Good Guidance in Senior Living

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Everybody needs a little guidance sometimes. Norma Winther taught her students that important lesson and never hesitated to seek help with her own decisions.

In her career as an English teacher and guidance counselor at Conestoga High School, Norma helped many students in their college selection process. Not surprisingly, she used that same skill set in her search for a retirement community. After her husband died in 2009, she turned to SourceBook to begin a new chapter in her life at a senior living community.

Former Counselor Norma Winter Living Independently

A former teacher and guidance counselor, Norma Winther used her skills to find a secure and convenient retirement community for her future.

Norma had several criteria to guide her selection. Her new home had to be a financially stable Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that offered excellent health care, should she ever need it.

“I think it’s important to live somewhere long enough to make friends and establish an identity, so that if you later need help, you are already a part of the community,” Norma said.

She wanted to stay close to Wayne, Pa., where she and her husband had lived for 47 years. Norma is active in several local organizations and in her church. Continuing with these activities, as well as maintaining friendships in the area, was a priority.

These criteria led Norma to Dunwoody Village, a CCRC in Newtown Square, Pa. While visiting the community, she quickly realized that convenience and atmosphere were also important. “I liked the idea of a community with shopping and services nearby,” Norma said. “Dunwoody is adjacent to a shopping center, yet has a bucolic setting as well.”

With friends in a number of local communities, Norma collected opinions and information—but ultimately chose a community where she knew few people. “I just had a good feeling about Dunwoody Village,” Norma recalled. “It met all my needs, the people were friendly and interesting, and I could just picture myself living there. Of course, it’s important to have the right attitude and feel confident in your choice.”

Norma spent time customizing and decorating her apartment and was very pleased with the result. Soon after she moved in, she visited her far-flung family, including three married sons and four grandchildren scattered across the country. Upon her return, she began to investigate the many programs available in her new community. An avid reader, Norma belonged to two book discussion groups before moving. She promptly joined, and later led, the community’s monthly Book Review.

Always a bit of a history buff, Norma became intrigued by her new home’s rich past. Another resident, Fred Kramer, had compiled a chronicle of the community’s earliest days, Dunwoody Retrospective.

Using his work as a point of departure, and with Norma as chair, the newly formed History Committee tracked down, organized, and eventually displayed the various archives scattered around the community. In closets, files and dusty boxes, they uncovered yellowed news clippings and old advertisements.

After two years of detective work, the committee held an open house for residents, families and staff. Everyone enjoyed seeing the memorabilia and developed a new appreciation for the community they call home. “The work was enjoyable, and hopefully future residents will continue our efforts,” Norma stated.

Almost three years later, Norma is more confident than ever that Dunwoody Village is the right place for her. Following her own good guidance, Norma used all her resources to make a wise retirement living decision. Now, she is relishing her new life.

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