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Social butterfly

Hesitation quickly turns to delight upon move to Wind Crest

Created date

September 15th, 2016
Fern Bechtel chose a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment home with a large bay window and lots of natural light at Wind Crest.

Fern Bechtel chose a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment home with a large bay window and lots of natural light at Wind Crest.

One day, Fern Bechtel woke up and made a big decision.

“I called my children and told them I was giving them the greatest gift I’ll ever give them,” says Fern, dressed in printed leggings, a cream-colored turtleneck sweater, and gold baubles accenting her coiffed hair as she talked with me.

She’s referring to her move to Wind Crest, the Erickson Living continuing care retirement community in Highlands Ranch, Colo. 

At ease right away

Backing up to 2014, Fern, living in Dorado Green, had been invited to visit Wind Crest with her dearest friend Darlene. Darlene had been on the priority list and planned to move sometime in the future. 

Fern knew nothing of Wind Crest, but she discovered it made her feel quite at ease. And after a sick spell that summer, she realized the benefit of having on-site medical care available should she need it. That peace of mind was invaluable.

When Sales Counselor Molly Thorne-Dhieux called her with an available apartment home, Fern hesitantly decided to take a look. “I walked in here and felt so comfortable,” Fern recalls of that autumn day back in 2014.  

She listed her 3,500-square-foot house, which sold in four days, and began downsizing to her new one-bedroom, one-bath apartment home. She says that she’s glad she did it instead of leaving the task to her children. 

“I remembered cleaning out my mom’s home and how difficult that was for me and my three sisters,” she says.

At first, she wondered, “How will I get along without everything?” But on move-in day, she met one of her new Wind Crest neighbors who assured her what a wonderful place it is to live and made her feel welcome and at ease.

“It took a week to adjust,” Fern says. “I have been in love with this place ever since.”

She says she hasn’t used her gourmet kitchen once since moving and doesn’t miss it one bit. She spends her time making friends in the on-site restaurants and enjoying life. 

Despite her initial hesitation, she’s now a social butterfly, inviting six to eight neighbors over for wine and cheese in her apartment home, playing bridge every week, enjoying happy hour in the Fireside Lounge, taking on-site group fitness classes, and attending community church services. 

Bringing friends along

And while she’s made plenty of friends, she’s brought a bunch, too. She counts more than six people who have moved to Wind Crest because of her recommendation, including three of her best friends, whom she sees daily.

“I’ve got all my good friends and neighbors here. It’s pretty amazing to have your two or three best friends with you and so many other dear friends as well,” she says. 

When recommending Wind Crest to friends, she says she talks about the convenience of having everything you need on campus, including expert medical care and continuing care. “I talk to people about the fact that you don’t have to go elsewhere if you’re sick; care is right here on campus at the medical center or Mill Vista Lodge [the continuing care neighborhood]. It’s so wonderful to know this is my home forever,” she says.

While she has more friends than she can count, Fern also makes an effort to meet new neighbors and welcome them to Wind Crest by inviting them to dinner or an activity. 

She remembers the man who made her feel welcome and at ease on her first day. “I’m still very close friends with the dear couple that invited me to dinner the first night I moved in,” she says of Don and Annette Stone. “It’s very important to me to reach out to other people and help them feel welcome.”