Springmoor Retirement in Raleigh, NC – A Princess’s Wish Realized
by Roger Gore, Marketing Director Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community

springmoorIt was one of those gorgeous fall days when the rustling gold and orange tree leaves and crisp air begs you to walk and enjoy. It happened that I needed to check on how house renovations were coming along for one of our new residents, so I could do that and take a walk. On my way, I bumped into Dot McGee who has lived at Springmoor for eleven years. I was delighted because I had been meaning to thank her for referring some new residents and tell her how much I have enjoyed getting to know them.

Dot shared a conversation she had with her granddaughter just after she moved into her Springmoor home with her husband. As they were walking down the winding garden path to their villa, her six year old granddaughter, excited and impressed, said, “Grandma, this is just like a castle! If I lived here I would be a princess. But I don’t want to wait till I’m old; I want to come when I’m 29!’”

About the McGee’s
When Dot and Larry McGee began making retirement plans, they had the advantage of experience; Larry’s mother chose Springmoor when she was ready to move. Unfortunately, Dot realized that her mother-in-law’s decision was overdue when the family arrived to help with her move and most of her boxes were still empty.

Apparently, she hid her increasing dementia well. Unfortunately, due to her failing health, her stay in her new home at Springmoor was a relatively brief two years. However, Larry’s mother was able to remain independent in her apartment enjoying services such as meals, housekeeping, home and yard maintenance, security and transportation until she died. It was fortunate she made the decision when she did; had she waited and been totally unable to care for herself it may have prevented her from being accepted to any CCRC. That experience made Larry and Dot determined to activate their plan sooner, rather than later.

They wanted to establish and enjoy their new home for years before possibly needing continuous care. They had friends at Springmoor and went on the “Waiting List” – requesting a detached home with garage. With the help of the relocation team at Springmoor, they considered a strategy for their move to an apartment until their house became available.  Fortunately, both a one and a two-bedroom villa soon came available. They selected the larger villa with a screen porch that looked out on the beautiful landscape area. Dot proudly took me on a tour of her villa, and, with a sparkle in her eyes, showed me the porch that she had decorated to look like a beach house. Another treasured piece was a beautiful photograph of a majestic beach oak taken by our Medical Director, Dr. Wells Edmundson. Dot and a conservation group had saved that very tree from a developer’s ax.

Dot is living another phase of her life after losing her beloved spouse. Her many friends, the caring staff and the services she finds at Springmoor allow her to keep blossoming. She knows she will always have the strength of a village to look after her if and when she needs it.

Dot’s Advice
Dot is so knowledgeable and willing to share her insight that I asked her to summarize her advice on choosing and living at a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).

1. Preview communities and make a decision early, before issues rob you of that power and flexibility. The younger you are, the easier the move is, both physically and socially to make friends.

2. Find a place that feels like home – your future happiness relies on this. If most residents dress more formally for dinner and you prefer jeans, you may feel out of place.

3. Be flexible and open minded in the layout and location you request. Dot thought she wanted a detached house, like her previous home. But the villa turned out to be the perfect choice.

4. Understand that you can move within a community while you live there. Residents get priority when new homes become available. Dot now has her name on the list for a cozy apartment, due to the unexpected death of her husband last year. She is in control of when and where she moves. It won’t happen until she is READY and right now she is having too much fun in her villa and at the coast to make any changes.

Roger Gore is the Marketing Director at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Raleigh. He has over ten years of experience working with seniors and their families to select their next home. He can be reached at roger.gore@springmoor.org.

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