Living in the Moment at a Retirement Community
While sharing the unique stories of their past, the Macdonells are enjoying the many perks of a community that offers them security for their future.
“This community is filled with interesting people who have lived all over the world. The stories here are amazing,” said Reverend Dr. James (“Jim”) Macdonell while sitting alongside his wife, Nancy, in their spacious apartment at Ingleside at King Farm in Rockville, Md.
Jim, however, has a few interesting stories to share himself. The noted cartoonist and artist was an organizing pastor at Saint Mark Presbyterian Church in Bethesda in the 1960s, which put him in the center of the Civil Rights movement. In fact, he was directly involved in the historic 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his infamous speech. He was also among the first to respond to Dr. King’s request for American clergy members to march in Selma, Al.
It was Nancy’s background, though, that led them to begin researching senior living communities. “My parents had signed up for a retirement community in Kansas 15 years before they actually moved,” she said. “When they did, my mother had dementia and osteoporosis and just wasn’t in any shape to do anything; my Dad was, but he was taking care of her.”
As a result, the Macdonells knew not to put off their decision since they wanted the time to be active and enjoy themselves when they moved.
Fortunately, Jim’s role as a pastor had enabled him to visit several communities in the Washington, D.C. area. The couple’s main priority was to focus their search only on those that could offer a full range of healthcare services, from independent living to skilled nursing care, onsite. “It just did not make any sense not to move to a place that didn’t offer continuing care,” said Jim.
As they reviewed their options, it was Ingleside at King Farm, a nonprofit community under development at the time that made the top of their list.
“We would be close to the Metro and there are some good stores here within walking distance,” said Jim. King Farm’s convenient location would also enable them to remain connected to the greater community and their outside interests while being an hour-drive from their weekend cottage in Shepherdstown, WV.
Without hesitation, the grandparents-of-eight signed up and selected their apartment. “We watched the whole building go up and it was fun to watch,” said Jim. This gave the couple time to ease into the downsizing process, and with the help of a senior move manager, they moved in with boxes gone, pictures hung and the bed made.
Now fully settled in at King Farm, the Macdonells could not be happier. As Jim said, “It is literally like going on a cruise without a ship, because it’s so fun. The services are great and they take very good care of us.”
In addition to having a staff that is flexible and focused on residents’ needs, the couple has enjoyed establishing new friendships and maintaining a busy schedule. With a fitness center, indoor heated pool, dance classes, creative writing workshops, beautiful walking grounds, movies and a library, there is never a dull moment for individuals at King Farm.
While Nancy continues working, the couple also finds time to attend the community trips to Strathmore Hall and the Kennedy Center. No matter their outside pursuits, however, there really is no place like King Farm for the Macdonells, where they enjoy living in the moment and having peace of mind for their future.
“When we go on a trip, we’re anxious to come home. This is home,” said Jim.