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 →
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 →
Because one size does not fit all, our fitness team has multiple ways for you to stay in shape, keep your body moving and strengthen your core. Have you asked a Trainer, checked the Pathways monthly calendar or visited the Wellness Center lately?
Kari Richie, Springmoor’s Wellness Center Director, is quick to say that the best exercise is the one that you will do. No one machine or one class is the best. The perfect exercise is the one that keeps you motivated and on a routine schedule. Some prefer swimming laps. Others prefer a walk in the park. Some prefer to exercise with the instructors on our Springmoor TV channel in their living room. Some like to exercise in a group setting while others prefer a jog on the elliptical trainer in the Wellness Center. Which one is right for you?
Ask A Trainer
Our Wellness Center staff meets with new residents when they move-in to Springmoor introducing them to the equipment room, explaining the class schedule and finding ways to fit their personal needs. A trainer is also available to work with each resident for a few days or a few months, depending on their requests.
Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapy
Springmoor has multiple therapists available for their residents. If you have recently had a knee replacement or other surgery and need a few months of rehab, our staff is here to help. The therapist teams work in their training room with special equipment directly after your surgery. They will slowly introduce you to the Wellness Center for follow-up care as you progress. At this point our fitness staff takes over and gets you back to your normal routines.
The Capital Area Greenway System in Raleigh provides 112 miles of trails for walking, jogging, hiking, bird watching, fishing and picnicking. Monthly, a group of Springmoor residents can be found on a trail. Kari has planned a Spring Kick-Off Event at Pullen Park in March. The group is invited for a picnic lunch, a ride on the carousel and a walk around the 66-acre park adjacent to the North Carolina State University campus. Blue Jay Point, a favorite Raleigh destination, offers a perfect place for bird watching on Falls Lake, a hike on the wooded trails and an informative tour of the Environmental Education Center.
Each month, Kari offers a seminar with experts from the area. Discussions on Nutrition for Better Health with our Dieticians, Healthy Skin Awareness with our Dermatologist, an Introduction to Flexibility Exercises with our Wellness Staff or a Blood Pressure Check and Balance Assessment are just a few of the many offerings she plans for our residents.
Last month, Kari introduced a Balance and Fall Prevention seminar. The overwhelming response has her planning a second follow-up presentation with several area experts.
There are multiple risk factors involved in falls. Making residents aware of these factors can greatly decrease the number of falls. Muscle weakness, medications, blood pressure, dim lighting and uneven surfaces can all cause a fall. Our team can help take away some of these risk factors and then put you on a path to increasing your muscle strength. Core strengthening and balance classes, yoga, tai chi and aquatic classes can all help build muscle and bone strength.
If an exercise class or swimming laps is not your style, then perhaps a round of Putting or Croquet. Ping-Pong will have you up and moving around too. The residents organize weekly events for these sports. The competition is lively and the laughter never ends. The hole in one competition is fierce and the backhands and slices at the Ping-Pong table are wicked. Training for the Senior Games has a few residents keeping the games competitive.
For our walkers, joggers and runners, Raleigh has quite a few 5K and 10K community walks. The Jingle Bell Run, Autism, Parkinson’s and Arthritis Walks have all seen a group of Springmoor residents and staff participating.
The Wellness Center wants to keep you fit. One size does not fit all so choose your style or try a few. Mix it up. Stay active. Keep moving! Find a neighbor and enjoy all that Raleigh has to offer or stick closer to home and jump in the pool for water volleyball. You will certainly feel better afterwards!
Why should I put my name on the Wait List? It’s a frequently asked question during a Springmoor visit and tour. There are many advantages and one that you should ask about when you have made your decision about moving to Springmoor.
The high occupancy rate in our community is the first reason you should consider the Wait List. We have been working from a list for many years. The floor plan, the location and an anticipated move date will all be part of making your new home choice. There are a fewer number of the larger individual homes in our community making the wait time much longer. Many of our smaller units will come available in a much shorter time frame. Keeping your options open is the best idea for many perspective residents.
A deposit is required to put your name on the Wait List. The application fee is an administrative fee and non-refundable. The second fee (deposit) varies depending on the size unit you have requested and whether you are moving in as a single occupant or as a couple. This part of the fee is refundable at any time. You may say no to a unit if the timing or the size is not what works best and you will keep your position on the Wait List. We recommend that, if you are interested in moving within the next few years, you add your name soon as wait times have continued to increase each year.
Being on our Wait List will also enable you to participate in special planned events throughout the year. A Rightsizing Luncheon with a Senior Move Specialist helps answer questions about preparing for your move. A Round Table Event with the Springmoor Staff helps answer questions about the community. During this event you will meet our Dining Room Manager who will explain all of our dining options. Our Wellness Center Director shares information with you about the forty plus classes offered in the pool and in our exercise facilities. She will tell you about options for physical therapy and the outings offered each month for physical fitness. An expert from our Insurance Department explains how they are available to help file medical claims. Many other specialists are available during these informative events. These two helpful programs provide much needed advice prior to your move.
Those on the Wait List are also invited to participate in activities on campus. Lectures, book clubs, art classes and so much more are open to everyone on the Wait List. Our residents, of course, get first priority for off-campus events but we always welcome those on the Wait List if transportation is available. Meeting new neighbors while working in the garden is a perfect way to get involved before you move in. Joining a Fused Glass Workshop in the Meraki Arts Center, listening to a English Literature presentation with Dr. Elliot Engel or attending a concert with The Dixie Land Jazz Ensemble are wonderful events and a great way to make new friends with similar interests.
The Wellness Center
Many on our Wait List will join an Aqua Fitness Class or come by each morning to use the exercise equipment in our beautiful Wellness Center. Riding a few miles on the exercise bike or jogging a few miles on the elliptical trainer will get you into a healthy routine while meeting a few of your soon-to-be neighbors. This is an excellent perk for adding your name to the Wait List at Springmoor!
If you ask a Springmoor resident, they will all tell you, “Move before you think you need to or before you have to. Come early so you can enjoy all the activities that are available.” Currently 15% of the United States population is 65 years or older. That number is expected to grow to 21% by 2030 and wait times will become even longer. Continue reading →
There are two options and many questions to ask when looking at Independent Living Campuses. Choosing between a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and a Rental Community without all levels of care will be the first two options to consider.
A CCRC offers a resident a community for life. A resident may move within the community as more care is needed but will never have to leave. A CCRC offers Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Memory Care on the same campus. An entry fee or real estate purchase plus a monthly fee will be required. Independent residents can continue to participate in activities outside of their home and leave the meal preparation, housework, security and maintenance to the community. This gives the resident freedom to enjoy every minute of their retirement!
A second option is a rental community where all of these amenities are taken care of for the resident but the next levels of care will vary between communities. Choosing this option requires only a monthly fee (no entry fee is required). If you were to run out of money and the facility has no Medicaid beds available, you would be asked to make other living arrangements at a new facility. When Assisted Living, Skilled Care or Memory Care is needed, most likely the resident will need to move to another community. Hiring your own home care is sometimes an option in a rental community.
Choosing an Independent Living Community is much like buying a home. There are many questions to ask and consider. Your family and your financial planner may also need to be a part of the decision making process. Choose a few communities in your area or close to your family and begin with a tour and your list of questions.
Start with the financial questions on your first visit to the community.
- What is involved in the application process?
- Is the apartment owned or rented?
- Does Medicaid, Medicare or any other long-term insurance cover costs?
- What happens if a resident out lives their money?
- Who makes the decision to move to the next level of care?
- Do residents retain control of their finances? Is there assistance available?
- What is the present occupancy rate?
- How much is the entrance fee and is it refundable?
- What are the monthly fees?
- What happens if my spouse and I need different types of care?
- How has the monthly fee increased over the past 5 years?
- What are the costs for higher levels of care?
Ask for an overall description of making a move to the campus.
- How many homes/ apartments are there on the property?
- What types of home are available and how long is each wait list time?
- How do you get on the waiting list?
- What is the occupancy rate?
Next ask about the list of amenities.
- What amenities are included in your monthly payment: TV, phone, housekeeping, transportation, meals, activities, maintenance, etc.?
- What social activities are available each month?
- Is there a Fitness Center on campus? A pool?
- What services are available: a laundry service, a bank, a hair salon, a grocery store?
- What businesses, parks and medical professionals are located in the neighborhood?
Medical options should be next on your list.
- What doctors are available on campus?
- Can a resident continue to see his or her own doctors?
- Is Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy available to residents?
- What health care costs are covered by the Resident and Care Agreement and what must be paid out of pocket?
- What emergency procedures are in place throughout the community?
As you begin to understand the options, you will also want to ask about the specifics of your home and your dining options.
- How many floor plans are available?
- What appliances are included in each apartment?
- Do I get to make any decorating selections when offered an apartment?
- Are pets allowed?
- Explain the meal plan and dining room options.
- Is there a dietician available for special needs?
- Can families dine with a resident at any time?
- Are there to-go services and/or a grocery store available?
- Can arrangements be made for a prospective resident to have lunch or dinner with a resident?
Her mother was a nurse and one of her two daughters is a mental health counselor. A nurse, like her mother, Nina Cole has spent her life taking care of others. Today she serves on the Springmoor Board of Directors offering her knowledge and expertise when it comes to taking care of our community. Springmoor’s independent residents have an on campus doctor and full nursing staff available for any health issues that arise from flu shots, eye exams, blood pressure checks, a seasonal cold or a rehab stay after surgery. The community offers assisted living and skilled nursing as well as memory care and part time home care assistance as needed. Nina’s career has given her a lifetime of nursing experiences that she can bring to the boardroom.
Born in Mullins, a small town in South Carolina, she watched her mother go off to work at the hospital each day. She said she learned to cook early in her life as her mother was often working during mealtimes. Nina’s family moved to Beaufort, North Carolina while her father was in the service. When it was time for college, she headed to the western part of the state to begin her junior college experience at Mars Hill College. Undecided at first, she soon realized that nursing was the path she would pursue. North Carolina Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in Winston Salem became her home for three years as she completed her degree.
Nina and William met during her college nursing days. The two were married and shortly after graduation moved to Louisville, Kentucky while her husband was in the seminary. She was employed at Kosair Children’s Hospital and Jewish Hospital during their time in Kentucky. Then after a short stay in Virginia, they made their way back to North Carolina. Nina’s nursing career began in Raleigh at Raleigh Internal Medicine. Becoming the Director of Nursing and managing the staff, she says, was one of her most rewarding positions. She later moved to Carolina Allergy & Asthma Center where she found new challenges treating a new variety of illnesses and patients of many different ages.
Nina was also very instrumental in bringing hospice to Wake County. In 1979, Hospice was in its earliest organizational stages across the nation. She became a member for the Board of Directors traveling the state to speak about the benefits and the care they provide to the patients and their families. She continues to be intrigued by the founders and the concept of holistic care they offered. The term “hospice” (from the same linguistic root as “hospitality”) can be traced back to medieval times when it referred to a place of shelter and rest for weary or ill travelers on a long journey. Today the organization is known as Transitions LifeCare and is one of the larger hospice organizations across the country. They now serve Durham, Franklin, Harnett, Johnston, eastern Chatham and Wake Counties, as well as Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
During these nursing years, she also raised their two daughters. She helped with the PTA in their schools and volunteered her services at The Red Cross and The Open Door Clinic throughout their younger years. Wherever she could lend a hand and offer her expertise, she was quick to sign up to help.
As a volunteer at the Open Door Clinic, she, along with many other volunteer doctors, nurses, and clerical assistants offer their time to help those in Wake County that have no access to health insurance. As part of Urban Ministries, the organization remains as the only free and charitable clinic in Wake County with a fully licensed pharmacy. The Food Pantry and men’s and women’s homeless shelters are also part of the agency.
When she is not nursing, she sings in her active church choir and serves on several committees, her favorite being the church’s media team. She loves to read and says working in the church’s library is great fun. She helps purchase books as well as catalog and shelve those that are donated. Nina also enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren. “Grammy” (as she is called) and her 13 year-old granddaughter are often found at the mall. “What 13 year-old doesn’t want to go to the mall?” she asks. Continue reading →