A Smooth Transition for one Active Adult

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grandfather in continuing care retirement community in MD“I didn’t bring down the Soviet empire by myself,” Paul Bridge jokingly points out. He continues, “I did feel like I was contributing-with the help of many others-to something very important during the frightening days of the Cold War though.” Mr. Bridge retired a few years ago after 35 years of employment with the Department of Defense. During his career, he held several unique positions within the DoD. Transfers and promotions allowed Mr. Bridge to enjoy the benefit of new intellectual challenges without the administrative hassle of transferring jobs.

Beyond his work, Mr. Bridge has always been interested in historic preservation and has dedicated his time and expertise to several organizations. He worked with the Maryland National Road Association on the Historic National Road and on various other projects. His preservation work has provided an interesting contrast to his career. “It has been a way for me to make a contribution to the community; it also helps that I find the work incredibly rewarding,” notes Mr. Bridge.

When Mr. Bridge’s long-time companion, Sally, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the couple realized that they needed a plan for the future. They began looking at retirement communities. After narrowing the field down to two or three potential communities, Mr. Bridge seriously investigated their amenities and care options. He ultimately chose Fairhaven, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Sykesville, MD, because of its “creature comforts,” including a fitness center and a library, and “excellent medical facilities.”

Choosing the right community was only the first step, Mr. Bridge quickly realized. During an orientation at Fairhaven, panelists discussed the challenges of moving and downsizing. Charna Kinneberg, the owner of Senior Transitions, Inc., gave a presentation about the moving coordination assistance offered by her company. “We chatted over lunch after her talk, and we really hit it off. I knew I wanted to use her services to help with our move,” Mr. Bridge remembers.

The move started with a promise: “Charna assured me that we wouldn’t have to do anything-that they would take care of everything, and she was right” says Mr. Bridge. Initially, Charna and her staff offered advice on what to take to their new home. Mr. Bridge admits, “Deciding what to take and how to set up our new house was difficult because we have lots of books and collectibles, and we really wanted to keep most of them.”

With the help of Senior Transitions, the couple was able to move all their treasured possessions. Most importantly, their new home was almost completely set up on their very first day. “Not having to worry about the move allowed me to focus on taking care of Sally and helping her through the transition. That really meant a lot to me,” says Mr. Bridge. With the move complete, Mr. Bridge is busy exploring his new community.

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