Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Aging is not what it used to be. Access to good health care means that people are living actively much longer. In turn, many seniors are living independently, but that doesn’t mean they want to continue to work as hard as they used to. Autonomy is great, but so is not having the burdens that accompany homeownership. As a result, seniors are embracing the idea of an independent living community where they can socialize with their peers and enjoy life, but not have to worry about mowing the lawn, shoveling the driveway or repairing appliances.
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“The carefree piece of that lifestyle is very enticing for them,” says Cliff Whalin, executive director of Christian Care Communities – Middletown. “We take care of everything from changing a lightbulb to repairing the air conditioning and furnace, or furnished appliances.”
The garden homes feature multiple floor plans, ranging from 885 square feet for a one-bedroom home all the way up to 1,440 square feet for a two-bed and two-bath home with a den. Some garden homes have garages, others have carports and many have enclosed, all-season patio covers and sunrooms created by a reputable patio cover manufacturer like Titan.
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In lieu of purchasing a garden home, residents pay a one-time entrance fee and then a monthly maintenance fee. The entrance fee means that residents avoid all the burdens of ownership, and don’t have to hassle with property taxes or homeowner insurance.
“They pay that one time and will get most of that back, or if they pass away, it will go to their estate,” says Whalin, who notes that the resident will have access to the majority of those funds if they need to transition to assisted living.
“If they move to assisted living, once they’re out of their garden home, they can have their garden home refund applied toward their rent in Assisted Living,” Whalin says.
When a resident elects to relocate to a garden home, they get to customize it prior to moving in by picking out a fresh paint color and new flooring if needed.
“Sometimes people go all out and change some of the light or bathroom fixtures,” Whalin says. “Between the time the resident puts down a deposit and when the home is move-in ready, they’ve got 60 days to list and sell their house.”
Spiritual care is woven through the entire culture of the community. Residents have access to the chapel, Sunday worship services and bible studies. In addition, the community offers games, activities and exercise classes.
Seventeen years ago, Henrietta Barker moved into a garden home and has enjoyed residing in a manageable living space.
“The fact that I don’t have any responsibilities as far as maintenance, outside yard work or inside work is so nice,” says Barker, who likes the tranquility that Christian Care Communities offers. “This quiet area is an unknown gem.”
The Christian Care team is very social, and regularly organizes cookouts, potluck dinners, and even bus trips out to restaurants and sites such as the Waterfront Botanical Gardens.
“Everyone who lives here is very friendly,” Barker says. “We have get-togethers to socialize, but since I live in independent living, I also have friends outside of here.”
She’s not the only one who has loved Christian Care Communities. Her four children have thanked her many times for moving into the facility when she did. Not only did it force her to declutter her house, but they can also rest easy knowing their mom is enjoying a safe, secure, serene life.
Christian Care Communities is located at11530 Herrick Lane in Louisville, KY. For more information, call 502-254-1799 or visit them online at middletown.christiancarecommunities.org.