Continuing Care Community or What?
by Liz David
Recently, Barry and I received the phone call we had been looking forward to and dreading from a Continuing Care Community in our area.
Our name has been on their list for two years. The marketing representative told us about a unit that was available that met most of our specifications. We agreed to meet the next week.
Upon arrival, I asked whether the unit was empty or occupied (with furniture). The only way “suites” become available is when the resident dies. She responded that it was occupied. It is in the North wing on the first floor with easy access to the main common areas.
Upon entering, we discovered that the daughter of the deceased occupant was there with another person who was sporting a clipboard. I surmised that he and she were deciding what to do with her mother’s belongings. The place was cluttered with stuff. There were spots on the carpet, kitchen utensils and dishes on the counters–all signs of a former life, well lived or not. Who knows?
She showed us around the “suite.” If we didn’t linger, it would have taken five minutes. The space is compact–a master bedroom that would fit a queen bed; another single small bedroom; a small but efficient kitchen; a living/dining area; two full baths, a walk-in closet and one other. The unit doesn’t get the sun, and the patio faced a parking lot.
As we were leaving, I thanked the deceased’s daughter for allowing us to see her mother’s home. She became animated and made it a point to show us the electric fireplace she had installed for her mother. She switched it on, and we saw the warm glow that emanated from the coils. It is a nice feature. Our marketing person suggested that we install recessed lighting around the living room to brighten things up.
After leaving the unit, we learned that another couple who are ahead of us on the waiting list would be looking at it the next day. What a relief! We hope they like it!
It was a stressful, depressing experience! Believe it or not, we’ve never lived in an apartment; well, maybe once! Since coming home to our eleven room “castle,” we’ve talked and talked and talked. By the way, we declined the unit. It turns out that being in a section where there is sunshine coming in through the windows is a must for us.
Of course, there are other factors involved with such a decision. We are already giving away “stuff” we’ve accumulated over the years that we don’t need or can bear to part with; all those things that we may use “someday”, especially my clothes and Barry’s files of papers. The local shredder has been working overtime! And then there are the books, books, books; Native American artifacts, jewelry, jewelry, jewelry; my grandmother’s and my bone china tea cups, sculptures, art work, etc, etc, and so forth. Get the picture?
Then there are the holidays. Recently, for Thanksgiving and Hanukah, we hosted our family of nine, sometimes ten, sometimes twelve, occasionally fourteen. After dinner, the kids, as always, went downstairs to the basement playroom while the rest of us schmoozed. Those precious gatherings will not be possible in the same way in a “suite” of 12/13 hundred square feet.
Barry and I have 83 and 84 years of life experience and are in decent shape for the shape we’re in. So, when it comes to continuing care–
To be continued.
Liz is a familiar face at BOLLI having been an active participant in both courses and committees as well as an SGL and a writer for the blog.