This week the Springmoor Residents offer their advice to Prospective Residents in Part I of our When to Move series.
Have you thought: Oh sure, I know one day I may need to move to one of those retirement homes. But now? Why would I want to do that now? “I loved my house BUT keeping up with my yard, paying for all utilities and real-estate taxes, trying to keep the A/C and furnace, hot water heater, dishwasher, laundry equipment, lawn mower and all that stuff in working order?! We had a 4,000 sq. foot house packed with all of our treasures. How could you possibly live in an 1,100 – 1,600 sq. ft. Springmoor apartment, house or villa without all of your wonderful, accumulated STUFF? Someday, sure!” said Springmoor resident, John Robinson. But why should you consider this NOW?
Probably most Springmoor residents have uttered these words, or at least had these same thoughts, before making the decision to move.
We did a lot of “foot-dragging” before making the decision to commit to a Springmoor move. BUT we also believed that there were a number of great reasons to consider making the move when we did. One reason is that it is much easier to do it earlier when health and strength make it less stressful and much less difficult. And experience shows that with each passing year the effort to make a move is more challenging and difficult. Another critical matter is the inevitable declining health that most will experience with advancing age. At our age, we have observed growing varieties of difficult health issues experienced by aging family members and friends. We have also observed that, for those not in a quality Continuing Care Retirement Community like Springmoor, it is harder (and HARDER) to deal with proper health care. Home health care can be very expensive and difficult to manage. Finding reliable, qualified home care often becomes a nightmare for those who have needed it. How wonderful it is to know that, in a place like Springmoor, a short-term health problem can be accommodated seamlessly with temporary moves into the rehab center. If more serious and chronic health problems or dementia develop for oneself or a spouse, long-term care is available right here.
If the health of a spouse becomes a serious problem, one can call on qualified and always available health care assistance. Such readily available care also is a gift to children and other relatives. It is a blessing to them that need not be burdened with worrying about, finding and providing health care to an aging or disabled parent or family member.
Happily, life at Springmoor is a liberated life! One can live as independently as one is able or cares to be. Further, if you need it, you can enjoy all of the benefits of a more nurtured and supportive living situation. It is not necessary to cook and prepare daily meals, although you can in fully equipped modern kitchens provided in every independent home. Most residents quickly elect to enjoy delicious prepared meals available every day or as often as desired. For health and recreation, a health club is on-site with qualified trainers available as needed. The Springmoor residents surround new residents with an expanded “family” of interesting people who share many of the same interests and hobbies. There are opportunities to learn many new skills and to participate in wonderful, interesting and fun activities that are available every day of the week.
Finally, and probably surprising to many, will be the discovery that when all costs of living in your present house or condo are considered, Springmoor living may be less costly! This can help to conserve financial resources for fun travel, more cultural activities and hobbies, and the increased ability to pass along financial resources to your favorite charities and family. (John and Martha Robinson, Springmoor residents since 2017)
In Good Health
I was in good health living alone with both children residing in other states. I realized that, if an emergency were to arise, they were too far away to respond. I needed to be where this would not be a problem, so I chose independent living at Springmoor. My children are thanking me for having made the decision as it would be much harder for them to choose for me.
The move to a retirement community should be done while one is still in good physical and mental health before the actual need arises. With failing health, the move will be much more difficult and burdensome for you, family, friends and others.
My advice: Make the move to a retirement community while you are still in control and can make the necessary decisions yourself. You will be much happier. (Larry Auld, Springmoor resident since 2016)
Wealth of Activities
There is such a wealth of activities at Springmoor in which you can participate. You need to move here while you are still physically and mentally able to take advantage of them. Because of my wife’s medical condition, her doctor advised us that she should be physically active and mentally stimulated and Springmoor offers many opportunities for that to occur. Springmoor is an incredibly friendly and giving community. We have made lots of new friends here. Because Springmoor is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), it gives us a real sense of relief that our daughter will not have to worry about either of us as Springmoor has the facilities to care for us as we continue to age. We feel that we made the right decision to move to the right place at the right time for all the right reasons. (Jim and Faye Bundy, Springmoor residents since 2013)
My husband and I started to feel as if we were getting further and further behind in keeping our yard in the shape we were accustomed to and things in the house stopped being “fun projects” and we put off chores. We looked at one another and said, “Why aren’t we moving into something smaller?” Why wait for another snowstorm or another pipe leak? We could be enjoying our life more and be worry free in something smaller with less maintenance. That’s when we started looking at retirement locations. When we toured Springmoor, we knew we had found our future home.
Our advice is to be honest with yourself. If you have had a particular day when you wondered about your future or who you would get to help as you grew older, then you should begin making plans now. A big mistake is to wait until you have no choice in making this decision. We have been here fifteen months and still agree it is the best decision we have made. We have met new friends and are doing things that we never had time for before our move. (Julie and Alex Lewis, Springmoor residents since 2016) Continue reading →
With a smile and a laugh, Michael and Ellen Rogers say this same question gets asked often. Why did you choose Springmoor? What put it at the top of the list? Residents of Eugene, Oregon, the two were here this week to make their interior selections for their new home. Ellen joins Michael in her retirement in a few short months and the two are moving across the country to enjoy all that Raleigh has to offer.
Starting with a Google search for the best place to retire, access to the best health care, availability of university libraries and activities, airports, climate and an uncongested metropolitan area brought Raleigh to the top of the list on almost every search. The two were very familiar with Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) and knew this was the first step in finding a place to retire.
Ellen’s grandparents, parents and extended family have all lived in CCRCs so they put this at the top of their search criteria. They were both amazed at the number of possibilities in our area. Most cities, they said, only had one community to consider and many cities had nothing at all to offer. Michael continued his research and picked five CCRCs in the Triangle area to visit.
US News & World Report ranks Raleigh and Durham on their list as the #7 Best Place to Live. Known for our research and technology roots along with the collegiate rivalries, the area offers a high quality of life. At the top of their list was access to university libraries and activities. They have both had careers in academia and wanted to continue this similar lifestyle. Universities typically attract well-known lecturers, musical performances and continuing education. An ability to access libraries for research, scholarly magazines and journals was an important factor for Michael. He was happy to also find the Triangle on the most educated city list.
Next on their list was access to the best health care programs. With Duke University Medical Center and UNC Health Care System as part of the triangle, they knew this area was exceptional for research and health care. The most updated medical facilities would be located within minutes of their relocation if Raleigh were chosen as their new home.
A small town feel with big city offerings was important to both Ellen and Michael. Having lived in San Diego, California; College Park, Maryland; Tucson, Arizona and East Lansing, Michigan, they both wanted all that big cities have to offer but without the headaches of traffic and congestion. Speciality shops, concert series, restaurants, sporting events and big city things to do can all be found in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. They loved the fact that the three cities are spread out keeping traffic to minimum but still offering so many options for its residents. A quick drive from one to the other usually takes no more than thirty to forty-five minutes. RDU’s International Airport also offers easy access for their friends from across the country to come for a visit. They don’t expect to travel much but do plan on entertaining many friends in their new home.
The average high temperature in Raleigh is 71° and the average low is 50°. Residents are quick to say that we are in an area of the country that has all four seasons. Sometimes even in the same week! Leaving Oregon and the cool temperatures to come to the East Coast was very enticing.
Having lived in many college towns, the two knew that sports brought out an exciting rivalry and camaraderie not found in all towns. We not only have one team to cheer for but we have THREE! And we are not only a UNC, Duke, and NC State basketball triangle but college football and baseball fill up the weekend tailgating schedules too. Besides college teams, we also offer two minor league baseball teams, a professional ice hockey team and professional men’s and women’s soccer teams. We look forward to asking the Rogers which team they have chosen to cheer for after living at Springmoor during a basketball season.
Michael has two daughters and their families living in California. One has begun their search for the empty-nest life style. After his granddaughter leaves for college, the family plans to downsize. Putting in different criteria, Michael’s daughter also found Raleigh at the top of her list. Ellen’s brother did his research and moved here only two years ago. They all put in different information and independently came up with the same results!
Top of the List
What was it that made Springmoor the top choice? Michael came by himself two years ago to tour the area. Ellen was working full-time and knew that they had easily agreed on homes with their other moves. When he pulled into the entrance, he was amazed at the landscaping and the hidden oasis he had found. There were no tall apartment-style buildings surrounded by parking lots. The residential neighborhood setting quickly won him over. He spent two afternoons walking around the Springmoor campus. He randomly ran into five different people and each of them shared their own story with him. They all were eager to tell him about the joy they continue to feel with their Springmoor choice for retirement. He said “the vibe” he felt from these residents sealed the deal. Continue reading →
It’s true; those furry, slobbery, wagging creatures can be the best of companions. Pets provide a comfort system and actually produce a chemical chain reaction in the brain that helps to lower levels of the stress-inducing hormone, cortisol and increase the production of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. In fact, pets have been shown to reduce blood pressure and stress levels in humans and can actually help lower cholesterol, fight depression and help protect against heart conditions. All great reasons for seniors to have a pet! (Dana Larsen, A Place for Mom Senior Living Blog)
Our residents will all tell you their furry companions are part of their family. Some literally were part of their extended families. After a short stay, these furry friends have come to live with the residents while the children juggle their busy schedules.
With a walk in the morning, at lunch, before dinner and bedtime, Gabby, Larry Auld’s Miniature Schnauzer, has stolen the hearts of many along the path near their villa. She won’t let a passerby walk past without saying hello and petting her. She belongs to Larry’s sister-in-law but mostly lives at Springmoor. With a busy work schedule, it seemed only fair to Gabby that she have a full time companion and Larry doesn’t mind the company.
He has had a pet in his life for the last fifteen years and growing up he always remembers a dog at home. Gabby loves to ride in the car and play with her floppy toys. She still has the energy of a puppy even though she is almost ten years old. If you see Larry and Gabby on the path, please stop and say hello! She’ll bark but it’s just a hello.
Amirah (Arabic for Princess)
Amirah, Jim and Faye Bundy’s Russian Persian cat, can often be spotted sunning herself on the window ledge. She was originally their daughter’s cat but there seemed to be a conflict with the Russian Princess and the other three cats in their house. So she was loaned to Faye and Jim – seven years ago. She is quite easy to take care of. No walks, no grooming, and no pet sitters are required for their feline. A warm place to snuggle is her only requirement.
Monica and Hank Perkins have a beautiful six-year-old Havanese named Layla. Monica grew up with a love of dogs. Hank didn’t have much interest in animals until he met Layla. She has stolen his heart! Monica and Layla visit him in the Stewart Health Center daily and the little white puff of fur loves to play “hard to get” when he’s around. Monica says she is a little flirt when Hank is around.
Tara and Simon
Nadine Tope has a dachshund and a cat living with her. Tara (short for Holy Terror), her dachshund, is twelve years old and Simon, her sleek black cat, is four and a half. Tara is always ready to play with Simon, however, he is not always a fan (typical of most cats!). Similar to a brother and sister, they are friendly and respectful of each other but have very different personalities. Tara is the more outgoing of the two. Simon is usually hiding, sleeping and sunning himself on a window ledge. Tara loves the car and a long walk through the community.
Ginger and Eunice Bland are almost always together in the Stewart Health Center visiting friends or at the puzzle table with neighbors. Six years ago, this precious little three-month-old toy poodle came to live with Eunice weighing only three pounds. She is constant company to both Eunice and the friends she visits in the Stewart Health Center. She gets lots of attention while she is there. Who has more fun? That’s anyone’s guess!
A spoiled little Havanese lives with Linda Edwards. She will be the first to admit that MoJo gets lots of attention. Doggy day camp is on the schedule several mornings a week so he can play with his friends. He needs lots of socialization she says with a smile. The two have recently returned from a trip to the Bahamas.
“MoJo has never liked riding in the car and, while we were in the Bahamas, we had to go over very rocky roads to get to our favorite beaches. I discovered he did much better if I sang to him and he preferred the cadence of children’s songs but got tired of hearing the same ones over and over. When I ran out of songs, I began singing a made up song entitled “Here we go to the beachy beach,” which had the advantage of unlimited, if silly, new verses.” The two are best friends for sure! Continue reading →
This week we honored our employees at the Years of Service Ceremony. Over one hundred employees received recognition for their service to Springmoor. Some have been here three years and others as many as thirty! Awards were given for three, five, ten, twenty, twenty-five and thirty years. The staff at Springmoor is a dedicated group of individuals all pitching-in to make this a wonderful place to live.
With Special Recognition and Congratulations!
20 Years of Service: Rose Fleming, Zhiying Gu, Eleanya Akaronu, and Shronda Wall
25 Years of Service: Jacqueline Daniel, Michel Davis, Kenneth Dunston
30 Years of Service: Terri McMahon, Gloria Wilkins and James Dixon
Behind the Scenes
This week, we would like to introduce you to just a few of our 450+ outstanding employees. Terra Hunt is the Dining Room Manager and has been working at Springmoor for 15 years. Terri McMahon is the Supportive Living Nursing Manager and has been here for 30 years! Dee Redmond is in an Accountant and has recently celebrated her third year anniversary with Springmoor.
What was your first job as a teenager?
Terra: I had a babysitting business when I was 13.
Dee: I worked for the City of Albany in a Summer Adolescent Vocational Educational Program
How many positions have you had since you’ve been here?
Terra: Two – Supervisor and Manager in the Dining Rooms
Terri: Three – Stewart Health Center, the Out Patient Clinic and Supportive Living
Dee: Two – Accounting Assistant and Accountant
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Terra: Heavenly Hash
Terri: Butter Pecan
Dee: Butter Pecan from Stewart’s Shops in NY
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Terra: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Meteorologist.
Terri: I want to play like a kid!
Dee: When I was 8, I wanted to be an Accountant.
Where were you born?
Terra: North Carolina and raised outside of Atlanta, GA
Terri: Pensacola, FL
Dee: Albany, NY
What time do you wake up every day?
Terra: 5:15 am (Work starts at 11:00am)
Terri: 5:45 am (Works starts at 7:00am)
Dee: 5:30 am (Work starts at 8:00am. I have a five-minute commute and I am usually late!)
What is the coolest thing you do during the day?
Terra: Talk to the residents. I learn something new everyday.
Terri: Watch over the residents.
Dee: Put a smile on people’s faces!
What job at Springmoor would you like to do for one day?
Terra: Activities Manager in the Stewart Health Center
Terri: With a laugh, “Not the Executive Director, that’s for sure!”
Dee: Executive Director
What do you do on the weekend?
Terri: Track meets, soccer games and all things grandchildren!
Dee: Shopping, walking at Shelly Lake and Church
Do you sing to the radio in the car?
Terra: Oh yes!
Dee: Yes and I sing walking down the halls too!
What is your favorite pizza topping?
Terra: Spinach and tomato
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Terra: Santorini, Greece. It has beautiful whitewashed houses and overlooks the water.
Dee: Only one place?! I have a list: an African Safari, Australia and then Dubai.
Were you on a sports team or in the band in high school?
Terra: I was in the Orchestra and played the string bass, the violin, the clarinet and the piano.
Terri: I was on the Volleyball Team.
Dee: I played Soccer and Basketball.
What book are you reading now?
Terra: I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan
Terri: No books just Sudoku puzzles everyday
Dee: I am Number 8 by John Gray Continue reading →
The Springmoor Board of Directors includes a dedicated group of volunteers with a variety of careers. This week we introduce you to Ernest Carraway, a Real Estate Attorney, CPA and NCSU lecturer.
The path to the classroom and the courtroom was never expected. Ernest Carraway grew up in Greenville, NC, located in the eastern part of the state. After high school he moved to Chapel Hill to pursue an undergraduate degree at UNC in math. He was unsure where this path would lead him but knew his love for numbers was a great place to start.
The Mathematical Path
After four or five classes in calculus, he remembers taking a class in economics that peaked his interest. He is not sure now if it was the subject or the professor but his path made a twist from math to economics. As he approached his final exams in December of his senior year, he began to wonder where he was going with an economics degree. Off to graduate school, a job in a business field or law school perhaps? The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) was scheduled on campus the very next week so he quickly signed up for the exam.
The Law School Path
He received his scores within a few weeks and then applied immediately to UNC School of Law for the following fall semester. He was accepted. The path had twisted again. Upon graduation from law school three years later, he still wasn’t sure the type of law he wanted to practice so he returned to Greenville where a couple of opportunities awaited him.
Describing himself as a shy and quiet student, he was surprised when a family friend, Dr. James Bearden, Dean of the East Carolina University’s College of Business, approached him about a teaching position. Could he stand up in front of a classroom of students that were not much younger than him? Could he teach business law? Would he enjoy the classroom as much as the courtroom?
There was also a local law firm where he had worked during summers of law school that offered the chance to gain a variety of legal experience from the criminal cases in the courtroom to real estate closings.
The Path to the Classroom
He became a part-time instructor at ECU while he was also practicing law. A dual career had begun! As a lecturer, the State of North Carolina offers the staff free enrollment in classes on campus. So Ernest signed up for an accounting class and then another and another. He wasn’t really thinking about another degree but realized that with the classes he had been taking, a CPA certification would be easy to pursue and probably help with his real estate and tax law interests. So once again, the path had twisted and he began to double up on his courses and to take some during the summer semester in order to sit for the CPA exam which he passed in May, 1982.
The Accounting Path
From his math beginnings to a law school degree, he now found himself applying for jobs with accounting firms and landed in Raleigh. He was hired to work for Touche Ross as a CPA but the classroom kept calling him back. His passion for the students and teaching was something he never expected but knew he wanted to continue to pursue.
Only a few years after his arrival in Raleigh, he began a part-time teaching position at North Carolina State University which soon turned into a full-time position as a lecturer. He returned to practicing real estate law which would not interfere with his teaching schedule. This dual career would continue for many years ahead.
The call to join Springmoor’s Board of Directors came after meeting the Ammons family at Greystone Baptist Church. With his real estate and tax law knowledge, he was a perfect fit for the investment committee and the Springmoor Endowment Fund Board of Directors. He was asked to serve on the board of SpringShire, an Ammons property under development in Greenville, NC. Serving on these boards and committees has been an education for him too. He feels lucky to have joined such a dedicated group of people. He says he has learned more from them than he could ever give back. The quality of people and the responsibility that the directors offer is a gift to each community. He looks forward to serving for many years ahead.
The Path Ahead
He and his wife, Teresa, hope to retire “sooner rather than later,” he says with a laugh. Their two children, Ford and Maggie, have graduated from college and are forging their own paths in the career world.
A path with many forks, Ernest’s career has given him a unique niche in the classroom, the boardroom and the courtroom. He looks forward to soon enjoying a little more time on the Pamlico River in his kayak, a good book or a long bike ride. A devoted UNC sports fan and an avid runner, he has a long list of things to do. For now, he enjoys his accounting students with the one-on-one time in the classroom being his favorite part of teaching. He has had the opportunity to teach a study-abroad course in Germany. He is learning new technology to keep up with the increasing demand for online classes. He offers these video presentations for those who might miss a class but he believes it’s always better to spend time face to face. Continue reading →
Our RISE AGAINST HUNGER was a huge success this year! Thank you to the many volunteers that gave their time and talents to make it such a wonderful day.
How many meals were packaged during our Rise event on Tuesday?
51,192 meals were packaged
How long did it take to package the meals?
Less than 6 Hours (record time!) and lots of dedicated volunteers
What was the total donated to purchase the meals?
$29,400 was donated to cover our 50,000-meal event plus enough to help Rise host another 51,372-meal upcoming event.
How many people participated today?
150+ Springmoor Residents and Staff volunteered for the event
How many students came to help?
28 Middle School Students (6th – 8th Grade) and 4 Teachers from The Montessori School of Raleigh came to help. They are students of a former Springmoor employee who loves to participate.
How many Fire Fighters came to help?
5 City of Raleigh Firemen helped haul the boxes and bags to refill the buckets with the dehydrated meal ingredients – rice, soy, vegetables, and 23 essential vitamins and minerals.
How many families came to help?
This was the big story of the day! We were thrilled to have the Residents invite their family members come and help package meals.
Libby Woods brought her son Paul.
Betty Duke was joined by her son Kent.
DG Harwood and his two daughters, Sheron and Lynn helped package meals.
Robin Wright brought her whole family plus a few extras – Scott, Spencer, Stephanie and two of their friends!
Edna Hicks was joined by her daughter, Lauren, and a friend.
Robin Hardison brought her daughter, Chadisey.
Jim and Shirley Overcash were joined by their daughter, Donna.
Kelli Sullivan’s husband, Joe came to help unload the truck.
How many years has Springmoor been doing this event?
This was our 7th year hosting a meal-packing event.
How many total meals has Springmoor packed during these events?
The Springmoor community has now packaged over 300,000 meals
RISE numbers Continue reading →