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 →
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 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!