies by so fast,” she said “We have been married fifty-seven years and have three children and four grandchildren.”

The couple moved to Siena Village, a Christian Health senior-living community, not long after Peter had a minor stroke and they sold their house. They lived with their daughter for some time, but Margaret and Peter had their hearts set on Siena Village.

“I said, ‘You need space, and I need space too,’” said Margaret. “We love living here. It is our nest.”

Many of Peter and Margaret’s friends from church were already living in Siena Village, and since they’ve moved in, more have visited them there, fell in love with the community, and moved in as well.

“The people are really nice and very friendly,” said Margaret. “Nothing compares.”

Peter and Margaret often attend activities at the community together, and residents and team members will frequently see them holding hands everywhere they go. “We are grateful and cherish each other,” said Margaret. “We are not perfect people, and we sometimes have different opinions, but we respect and support each other.”

Learn More About Our Senior-Living Communities

If you think one of our senior-living communities is right for you or a loved one, we would love to tell you more. To learn more about our warm, welcoming, and friendly communities, please call us at (201) 848-5200 or visit

*Pending approval from the State of New Jersey.