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High on life at Wind Crest

Amateur radio hobbyist trades climbing towers for one-level living

Created date

April 19th, 2018
Jim and Andy Hart say they are really happy here at Wind Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., where they moved last year.

Jim and Andy Hart say they are really happy here at Wind Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., where they moved last year.

If there’s one thing Jim Hart is not afraid of, it’s heights. He regularly climbed up two flights of stairs from his radio shack in the basement, then climbed a 50-foot tower on the roof of his four-bedroom house to fix his radio antennae.

But decades after first getting his amateur radio license in high school, those stairs aren’t as friendly as they once were. In December 2016, Jim and his wife, Ancella “Andy,” started looking for one-level living where they could still pursue hobbies and passions but without the hassles and dangers of stairs.

They had lived in Littleton, Colo., for many years, just three miles from Wind Crest, a maintenance-free continuing care retirement community managed by Erickson Living where they had already joined the priority list.

“When we finally got serious, a sixth-floor, two-bedroom Hastings apartment with a bay window, high ceilings, and a great view overlooking Denver was available in Evergreen Crossing,” Andy says. “We really liked the view and the apartment. The kitchen is a nice size, and it has an open layout.”

What’s more, they liked that Wind Crest has an on-site medical center; several restaurants, each with a different menu and style; a bank; a salon and spa; fitness centers in each neighborhood; a market; and especially the indoor swimming pool and hot tub overlooking the Front Range through glass walls.

“It’s absolutely great. We feel very lucky,” Jim says.

Securing their choice

While luck was surely involved, the Harts also had the priority list on their side. Having joined five years earlier by making a $1,000 refundable deposit and a $150-per-person nonrefundable application fee, they had secured their place in line for the apartment home of their choice.

“It’s never too early to join the priority list,” says Sales Counselor Molly Thorne. “Even if you’re not sure Wind Crest is right for you, membership gives you the opportunity to explore community life, amenities, and make an informed decision.”

Wind Crest holds several priority list exclusive events throughout the year to help members with their retirement living research.

Andy recommends taking advantage of the priority list events to find an apartment that suits your needs. “Think about what’s in your comfort level financially. I think that Wind Crest is very willing to work with people and they have apartments for different budgets. I think that’s very important,” she says, adding that the Hastings fit their needs and budget perfectly.

Priority list members also have access to Personal Moving Consultant Beth Brandenburg, who provides complimentary assistance with downsizing, floor planning, and furniture placement.

Jim and Andy took advantage of Brandenburg’s expertise to make an easier move from a house of nearly five decades.

“Beth was great,” Andy says. “We laid out the furniture together; she did all of the measuring. We wanted to make one change, and she was able to say we could do that easily. Our furniture fit in very well, and it’s a very comfortable feeling.”

Brandenburg can also recommend a trusted real estate agent and moving company if needed.

Active living

Now settled in for just over a year, Jim and Andy say good riddance to the stairs. “The paper is at our front door when we get up. I can easily get to the laundry—I don’t have to drag it up and down the stairs,” Andy says.

What Jim gave up in climbing stairs and towers, he gained in a woodworking group, water volleyball three times a week, and swimming.

“I’m having a lot of fun,” he says.

Andy, too, is having a ball. “I’m pretty much still involved with the activities I had before I moved. I belong to a book club, a woman’s group. I play tennis. I have gotten involved here in the Jewish community and made some nice friends in that group,” she says.

Together, they’ve taking continuing education courses offered on campus.

“We feel blessed to be here,” says Andy. “The people are very nice. It’s a friendly place. There’s a sense of activity. I think that if you’re in your own home you get isolated.”

“We just are really happy here,” adds Jim. “We’re glad we made the decision. We are enjoying life here very much.”