On a June Friday afternoon three years ago, I popped my head in the door at Edgewood Downs for the first time.
My landlord had told me two months before that he would put the house up for sale in July. I had to move. I was dismayed.
I had lived in the house eight years and in the neighborhood for 38 years and had planned to live the rest of my independent years there. I did not want to move again until a defining moment that said I needed more care. Right then my health was good, although the yard work had become more challenging.
Reluctantly I began to look at apartments although I thought of the new apartment complexes as rabbit warrens. As I checked them I found that I really didn’t like the feel of them. I didn’t think I’d feel at ease living there as a single older woman among all those highly energetic people who rushed around with their faces in their phones.
Would a retirement community be an option? I grabbed a friend and we began looking at some, even having lunch at two of them. I felt more comfortable in that atmosphere. I boiled my requirements down to three: location, price, and accessibility to my favorite places – especially church, senior center, and medical facilities. I may have to move my bed, I thought, but I didn’t want to move my lifestyle.
I picked up Retirement Connection and highlighted places in my locality. I began visiting some and calling others. One by one I eliminated them. On that fateful Friday afternoon, I stopped at Edgewood Downs just to pick up some information. Several residents greeted me as I entered.
The sales manager came and we sat and chatted in the lobby. He asked me, “What kinds of activities are you interested in – cards, bingo, bus trips?”
“Oh, I’m not interested in any activities; I am very busy now. I just need a place to live.”
He showed me the Guest Suite. As I looked at the view, my heart leaped. I had always prayed that if I had to move into a facility that it would be in the country. This view was just what I had envisioned.
Since I wanted my daughter to look at the place before I made a decision, we made an appointment for the following Monday.
After lunch in the community dining room on Monday, The sales manager showed us several other apartments. However, I had set my heart on the first one I’d seen. That afternoon we signed the papers. Two weeks later, I was sleeping in my new place. Of course it took awhile to really get settled in and acquainted with folks. Many residents made a special effort to make me feel welcome.
Eventually I became involved in the activities, such as exercise classes, book club, game nights, and Bean Bag Baseball (“Go Eagles!”). I even have gone on some excursions on the bus. I not only have a bed here, I have a life here. I’m home now.
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