Fulfilling a Goal Moving to an Independent Living Community
Ed Keats, a retired Rear Admiral is a graduate of the US Naval Academy. He received the degree of Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a career naval officer and aviator. During World War II he took part in the captures of Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After his naval service he was engaged in civilian positions, the last being President of a dredging company operating in the Persian Gulf. In retirement he has taught “World War in the Pacific” and “America in the Last Quarter of the Eighteenth Century” at the Johns Hopkins Odyssey program and at the Baltimore County Community College. At present he is engaged in an hour and a half on Thursdays for ten weeks course on the Pacific.
Over a period of many years friends of Ed Keats and his late wife invited them to dinner at various retirement communities in the Baltimore area. Both of them agreed that Brightwood was unquestionably the top of all such places. They recognized its cost as being above that charged by many lesser competitors although comparable with others offering not quite as much. They told their children and grandchildren that if they were ever to decide to leave the condominium where they lived they would move to Brightwood. Even after Mrs. Keats died her widowed husband held on to his condominium apartment. After he attended his Seventy-Fifth Reunion and found only three other classmates present, all of them confined to wheelchairs pushed by family members he interpreted the scene as depicting the inevitability of his own aging. It affected him to the extent of his recognizing his need to live where he would have services to an magnitude not available at any condominium. Even though he is still enjoying excellent health and vigor he promptly reacted. Within a month he purchased a unit at the community, which calls itself “Brightwood Club,” eschewing the word “retirement.” Now, after just a year’s residence, he desires to tell the readers of “SourceBook” of his happiness. He says the staff treats the residents as though they were their grandparents. The gated community has twenty-four hour roving security provided by experienced men and has Registered Nurses to attend to day-to-day medical concerns. All of the rooms are spacious, all the views are unobstructed outside, the weekly cleaning and flat laundry service is thorough. Best of all, the beautiful dining room provides “four star” dinner meals with at least three choices of soups, salads, entrées, vegetables and desserts. Unique to Baltimore, all residents own their units outright. Thus they, through an elected board, instead of a developer or outside investor, make the policy decisions for the community.