Dallas, Texas--When Mario and Kathleen Cavanna began exploring retirement living options four years ago, they had a long-range plan in mind.
"We wanted to start early, so we were ready when the time came to make a move," says Kathleen. "We didn't think we'd move as soon as we did, but when we found the right community, it was like, 'Let's do this now. Let's not wait any longer.'"
Mario and Kathleen moved to Highland Springs, the continuing care retirement community developed and managed by Erickson Living in North Dallas, in April 2020, just as the pandemic was causing widespread shutdowns and other mandates.
"Highland Springs offers many services and amenities on campus," says Kathleen. "That's one of the main reasons we chose this community. There are options for dining, fitness and socialization, not to mention the onsite medical center and security team."
More than 60 new residents have moved to Highland Springs since March, all joining the community in a season of uncertainty. In the early weeks of the viral spread, the leadership team at Highland Springs took swift and comprehensive actions to limit the risk of resident exposure.
"I was confident in how the situation was handled at Highland Springs and felt we were actually safer moving to the community than we would have been if we'd stayed in our house," says Kathleen.
In recent months, Sales Counselor Terese Mugno has been fielding phone calls from those interested to learn more about a potential move to Highland Springs.
"I think most people are realizing that being completely on their own is not the best option," says Mugno. "Here, if they don't want to get out, they know meals and other essentials are brought to their door. Highland Springs is a wonderful place to be. Our residents can be completely independent but still have the peace of mind knowing that we're providing for their needs."
A proven leader
As part of the Erickson Living network of 20 managed communities across the nation, Highland Springs has the support, resources and financial strength to secure all the essentials and weather even the toughest challenge.
"There is power in numbers," notes Mugno. "Thanks to our size and network of suppliers, our residents always have essential items such as food, toiletries and face masks."
To support resident engagement, Highland Springs' dedicated in-house television station has produced a variety of specialized programming, including virtual fitness classes, entertainment and worship services.
"I think many people are feeling isolated in their houses," says Mugno. "Most people who move to Highland Springs do so for socialization purposes and for the amenities we offer. Even now, when life has to operate a little differently, we're finding new ways to keep residents and staff well cared for and connected."
A strong housing market
For anyone who's interested in the Erickson Living lifestyle but isn't sure about the timing, there's good news on the real estate front. Low interest rates and limited inventory mean it's a sellers' market.
"We are still seeing movement in our market, with a one to one ratio of buyers to homes on the market," says Cindy Gay, personal moving consultant at Highland Springs.
Mario and Kathleen listed their home in Frisco, Texas, in February.
"We had several showings the first day it was on the market, which resulted in a bidding war," says Kathleen. "We felt fortunate to sell our house so quickly."
The Erickson Realty and Moving Services program is a network of resources designed to help future residents through every part of the moving process, from choosing a real estate agent to finding a senior move manager.
Gay and her team of preferred local vendors offer personalized service to help customers downsize, stage their homes and move, all with increased safety measures in place.
"The pandemic has certainly put a unique spin on the real estate market in our area," says Gay. "It has been an ever-evolving situation, which has included lots of thinking outside the box to accommodate the needs of our reservists."
Access to quality medical care
When Mario and Kathleen joined the priority list at Highland Springs in April 2018, they gained access to the community's onsite medical center.
"We'd already met Dr. [Mary] Norman [medical director at Highland Springs], so when we moved right in the middle of the pandemic, we were happy to know we'd have the convenience and accessibility of high-quality medical care right on campus," says Kathleen.
With all levels of care available onsite, Highland Springs can accommodate residents' everyday needs and any changes to their health through in-person visits to the medical center, a telehealth appointment or even an old-fashioned house call to an apartment.
"The dedication of our health care teams has been nothing short of extraordinary," says Erickson Living Chief Medical Officer Dr. Matt Narrett. "Their commitment and tireless efforts in implementing prevention protocols and CDC recommendations has made a very real difference in Highland Springs' effective response to this unprecedented situation."
Best decision for retirement living
Throughout the COVID-19 public health concern, Highland Springs continues to provide its residents with social, intellectual and wellness opportunities. The community offers safeguards from the spread of disease and diminishes the sense of isolation that social distancing is imposing on people of all ages.
"Residents and staff at Highland Springs are upbeat and encouraging," says Kathleen. "It's important to see how any community operates during a health crisis. When you look at the numbers and how Highland Springs has more than proven itself throughout this pandemic, it's clear this is one of the best decisions for retirement living."
About Highland Springs: Highland Springs, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 89-acre campus in North Dallas, Texas. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,150 residents and 520 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Highland Springs. Additional information can be found at http://highlandspringscommunity.com.