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A new life

Retired schoolteacher chooses Windsor Run for her next home

Created date

July 20th, 2018
Having their cake and eating it too! Windsor Run Executive Director George Comfort and Pat Bell cut the cake at Windsor Run’s grand opening.

Having their cake and eating it too! Windsor Run Executive Director George Comfort and Pat Bell celebrate Windsor Run’s grand opening.

On May 10, 2018, Windsor Run celebrated its grand opening with a ceremonial ribbon cutting delivering on the promise to bring the Erickson Living lifestyle to North Carolina. Since that time, close to 200 people have moved to the highly anticipated community, including retired schoolteacher Patricia “Pat” Bell. Living in the Charlotte area since she was 14, Pat shared her thoughts on her move as she presented the keynote address at the ribbon cutting.

“On my first visit to the Windsor Run sales center, the staff shared that their goal was to help community members live happy, active, and connected lives—that really appealed to me,” says Pat. “I’m not ready to get old, and as my five-year-old grandson Everett says, I never will.”

The journey begins

For 50 years, Pat and her husband John raised three sons in the Providence Road area in Charlotte. When John died almost seven years ago, after 51 years of marriage, Pat began considering her options for the future.

“Over the last few years I have thought a lot about life as it changes and I grow older,” she says. “I am in very good health now, but no one knows what the future will bring. I am also tired of the responsibility of caring for a house, paying for upkeep, and for unexpected expenses. And although I have a lot of friends, when I close my door at night, it is very lonely. So, I decided to begin looking at options and visited several senior living communities.”

However, seven years ago Windsor Run had not yet arrived in Charlotte, and Pat was unsatisfied with the available senior living options available to her. But when close friends decided to move to Windsor Run, Pat also decided to learn more about the new community.

“I made an appointment and met with several of the staff who, from the top down, are truly outstanding,” she says. “They have been helpful and caring every step of the way.”

During her first visit, the Windsor Run sales team shared with Pat all the ways that Erickson Living stands apart from other continuing care retirement communities.

“At that point, the lights came on for me,” she says. “I was impressed with the various apartment homes and the medical care, particularly the fact that a doctor is on campus Monday through Friday. Nowhere else I visited offered that.”

Windsor Run’s industry-leading 90% refundable entrance deposit also made a lasting impression with Pat.

“When researching other communities, I was unwilling to sign away thousands of dollars with little or no possibility of return,” she says. “When I learned that at Windsor Run there would be a 90% return on my investment, I signed on the dotted line and started making plans.”

Planning and preparation

With the decision to move complete, Pat turned her attentions to the details of the moving process. She selected the two-bedroom, two-bath Millbrook apartment home and began preparing her three-bedroom house for sale.

Personal Moving Consultant Rachel Gilbert visited Pat in her house providing the names of preferred real estate agents and moving companies.

“Rachel is so sweet and helpful and was there, by my side, throughout the entire moving process,” says Pat. “The move itself was uneventful and I am appreciative of the help I received in selecting the furniture and other items that would work best in my new home.”

Settling in

Moving to Windsor Run over the Memorial Day weekend, Pat is taking the time this summer to meet new friends and thoroughly immerse herself in her new life.

“Everyone is so friendly,” she says. “While I was moving [Executive Director] George Comfort came to check in on me. He’s fantastic. The sales team played a huge part in my move, and I believe we will all stay connected.”

For their part, Pat’s children are thrilled to see their mom so happy with her new home.

“All three of my sons were supportive of my decision from the beginning,” she says. “Some day, I hope years from now, my family will not have to worry about selling a house and everything in it. I look to my decision to move to Windsor Run as my gift to them. I have seen too many friends wait until the decision becomes urgent and their grown children have to decide, ‘What in the world are we going to do with mom?’ I’m pretty darn independent, and I wanted to make this decision for myself.”

With questions about the future put to rest, Pat now spends her time doing the things she loves the most, including traveling with her beloved children. Living at Windsor Run makes it easier to pack up and go.

“I love going to the beach, to the mountains, to visit my son David and his family in Virginia, and Michael and his family in Colorado,” she says. “Michael is always up for a trip and the next one we are planning is to visit the Grand Canyon. I’m not ready to stop and, thankfully, living at Windsor Run means I don’t need to.”