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 →
Springmoor welcomed Jennifer Mondolino, our new Dining Room Director, to the kitchen this month. Cooking is her passion. Planning, shopping, tasting, catering and serving are all part of the food experience for her. “Eating is such a big part of everyone’s life, whether it is just grabbing a quick bite to eat or a sitting down for a formal five-course dinner gala, the conversations are more enjoyable with a delicious meal,” she says.
Jennifer grew up in Stony Brook, New York. She has an undergraduate degree from Johnson and Wales University, a master’s degree in Healthcare Policy and Management from Stony Brook University and, from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, she earned a diploma in pastry and baking. To say that cooking is her passion is almost an understatement! She gives much of the credit to her mentor who shared her knowledge of what needs to happen to make the perfect meal.
The First Job
Like many teenagers, her first job was at Starbucks. This one happened to be located in a hospital. She quickly moved from Starbucks to an Assistant Director position in food service at the hospital with a wonderful mentor. The 350-bed hospital offered room-service style dining. Everything was ordered on an iPad in each patient’s room and expected to be not only delicious but also delivered in forty-five minutes or less. The hospital also served a special menu for those on the surgical recovery floors. They served family and staff in the hospital dining rooms and often catered large galas for special auxiliary events. From planning to prep, Jennifer was behind the scenes learning to do it all. 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 →
Are you interested in taking a tour of our campus? We would be more than happy to show you around, introduce you to our staff and tell you about all the extras Springmoor has to offer. Bring your questions. Bring your walking shoes. Bring a friend or family member. We are only a phone call away.
What to Expect
Before you arrive, one of our marketing counselors will give you an overview on the phone. They will answer your initial questions and help you prepare for the tour. Let them know if you have a specific type of housing you are interested in and they will make plans for you to see it. If there are special amenities that you are interested in seeing or classes you would like to observe, please let them know of your interests also. There is so much to see that it often takes two or three trips to take it all in!
To prepare for your first visit, study the information packet our marketing counselors have mailed to you and bring a list of questions. For those who like to do research, there is a wealth of information on the web with questions to ask on a first visit. For those who prefer to ask friends and family, start now. Ask friends living in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and others who have begun to tour, like you, what they have found. Make a list of items that are important to you. What do you like about your home, your neighborhood and your style of living? What are you interested in doing with your free time? Do you have family in the area? Do you participate in activities in the community? Where are your favorite shopping areas? Do you attend cultural events in the city? All these are important things to consider when choosing which community best fits your needs. Location and amenities are an important aspect of making your decision.
Understanding the Finances
During your first visit, the marketing counselors will help explain the costs of living at Springmoor. They can give you worksheets to help guide you through the process. As with any CCRC, there is an initial entry fee. The monthly fees will vary depending on the size of the home you choose and whether or not you are moving in as a couple or by yourself. The monthly fees cover a wide range of housing costs such as housekeeping, security, cable, phone, gas and electric, and home maintenance. This fee also covers services and amenities such as our Wellness Center, dining, short-term rehabilitation, medical transportation and a variety of social, educational and cultural programs.
The Wellness Center may be one of the first stops on your tour. Our heated saltwater lap pool is home to aqua-fit classes each day. The center also includes an exercise classroom, state of the art fitness machines, a sauna and a massage center. With over forty classes offered each week, there will certainly be one to fit your style. Personal trainers are also available to help you find the perfect workout for your needs.
The North and South Village Dining Rooms, The Bistro and The Garden Café will be a tour stop too. With four options for dining, you have a choice of grabbing a quick to-go meal, breakfast, a casual light lunch or dinner or gathering with friends and enjoying a relaxing restaurant style meal in the dining room. If you are hosting a group luncheon or a family party, the dining room can cater a meal in one of our private dining rooms.
Your marketing counselor will have talked to you about Springmoor’s many different housing options over the phone. She can show you our larger homes with two bedrooms, den and a garage or a smaller villa located on the perimeter of the 42-acre campus. If you prefer to be closer to the dining rooms and the exercise facilities, an apartment in North or South Village may be your style. Options ranging from alcoves to two-bedroom/two-bath apartments can be added to your tour. It is often best to see one or two and come back for a second visit after you have had time to think through your wants and needs.
The amenities and list of social, cultural and educational programs can be found in our monthly Pathways publication. There are art classes, lecture series, musical performances, Raleigh Greenway walking tours, health seminars, out-to-dinner (and lunch) outings, day-trips across the state and so much more offered each month. Of course, our calendar is packed full each month with new offerings. As you tour the campus, you will also want to see our Springmoor Putting Green, Croquet Court, Woodshop, Resident Garden, Movie Theatre and Meraki Arts Studio.
The Stewart Health Center
Choosing a CCRC like Springmoor gives you the security of knowing you have health care options available if needed. Short-term rehabilitation stays, memory care, skilled nursing or assisted living are all part of our community. Our staff can care for a spouse or a neighbor while you are only a short walk away. Knowing you can visit your friends or loved one without leaving the campus is a wonderful benefit to having a full continuum of care in the community. Continue reading →
This week the Springmoor Residents offer their advice to Prospective Residents in Part II of our When to Move stories.
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?
We did not want to move. We were too young. It wasn’t the time. We used every excuse to avoid a move but Springmoor is now our Happy Place.
Everything you go through in a move, we have all done. It is better to come when you can participate in activities, make new friends, settle in physically and emotionally and adjust well to leaving your home. Talk to Springmoor residents. Visit every opportunity you can. Attend programs preparing you to move. Drop-by and walk around the campus often. Visit the various housing options. Begin making Springmoor feel more doable as you begin the process.
When you do come…PARTICIPATE. Leave the boxes and get involved with the activities. We will love you through the moving-in and settling-in process or we can be your balcony cheerleaders from a distance. Everyone is very helpful, kind and generous with welcoming words. The staff is amazing. They can answer any questions and help with getting settled in your new home. They are all here to help! (Barbara and Fred McGehee, Springmoor residents since 2014)
By My Choice
I came at the age of 76. I wanted to come to a retirement community by my choice rather than be in an emergency situation and have a choice made for me that I would not want. I also felt strongly that making the decision myself was a gift to my children and they would not be pushed into making the choice for me.
Since I had visited Springmoor friends so often, I wanted to come while I was able to enjoy all the many advantages we have in the way of programs, trips and activities. We have a great wealth of opportunities from which to choose. I tell my own friends regularly that the time to come is NOW!!! I still come and go as I always did. I have it easy with good friends, good food prepared for me, a weekly housekeeper, great trips, wonderful entertainment and, best of all, the security of knowing that help is just a phone call away if I should need it. I am even happier today that I made that decision four years ago. (Peg Bedini, Springmoor resident since 2014)
Listening to our friends who had made the retirement choice before us was an important part of our decision making. Moving to Springmoor while we could do it as a couple, was the best advice I received. It allowed us to be known in the community as a couple. When one of us is no longer here, neighbors will remember the one we grieve for and that helps in the grief process.
Moving sooner also ensures that we make our own choice. Whether it was a house, villa or an apartment, we were able to choose the one we liked and best met our needs. We were not driven by health, physical or cognitive abilities to have to make a hasty choice.
Moving sooner rather that later allowed for more active involvement and enjoyment of planned programs and eased the transition from one home to another. (Betty and Blake Aydlett, Springmoor residents since 2013)
Life is Richer
My daughter asked me recently to tell her about a typical day here at Springmoor. I told her that I was happy to report that my typical day could be anything I want it to be, which is very enticing! I do have choices to get in my car and go shopping, visit other friends around Raleigh and elsewhere, go on a trip to the islands or Europe, or the beach; all the things I have done before arriving here. Your previous life does not need to stop because you have moved into a retirement community. In addition, I can also choose from a wealth of activities offered by Springmoor – day trips around the city and state, lunches or dinners in Raleigh area, concerts or lectures in our auditorium, church services, counseling, movies, exercise classes, playing bridge, attending art classes, going to the library, reading and on and on. Or, I can stay in my pajamas, eat in my apartment, read, paint, watch TV or work on my computer. There are no rules or agendas I have to follow. Life has become so much richer with the wonderful choices all around me.
Also, the two buildings here in South Village have every thing I need even if I could not get out because of bad weather or some other reason. We have a wonderful dining hall with great food choices and a delightful causal dining option too. Any of the food can be taken to my apartment to enjoy later. I can also go to the Post Office or movie or library right here. If I need to go to North Village, Springmoor transportation is available if I prefer not to walk. All housekeeping, yard work, window washing, hanging pictures or any odd jobs that may be needed can be taken care of by Springmoor. Why would I not love being pampered so well? So many earlier responsibilities and worries have been removed.
Safe and Secure
Maybe one of the main assets at Springmoor is the interaction with the residents and the staff. Everyone is friendly, caring and genuinely interested in knowing each other. This creates such a good feeling of well-being and of belonging to a special community. In addition, feeling safe and secure is so comforting after living alone as a widow for many years and having concerns about our changing world.
The time to get involved with a retirement community is actually before you need all that they offer. We never know what fate has in store for us health wise. A place like Springmoor is here to provide health care every step of the way and for any type of illness that may befall you. One of my goals was to not put any burden involving my long-term health care on my children. Now they can be involved with me, but also be assured that I am in the best place for any care I may need in the future. If one waits too long to get involved with a retirement community, they could find that there could be a long wait to enjoy these benefits. (Margaret Burch, Springmoor resident since 2016) 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 →