Is it time to think about your next move? Are your children settled in their own homes? Are you planning to retire from your nine-to-five routine in the near future? Home maintenance and housework getting in the way of your travel time, golf game and visits with your grandchildren? Then it’s time to let someone else take care of these duties and enjoy your free time. There are many communities and options to consider as you begin your search.
The name easily describes the community. Moving to a single-family home, condo or an apartment in a 55+ neighborhood is an option for those looking for like-minded neighbors with similar interests. Most communities are built with clubhouses, fitness centers, walking trails and swimming pools. They are often located close to shops, restaurants, grocery stores and entertainment centers. Most do not allow anyone younger than 18 to live in the home (of course, visitors are always allowed) and one of the residents in the home must be 55 years of age or older.
The statistics show that the average age of residents in 55+ community is now actually 75. The older the development, the older the residents will be. New construction will most likely have younger residents moving in as the community develops. Lawn maintenance may be included in some communities. Some will require extra fees for other amenities. The cost may be similar to your home now. While the size may be smaller, the Home Owner Association fees will pay for much of the neighborhood common area maintenance. You will pay separately for the amenities that you prefer – golf activities, fitness training and dining at neighborhood locations will only be a part of your expenses if you choose for them to be.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Much like a 55+ community, a CCRC has all of the extras with the added benefit of aging in place. Healthcare is the extra that you will not find in a 55+ community. The name, once again, describes it best – continuing care. These communities were built to accommodate transitions. Independent living is the largest part of any Continuing Care Retirement Community. Single-family houses with a garage and an office, much like your own home, are available at Springmoor. Villas or apartments are also part of the independent floor plan options on our campus. Continue reading →
The two are active in the Raleigh community. One is an employee and the other a volunteer. New Springmoor residents, David and Pat Waters, have continued their busy lifestyles since their recent move to the community adding even more to their lengthy to-do list.
Pat says the move was probably the hardest on their grandchildren. After living in their house for forty-six years, the children didn’t want to disturb the traditions and the furnishings they had grown up with. Grammy Camp was as much fun for her as it was for all of them. She laughs when she says, “They insisted we bring the dollhouse.” And asked how old the grandchildren are now, she smiles and says, “They are 17 to 23 years old!” Family gatherings at the dining room table all involved playtime in the dollhouse when the little ones were finished eating. The conversation was lively and the dinner was expertly prepared in Pat’s kitchen. She cooked for years in a smaller stove than the one she has in their new two-bedroom apartment.
The Waters met when they were college students at THE Ohio State University. (With a chuckle, David puts great emphasis on THE.) She was from the big city of Columbus and he was from a small northeastern Ohio town. After college, the two were married and moved to Pittsburg. Nine years later, CP&L (Duke Energy) brought them to Raleigh. David is still with Duke Energy. At six each morning, he heads downtown, four days every week. Pat still makes his lunch. Continue reading →
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 →