We have moved to
Riderwood is the largest retirement facility in the U.S. There are around 1850 units on a campus of 120 acres. The campus is ‘divided’ into four major sections all of which are connected by indoor walkways. Each section has its own dining facilities but you can dine at any of the four. There are well-appointed fitness rooms, a swimming pool, a chapel, a concert hall, a woodshop, a bank, ATMs, doctor offices, tennis courts and meeting rooms. This page has more detail.
There is also an active renovation program. A second swimming pool is in the works. A stylish Bistro with outdoor seating has just opened.
The grounds are well maintained and there are good walking paths that pass by 3 small ponds. Recently we encountered a heron and hawk while walking by one of the ponds. There are garden plots so Ellen can continue to enjoy gardening. The plots are a reasonable size and the area is surrounded by a tall fence.
Perhaps most importantly Riderwood has an on-site continuing care health services neighborhood with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care, and nursing care. It is comforting to know that we are about as well positioned as possible for whatever the future may hold. This is our last move! Or our next move is to the great beyond.
There are a variety of apartments differing in the number of rooms, presence of patios, balconies, etc. About 3 years ago we put ourselves on the ‘priority list’. This gave us earlier access to vacant units. As we looked at various apartments we realized that there might be a perfect unit for us but it also may not be available before we no longer care. Something of a crap shoot. So we had to get better at deciding what was actually a critical need. For us, it was space, orientation, and views. Back in Dec. we were shown a unit that met those needs. It was actually two small units that were being combined. Since it was essentially a new unit we had some say in some of the features — floor, wall paint, type of kitchen counter, appliances etc. On June 5 we took official ownership. The 5th is Ellen’s birthday. Not many people get a new house for their birthday.
Visitors are welcome. We actually have better facilities for overnight guests that we had in Beltsville.
Below are some random thoughts about moving.
Much of our discussion about moving revolved around Ellen being a pragmatist and liking to have plans while Dave is more ‘lets deal with the situation when we have to’. The logic of Ellen’s view of the future is unassailable. But ……
Moving now seems premature especially since we are doing well physically. But do we know the future? No pressing reason to move at this time. I take some pride in the modifications we have made to our house which represents much of what we expect in a house. Also we will miss the environment with trees and birds, the neighborhood which is nice for walking, and Ellen’s flower and vegetable garden (but not the lawn mowing).
Why move to Riderwood?
- Planning for the unavoidable future
- Assuming that one of us will outlive the other – perhaps for some period of time
- Visiting other elders shows what the future likely holds.
- One will pass on. Do not leave the other with a burden especially having to move at a stressful time
- Respect. Do not want to force one of us into an unnecessarily difficult situation. One dies unexpectedly, other has to deal with moving, house maintenance etc.
- If one of us requires extensive in-house care, the caregiver has greater freedom to carry on his/her life
- No house and yard maintenance
- Move when it can still be fun
- View move as a challenge to adjust to new surroundings rather than a forced change. Change can be fun. Decorate to display your lifestyle.
- Hopefully, we can continue to travel and it would be nice not to have to worry about the house.
- Important. Moving now gives me plenty of time to design my version of an electric scooter to better terrorize the other residents. The halls are quite long. Should be able to burn some good rubber.