A Three Part Retirement

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While browsing through Women’s Wear Daily in 1950, Betty Tannenbaum saw an ad for a clothing store for sale in Florida. It did not take too much convincing for Betty and her husband, Mel, to buy the store and begin their life in Florida. Their stores clothed generations of women. Betty relates, “We have been there for their happiness, their sadness .their lives,” and, with a smile, she adds, “for the mini, the maxi, and the pantsuit.”

Betty continued, “When Mel died in 1966, I had a decision to make–whether even to go on with the business or to sell it. As a young widow with three children to raise, I made the decision not to sell–but to thrive.” With Betty at the helm, her company continued to be the premiere department store for women. It even became a virtually mandatory stop on the campaign trail for governors, senators, and Presidential candidates. Mrs. Tannenbaum retired from the store just two years ago. Her retirement culminated with a reception at City Hall naming the day “Betty Tannenbaum Day.” After her retirement, she and her three children began to discuss her plans for the future. Since her three children are living in Washington, D.C.; Colorado; and Florida, the family devised a unique living situation for Mrs. Tannenbaum-one which allows her the freedom to travel and the security of knowing that care is available should she need it.

Her daughter, Barbara, explains, “Mom is going to live in Florida part-time, and in a Sunrise Assisted Living in Colorado part-time, and in the Sunrise Assisted Living on Connecticut Avenue part-time. This gives her the opportunity to live such an effortless life and receive the help she needs.”

It was clear to the family that assisted living would be an excellent option for Mrs. Tannenbaum not only because of the care that is provided but also because of her outgoing personality. “Mom is such a people person because she has been in retail all these years, so it is important to her to be around people-to be a part of the community,” relates Barbara.

The search for assisted living communities near her children did not take long. One of the first communities the family toured was the Sunrise Assisted Living on Connecticut Avenue, Of the community, Barbara says, “It’s gorgeous. Everyone I’ve met there has been friendly from the moment my sister and I walked in the door, and they really helped us work through the decision process. It is a wonderful and happy environment.”

Mrs. Tannenbaum recently moved in to the newly opened community, and the experience has been delightful. She has really enjoyed the cooking demonstrations and musical performances at the community, as well as an outing to The Kennedy Center. Barbara notes, “It is so nice for my family and me to be able to stop by, have lunch with mother, and visit with her. They have a wonderful cafe at the community with popcorn and ice cream that my three-year old daughter just loves. It is a great place for grandchildren to visit.” Betty has two granddaughters in Washington, and a grandson, his wife and great-granddaughter in Florida.

“We don’t have to worry anymore about providing care for our mother; we just spend time visiting with her and enjoying her company. The beauty of Sunrise on Connecticut Avenue is that we are not worried about our Mother’s quality of care at all. I know I’ll never have to be concerned about how she is doing, since she is in such a great environment. That type of security is truly wonderful,” concludes Barbara.

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