Living the Lifestyle He’s Been Creating for Others: Continuing Care

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senior couple retirement continuing careDespite the fact that Robert Bainum has spent the better portion of his adult life building and developing health care communities, he admits his own impending transition is more of a struggle than he once thought.

“It’s a hard decision and I can see where people struggle with it,” he said. “I’ve been working with this in my own mind to come to terms with it.”

Robert is poised to live the type of lifestyle he’s been creating for other retirees for years. He and his wife have chosen to move into The Woodlands Retirement Community in Fairfax, which is slated to be complete in 2008.

“For the past five years, I have been very active in buying the land, obtaining the zoning and having plans completed [for the facility]” said Robert recently. “I guess my excitement for the project influenced my wife to reserve one of the residential apartments in the Woodlands.”

Robert said his decision to live at the community he developed was an easy one.

“I believe in [the Woodlands],” he said. “I would choose this over any other because we put a lot into it and are trying to make it perfect.”

When asked how he will adjust, he said he thinks such a transition is harder on men than women, because of most men’s enthusiasm for outdoor projects.

“The men get a lot of exercise and pleasure working in the yard and the basement,” he said. “I have to go through this decision [to move] in stages and I think it will be the right one.”

Upon his graduation from college, Robert began a career in building and real estate, and later became interested in developing retirement living communities. In 1964, he and his brother founded Manor Care, a corporation overseeing nursing homes. With the help of his family, he guided the Fairfax Nursing Center for more than 30 years. Today, he is still actively involved in the management on his businesses, which are all family-owned and operated, on a daily basis.

A recurring theme in Robert’s lifestyle is mobility. He recently developed a program for those living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities called “You’ve Got Wheels,” which provides transportation within a certain number of miles for no charge. He is also mobile in his personal life, having visited 85 countries since he began his travels as a young man.

He and his wife enjoy spending time at their farmhouse in their spare time. She recently bought a kayak to use in the lake near their house.

“We are both active,” Robert said. He enjoys riding bicycles and owns the Traveling Bicycle Museum. He also plays golf and tennis.

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