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A tale of two moves

Real-life benefits of choosing a retirement community in your sixties

Created date

February 16th, 2017
Kathleen Henry (right) pictured with Kay McCurdy, her coeditor of The Villager, is thankful she moved to Greenspring while in her sixties.

Kathleen Henry (right) pictured with Kay McCurdy, her coeditor of The Villager, is thankful she moved to Greenspring while in her sixties.

For almost 20 years, Sheila Willing, sales counselor at Greenspring, has seen the numerous benefits of the Erickson Living lifestyle firsthand.

“But I always say, ‘Don’t take my word for it,’” says Willing, despite helping more than a thousand people to call Greenspring home. “I truly believe there is nothing more powerful than hearing directly from people who were once making the same decisions. So many of these community members share the fact that, once living here, they wish they had moved sooner.” 

With the belief that their personal stories can help those considering a move to Greenspring, two couples recount how happy they are with their decision to move while in their sixties and how they now enjoy benefits they couldn’t even imagine at the time of their move.

Thirteen years and counting

In 2003, Kathleen and Donald Henry made the decision to move to the Springfield, Va., Erickson Living community and have never looked back.

“At that time, we had been on the priority list for seven years,” says Kathleen. “When we joined, I was too young to move. I did not meet the 62-year-old age requirement. But I felt strongly that the time would come when Greenspring would be the right place for us.” 

The couple moved to Greenspring when Kathleen was sixty-five. 

“I was one of the younger people at the time and quickly discovered many opportunities to get involved,” says Kathleen. “I decided to devote my time to three activities—The Villager, the community newspaper; the Greenspring Players drama club; and anything dealing with voter registration, including working at the Greenspring polling station.”

In addition, Kathleen began attending exercise classes at the campus fitness center located right down the hall from the couple’s home.

“I have taken four exercise classes a week for over a decade and believe that I can credit that for my continued energy level, allowing me to do all the things I do,” she says. “I’m so glad that we moved to Greenspring when I was still young.”

In addition to enjoying time and energy to fully engage in the Greenspring lifestyle, Kathleen notes another tremendous benefit to moving earlier rather than later.

“Inevitably, as we age we will need support, what I now think of as subtle support,” she says. “It’s something I did not really think about at the time we moved. But I can say that the transition to depending more heavily on the safety and security provided at Greenspring is seamless.

“This is especially true for my husband, who is now in his eighties. Living at Greenspring enables him to do everything he’s capable of doing, almost without realizing that he would not be able to do these things without the subtle support he enjoys living here. Bingo is here, his art class is here, Wii bowling is here, and when he wants to go to a museum, the bus to take him door to door is here. His life would not be this active if we were still living alone in our house.

“We are very happy with our decision to move to Greenspring,” she adds. “It has been thirteen years since our move, and the experience has been—and continues to be—very rewarding.”

No matter what life throws your way

Clint and Vicki Lambert also chose to move to Greenspring while in their sixties. And like their neighbors, the couple immediately jumped into community life, taking on leadership roles and engaging in new activities.

“We chose to move to Greenspring after being encouraged to do so by our daughter who remarked, ‘Why not move in now? If you don’t like it or feel that it is not for you, you are young enough to move out and go somewhere else,’” says Clint.

That was more than eight years ago. Since their move, Clint served as president of the Resident Council for three years; Vicki began playing the chimes, a new endeavor; and they both began sailing remote-control boats as members of the community yacht club. 

The couple also cofounded the archery club and continue to enjoy shooting at the nearby Ft. Belvoir archery ranges.

“We find Greenspring to be a most accommodating and enjoyable place to call home,” says Vicki. “We are exceedingly glad we moved to Greenspring when we did. Thanks to our 24/7 security, we can lock and leave our home and never worry about someone breaking into our apartment or trying to steal our car.”

In addition to engaging in activities, the Lamberts also find that Greenspring provides invaluable assistance in times of need. Over the last eight years Vicki has faced seven surgeries, and both she and Clint have undergone back surgery. 

“If we were still living in our condo community, we would have had to hire assistance as we recovered,” says Clint. “Instead, we did not have to worry about how we were going to get a hot and nutritious meal each day, how we were going to get our medical prescriptions filled, or how we were going to get to our primary doctors.

“We do not have to worry about such assistance because a daily meal is included as part of [Greenspring’s monthly service package], a pharmacy is located on campus for our convenience, and our primary doctor is located on campus at our health clinic. What more can we ask for?”

“Based on experience,” says Vicki, “it is never too early to plan ahead, to be proactive.”