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May 7, 2018

Making the decision to move to a retirement community brings relief, questions and a search for boxes

By: Judy Wolfman | Resident Author

After my husband, Al, passed away at age 82, I continued to live in our home. It was a two-story brick home with 4 bedrooms, a finished basement, sun porch, gazebo and goldfish pond in back. It fit my needs and I saw no reason to leave it. I thought I could handle whatever maintenance needed to be done. I certainly wasn’t super woman, and often had to hire help.

After a couple of years of living alone, cooking just for me, I became lonely and tired easily. I maintained my active lifestyle and enjoyed getting together with friends, but it wasn’t the same. The house became too big! Perhaps moving into an apartment would be a good idea.

I visited many apartments and senior living places in the York area, but none appealed to me. I no longer could step over the edge of a bathtub to take a shower. I needed a walk-in shower, like the one we had installed in our home several years before.

They were scarce! Many of the units were lovely, but lacked warmth and charm. None were in an area where I wanted to be. I began to doubt my decision to move into an apartment and expressed my concerns to my children. My son (who lived in Connecticut) came to York and we toured the area together, looking for the “right” place.

Country Meadows on Leader Heights Road was on the agenda, and together we took a tour of this retirement community. There was something that resonated with me, and the more I saw, the more I liked what I saw. The interior was lovely with beautiful and elegant furnishings that reminded me of a high-class hotel. Everyone we passed in the hallways, staff or resident greeted us with a warm smile, saying “Hello,” or “Have a good day.”

Our tour guide, Ruthi, Director of Marketing, showed us a couple of apartments, pointing out that they all were equipped with a washer, dryer, dishwasher, microwave, and many closets. I was awed by the two dining rooms (just like in a hotel), and a Bistro for snacks and light meals. And what’s more, each of the three floors had lovely libraries, filled with books.

We visited the fitness center with exercise equipment and learned about the fitness classes and programs. The chapel on the third floor is also used for entertainment and speakers who come here. An indoor pool in another building is available for exercises and swimming.

The two hour-long tour convinced my son and me that I didn’t have to look any further for a new place to live. I signed up on the waiting list, and returned home feeling relieved.

Now my real work began – downsizing! I never realized how much stuff I had accumulated. Obviously I wouldn’t be able to keep everything so I began the sorting process. I surrounded myself with boxes, and marked each one according to what would be put inside them – clothing, household items, books, utensils, dishes, miscellaneous items, tools – you name it.

Gradually I took the filled boxes to the Salvation Army store, resale stores, used furniture stores, antique dealers and any other place that would accept my donations. Little by little I was once again able to walk through my house without tripping or falling over a box.

Then the call came from Country Meadows – An apartment would be ready in two weeks – was I interested? While they put in new carpeting, painted, and made sure everything was in good working order, I put my house on the market. Now I began to have mixed emotions – was I doing the right thing – selling my home where Al and I had lived for over 40 years, while raising three children?

I convinced myself that this was a good thing, and continued to prepare myself for the big move. There was no turning back. I made arrangements with a local independent mover (the major companies were entirely too expensive.)

As it turned out, the mover I hired was the son of a friend of mine, and turned out to be a gem. He developed his business seven years ago and was successful. He had a responsible crew, and they knew what they were doing. I have since recommended him to other people.

The house sold in a short period of time, much to my relief. When the settlement papers were signed, and the house was no longer mine, I felt as though a heavy burden had been lifted from my shoulders.

I know I’m not the only person who had this emotional journey of moving, and perhaps if you did experience a similar situation, you can relate to what I’ve said. Whew! Thank goodness it’s behind me!

Judy Wolfman / Resident Author

9 thoughts on “Making the decision to move to a retirement community brings relief, questions and a search for boxes”

  1. Yvonne Laurenty says:

    Judy: your account of how you accomplished the journey from taking a decision to sell your house and the downsizing process gave me some wonderful guidance and a sort of roadmap for how to approach this rather scary situation. Thank you as I am just at the beginning of contemplating such a big life change. It left me feeling that perhaps I can do this too. From a grateful future resident.

  2. Susan K. says:

    Judy, we are so happy to have you with us at Country Meadows of Leader Heights, and I love the way you continue to engage in activities, and help our other residents to do the same!

  3. Tracy Spencer says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am new to the Country Meadows (Coworker) family. It was so nice to hear a residents perspective on such a big life change!

    1. Country Meadows says:

      Tracy, first of all welcome to our family. We are glad to have you. Secondly, thank you for your comments about the resident blog post. We hope this provides great insight for future residents and their families. We have received a nice response so far. Again, glad to have you on board.

  4. Judy Wolfman says:

    Yvonne, Susan and Tracy – thank you all for reaching out to me and letting me know your thoughts on my blog. I hope it will help you in your thinking and planning! If ever you visit us on Leader Heights Rd. please make yourself known to me!

  5. Doris K. says:

    Judy, thank you for sharing your story of how Country Meadows at Leader Height’s became your new home. You add so much to the daily lives of others. I love that you started a Reader’s Theater. I hope you will be able to visit my school sometime soon and share your love of reading with our students.

  6. Judy Wolfman says:

    Doris, thank you for your comments on my blog. Where is your school? If possible, I’d love to visit and perhaps talk about reading, doing some reader’s theatre scripts with the children, or tell a couple of stories. Please contact me if any of this would be possible.

  7. JudyWolfman says:

    Thank you, Doris,for your comments on the blog. I’d love to visit your school – where is it? Let’s keepin touch and make plans, if possible. Judy

  8. Judy Wolfman says:

    Tracy – make yourself known to me! I’d liketo meet you.

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