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 →
Did you know there was a garden in the west wing at Springmoor? It’s a surprise to many who don’t walk down this hallway on a daily basis. The Garden Room is a beautiful sunny greenhouse for residents to tend to their plants in the winter months. There is ample counter space where everyone in the community can bring their plants from their patios and porches during the coldest months of the year.
Residents Rachel Manning and Audrey Austin have been taking care of everything in the Garden Room for years. Both say they have learned their gardening skills through trial and error. Both ladies say they have always preferred to be outside, playing golf or digging in the dirt. Rachel, a former Master Gardener, can help answer questions about your plants or find someone who can if she doesn’t know. Audrey says her plant knowledge comes from years of experience.
When she was young her mother wanted her out of the kitchen, Audrey says. Her mom said she broke too many dishes. She sent her outside to play and it’s there that Audrey learned to garden. She has always had a flower garden and now at Springmoor she has two. In her ground floor apartment, sitting on her patio or looking out the window, she realized she sees more of her neighbor’s yard than her own. She joked with John Pearson, her neighbor, one day saying that she was going to plant flowers in his yard to brighten her view and send him the bill. He laughed and said, “Please do!” And she has ever since. The two yards are filled with rows of her favorite pansies and many other blooming species. And he continues to pay the bill!
Red pepper, she says, is the best advice she can offer for keeping the deer and the squirrels from eating the pansies. When they are first planted in the ground, she adds the pepper. For the first three weeks, until the pansies are well established, she goes out each morning to replant them from the animal’s early morning walk through her garden. After a rain or every few days, she adds more pepper. The animals soon realize this is not a good spot for grazing and move on. There is a hawk also, she says, that has helped keep things in order on the north side of the campus.
Rachel went through the Wake County Master Gardener program and has volunteered on the Springmoor Building and Grounds committee for many years. As a Master Gardener, you become part of the volunteer staff of NC State University’s Cooperative Extension Service. A member provides educational assistance and programs in horticulture and environmental issues to the gardening public. Rachel remembers going through the rigorous training program and being interviewed by former Springmoor residents, Bob and Betty Cook. Bob was the Assistant Dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State University and Betty served as a Home Economics Extension Agent for Wake County. The three later became neighbors at Springmoor and all volunteered with the Building and Grounds Committee.
Rachel has a small flower garden now under her balcony. She, along with Kathleen and Jim Perry, have planted a beautiful garden on the path between the villas and the east wing. The azaleas, hydrangeas and dogwoods, carefully attended by Rachel along the bank, brighten everyone’s day as they walk through the woods. Rachel has a much larger zinnia garden in South Village during the summer months. She shares her flowers with those in the Stewart Health Center as well as with her neighbors. She looks forward to planting tomatoes also in her larger garden in just a few weeks.
Thom Morgan, Springmoor’s Landscape Architect, not only manages the upkeep of our 42-acre campus but he also helps in the Garden Room and in the Resident Garden. Thom and his crew will help transport the resident’s large plants from the patios to the greenhouse for winter storage. If Rachel and Audrey spot a fungus or a bug on any of the plants, he comes to spray. In the next few weeks, he will till the soil for the thirty resident garden plots located in South Village. He helps provide answers to many questions about indoor and outdoor plants.
The Garden Room
Rachel and Audrey take turns each month working in the Garden Room. While they are not responsible for watering or pruning all the plants, they will call to remind a resident if theirs needs a little TLC. They watch for bugs and fungus and alert Thom when necessary. The window overlooking the room is always cheerfully decorated for the season. Rachel was quick to say that, with Audrey’s many years in the classroom, she has lots of decorative items to use for the months when it is her turn.
The room is beginning to empty now as the temperatures outside are rising. The porches are filling up with plants again. The lemon tree that has been filled with dozens of lemons has found its way home again. The orchids, however, seem to stay throughout the year as the sun and warmth of the room make it a much better environment for the tropical plants. Audrey has kept hers in the Garden Room for years. Still in its original tiny pot, new shoots continue to grow with only a few sprinkles of water each week. Continue reading →
Raleigh saw large wet snowflakes four days ago and is expecting temperatures to be in the 80s today. Over the years, Raleigh residents have come to expect several seasons all in one week! The beauty of living here is not only the fair weather temperatures but also the blooms of spring. Daffodils, cherry blossoms, forsythia and tulip trees have been in full bloom the past few weeks – some even covered in a layer of snow a week or so ago.
The buds are visible and the first few azaleas are beginning to bloom. Springmoor will soon be tilling the gardener’s soil and they can begin planting their summer tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. A new resident recently described Springmoor as a lush oasis, tucked away in a residential neighborhood. The beauty of our 42-acre campus, hidden from the busy city streets, overwhelmed him. If you haven’t stopped by to see our campus in full color, we invite you to visit soon. The azaleas and dogwoods are stunning!
The azaleas and dogwoods can be found around every corner of the community.
Tulips and flox add bright colors to our gardens.
The crisp Carolina blue skies are a welcome event every spring. 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 →
Springmoor has an active tour schedule planned for the spring. Have you made reservations for the adventure to the zoo or to the museum? Would you prefer an afternoon tea at Fearrington or a trip to the Durham Bulls ballpark for nine innings of spring baseball? What’s your style? Leah Willis, our Resident Life Director, has planned an exciting and varied spring schedule for our residents. She has outdoor tours and evening dinners, lunch outings, movies and so much more on our calendar. Residents will want to make reservations immediately for these great trips as they all fill up quickly.
The calendar is published each month and in the residents’ mailboxes by the middle of the proceeding month. Those on our Wait List receive a schedule too. If transportation is available, Wait List participants are welcome to join the trip. Of course, if a Wait List participant wants to meet us at our destination, that’s also a possibility depending on our reservations. Every adventure is more fun with a friend and neighbor.
Whirligig Park & Museum
Our May calendar has a trip to Wilson to see the wind-powered sculptures of world renowned artist and engineer, Vollis Simpson. The Whirligig Park was designed to bring art and science together. The colors, motion and sounds will certainly dazzle you!
The New York Times described Simpson as “a visionary artist of the junkyard…who made metal scraps into magnificent things that twirled and jangled and clattered when he set them out on his land.” His interest in moving parts began when he was young. His father was in the house moving business. After the war, Vollis opened a machinery repair shop. His collection of odd parts continued to grow through the years. After his retirement, he began to construct enormous windmills in his yard and the field of whirligigs soon began.
Aloha Safari Zoo
This working zoo in Cameron is a true family affair. Lee Crutchfield’s mother, father and sister all have roles in the daily activities. “This is God’s gift to me. Every single day, I get to do the work I love,” he says. Rescuing animals in need has been his mission for many years. The Aloha Safari Zoo opened in 2010 and covers 60 acres. They are licensed for up to 500 animals and now have a current population of 450. The habitats are constructed with hurricane strength enclosures. They are all equipped with ultraviolet lighting to provide Vitamin D for its wide variety of species.
You will certainly want to stop by and see the Animal Art Gallery while you are there. Using non-toxic, water-based tempera paint and a canvas, they let the animals paint with their tails, toes or a brush. The artwork sales go to the upkeep of the park and the care of their animals.
Afternoon Tea at Fearrington Village
Would you prefer a quiet afternoon cup of tea? Tea sandwiches, French cakes, Southern-inspired tarts and jams from the Fearrington House Restaurant are a wonderful accompaniment to a loose-leaf tea or herbal flavored teas. Hot cinnamon, Organic green with Citrus, Peppermint or Fresh Mint are just a few of the many tea options on the menu.
Located just outside of Chapel Hill, the Fearrington House Restaurant has been offering fine dining for nearly 40 years. They are honored to be on the AAA Five Diamond list since 1995. There is an independent bookstore, a luxury women’s boutique, gift shop and wine shop in the Village. The Fearrington family established the 640-acre property as a dairy farm in 1930. Although the original owners have sold the land, the farm continues to be an important part of the community with gardens and animals providing many of the garnishes for the restaurant’s menus.
If an afternoon at the ballpark is more your cup of tea, then we invite you to join us for hotdogs, popcorn and a few curve balls at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Triple-A minor league baseball in the 10,000 seat stadium is a must see in our area. The ballpark was designed with many of the same characteristics of an old-time park complimenting the historic downtown Durham architecture. The Snorting Bull, the park’s most distinctive feature, was modeled after the bull used in the popular Bull Durham movie.
Last year the Durham Bulls were the Triple-A National Champs beating the Memphis Redbirds for the title. They have won the International League championship twice and look forward to a successful 2018 season ahead. Watch the calendar for the Springmoor date to join your neighbors for some of the best baseball in the area along with a chili dog and a bag of peanuts!
Chef & The Farmer
Vivian Howard, owner and chef, is this year’s award winner of the James Beard Foundation Best Television Personality. A Chef’s Life is the only television series ever to win a Peabody, an Emmy and a James Beard Award. Her fifth season begins on PBS in September. Her restaurant and her book, Deep Run Roots, is the recipient of many awards. Located in Kinston, Vivian and her husband, Ben, came home to North Carolina to be close to family. Her original plan was to become a journalist. Food became her passion after working at a few restaurants in New York City.
With her father’s encouragement (the farmer in the restaurant’s name), they opened Kinston’s first fine dining restaurant, the only one in a 100-mile radius. Travelers have made Chef & The Farmer a destination dining spot and now come from all over the nation to taste the southern ingredients she so carefully prepares. Continue reading →
The key feature of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that distinguishes it from other retirement living communities is the type of contract available for your “continuum of care.” The continuum of care typically includes independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care.
CCRCs provide multiple types of living assistance as your health care needs increase. Moving to a CCRC assures that, as you or your spouse need more care or different types of care, you can stay in one community and have your health care needs met without another move. The five types of contracts available at CCRCs differ in the way in which the health care costs are covered.
You will want to explore the possibilities and ask detailed questions about each type of contract as they vary from one community to another. The cost of providing health care to an individual can be assumed by the community or by the resident. With an Extensive Contract (or Life Care), the fees for entry are much higher but the monthly service costs remain the same as you move within the community to higher levels of care. In other words, your health care costs are paid as part of the entry fee and before you may need them, much like an insurance policy. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a Rental Contract offers health care on an as needed basis. There is typically no entry fee associated with a Rental community and health care costs are paid at a full market rate.
The community in an Extensive Contract assumes most of the costs of the health care services. They can offer nursing care at a below market rate because of the higher entry fees. In a Rental Contract, the rate charged for health care is much higher and paid by the individual when it is needed. CCRCs typically have all levels of care within the community so a move into the community means that you can age in place. Rental properties do not always have skilled care so it is best to ask about all levels when you begin your search for your new home.
Type A: Extensive (or Life Care) – Extensive contracts provide housing, residential services and health-related services in exchange for a price, usually consisting of an entrance fee and a monthly fee. No additional fees are generally required as one moves from one level of care to another except for additional meals after a move from independent living. The trade-off in paying higher fees for independent living is that almost all residential services, amenities and health-related services, such as assisted living or skilled nursing care, are provided with little or no increase in monthly fees, other than inflationary adjustments. This contract pre-pays for some portion of health-related services that may be needed in the future. This ensures more predictable long-term expenses regardless of health care needs in the future.
Type B: Modified – Modified contracts provide housing, residential services and a specified amount of health-related services in exchange for an entrance fee and a monthly fee. It may include almost all of the same residential services and amenities that a Type-A contract offers. However, if assisted living or skilled nursing care is required, the resident will be responsible for some of the cost. Health-related services are provided at a subsidized rate or are free for a specified number of days.
Type C: Fee-for-Service – Fee-for-Service contracts provide housing, residential services and guaranteed access to health-related services in exchange for an entrance fee and a monthly fee. Contracts typically require the lowest monthly fees and possibly the lowest entry fees compared to the other types described above. Some or all of the same residential services and amenities may be provided, but if assisted living or skilled nursing care is required, the resident’s monthly fee will be provided at the going, full per-diem rate.
Type D: Equity – Equity contracts involve an actual real estate purchase, with a transfer of ownership of the unit. A monthly service fee will still be required. Health care is generally available at the on a fee-for-service basis at the full market rate or at a slight discount.
Type E: Rental – Rental contracts provide housing, residential services and guaranteed access to health-related services in exchange for a monthly rental payment and a monthly fee. There may be a nominal community fee at your entry. Contracts are often month-to-month and service fees may be higher than what you would pay in a comparable entry fee community. Residents under this contract may have priority access to the health care facility but not necessarily guaranteed access. In other words, access to a continuum of care may not be contractually guaranteed as it often is with entry fee providers. As with a Type C contract, the resident will pay the full market rate for health care.
Springmoor – A Modified Contract
As a CARF/CCAC (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and Continuing Care Accreditation Commission) nationally accredited Life Care Retirement Community, Springmoor is designed to provide active, independent retirement living while providing for existing and future health and personal needs.
The amenities and services, including the scheduled activities, entertainment and extensive Pathways Wellness program, are among the best and most progressive offered by any Continuing Care Retirement Community. Springmoor also offers their own Springmoor Home Care and Supportive Living as a bridge between independent living and more continuous care. All of this and more allows for an active, yet secure retirement lifestyle.
Springmoor’s onsite Stewart Health Center provides short term and continuing inpatient care including memory care, as well as a comprehensive outpatient clinic. Residents may also receive physical and occupational therapy on site as well as dental, optical, hearing, psychiatric and podiatry care. The standard for care assures that the residents receive nursing care and personal care that is among the best available. Continue reading →