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A Princess’s Wish Realized at Springmoor

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Roger Gore, Marketing Director at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community, has over ten years of experience working with seniors.

It was one of those gorgeous fall days when the rustling gold and orange leaves and crisp air begs you to walk and enjoy. It happened that I needed to check on how 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 11 years. She shared a conversation she had with her granddaughter just after she moved into her Springmoor home. As they were walking down the winding path to her 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 ‘til I’m old; I want to come when I’m 29!’”

When Dot and Larry McGee began making retirement plans, they had the advantage of experience. Larry’s mother had chosen Springmoor as her retirement home, but unfortunately, Dot realized her mother-in-law’s decision was overdue when the family arrived to move her and most of her boxes were still empty. Apparently she hid her increasing dementia well. Her stay in the independent living community at Springmoor was a relatively short two years.

It was fortunate she made the decision when she did; had she waited and been totally unable to care for herself, it might have prevented her from being accepted at any CCRC.

That experience made Larry and Dot determined to plan and establish their new home early and hope for a long stay before needing on site continuous care. They had friends at Springmoor and went on the Waiting List for a detached home with garage. With the help of the Springmoor relocation team, they considered a strategy for their move to an apartment until their preferred home became available.

When both a one and two-bedroom villa became available, they selected the larger with a screened porch that looked out on the beautifully landscaped grounds. Dot proudly took me on a tour of her villa and the porch which she had decorated to look like a beach house. A treasured piece was a photograph, taken by our Medical Director, Dr. Wells Edmundson, of a majestic oak Dot and a conservation group had saved from a developer’s ax.

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 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 new friends.

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

3 – Be flexible and open-minded in the layout and location you request. Dot thought she wanted a stand-alone home, like her previous home, but the villa turned out to be the perfect choice.

4 – Understand that you can move within a community while living there. Residents get priority when new homes become available. Dot now has her name on the internal priority 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, but right now she is enjoying her villa, family and the coast too much to change.

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