“I was afraid I would grow older faster by living here and that just isn’t happening.”
My dad was an administrator of a nursing home in CA. With that, I had lots of family who lived in that community. So, this has always been on my radar as a part of life. My mother also lived here at Holland Home. So it has really been in our DNA to be open to this kind of community. Interestingly though, I didn’t want to move because I didn’t think I was old enough. My greatest fear was that my mother would draw me in to hang out with her and her older friends and that would be my life. That I’d be taking people to doctors appointments, etc.
Instead, there were several friends that I connected with, one of whom I knew from college. To my delight and surprise there were many people my age who lived here that I could connect with. I’ve enjoyed happy hours and dinners with many many different people and absolutely love it. It’s private and wooded and feels like I’m in my own little tree house. But if I want company or community it’s right here. We know we can rely on each other in case of an emergency. It’s really reassuring and nice to find people like me and that like to do things that I like to do. I was afraid I would grow older faster by living here and that just isn’t happening.
We have a walking group that we started at the beginning of the pandemic that kept us socially and physically active. We also created a texting group and share photos such as sunsets, deer walking through our yards, etc. That kind of community is what I have found here. In addition to that, I already had a lot of friends and family here in West Michigan and was able to keep those old relationships and my old life at the same time.
My dad always told people in the community where he was an administrator to always move before you need to move. It can certainly be an emotional move so doing it while you’re still physically and emotionally able is really important.