Where to spend one’s “Golden Years” is something most of us hate to think about because we don’t consider ourselves to be old. After all, we still have our minds, we still can walk, we travel, we drive a car, we dance, we feel fine. Why should we give up living in a fine home that is now mortgage free - it’s large and holds furniture that I love and lots of memorabilia. What would I do with all this stuff?
At some point, however, reality steps in and we think more seriously about moving to a place that will help us as we age. In our case, my husband and I were living in South Carolina and we had no family nearby to help us if a situation arose. Our children were scattered- two of them lived in Minnesota, one in California and one here in College Station. When our Texas daughter-in-law was looking for a place for her mom, she heard about Arbor Oaks at a marketing luncheon. She liked what she heard so she put down some money for us as well as her mom.
We began to think logically about what the advantages of living at Arbor Oaks would mean. We were both going to turn 80 soon and we knew that our good health could change. The maintenance for our home took a lot of time. When I had an injury and could not drive for six months, I realized that living in a suburb that did not have public transportation meant that I had to rely on friends and Uber as well as my husband. Friends are good and helpful but you can’t expect them to take the place of family members. I did most of my own housework but something as simple as changing the sheets was beginning to be a pain. So we made the big decision to move.
I won’t go into all the details of what a big move entails: it was difficult and involved many decisions that were painful, but you know what? When everything was done, there was a sense of freedom and a care free attitude that I had not experienced since the day I got married and had not a worry in the world.
When I got here I was busy finding a new doctor, a new church, some new friends as well as learning the names of streets and stores that we were unfamiliar with. Soon, things settled into a routine and we both had a lot more time to do leisure activities that we enjoyed. My husband took up oil painting again and spent lots of time in the Art Room. He started an art group that taught people pencil drawing. I missed my South Carolina book club so I helped start one here. We both played a lot of bridge here as well as at the Senior Center. We liked the musicians and speakers that Arbor Oaks hosted. When we attended the local symphony we did not have to drive there. When our family came to visit they could stay in a nice guest room. We acquired a family here. Yes, it feels like family. We care about each other. We take care of pets when necessary, we visit when you are in the nursing side of this facility. Ween joy Howdy Hours together. There are so many social activities that are too numerous to mention. When something bad happens, such as the death of my beloved husband, Arbor Oaks was there with counseling and a lot of assistance. I am glad that we made the decision to move here.