Maintaining An Active Life in a Continuing Care Community

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senior citizen couple living in a retirement homeAfter 39 years living in Lexington, VA, Bill Watt knew where he wanted to make his retirement home: right where he was. A native of southern Illinois, Bill has spent most of his life in Virginia.

For over 30 years, he worked as a chemistry professor at nearby Washington & Lee University. He also worked for several years as an administrator at the University before retiring. Remaining near the University he had come to love, and in the town that had been home for so long, were Bill’s most important retirement considerations.

When Kendal at Lexington, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), opened just minutes from the W&L and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) campuses, Bill knew it would be the perfect home for him. He admits, “I was getting anxious to move from the house. We wanted someone to take care of the lawn and the roof and all of those things, but we really didn’t want to move from this area. We wanted to stay at home.”

Now, five years after their move, Bill and his wife never look back. “We have been so pleased every day here,” he says. Part of his happiness is no doubt due to the smooth transition from neighbor to resident. “We do most of the same things since we moved. Oh, but now I don’t have to worry about cutting the grass,” notes Bill.

Instead of mowing the grass, Bill is actively involved in his new community. He is serving his second term as President of the Resident’s Association. He also does volunteer work for the local public library and his church. In his spare time, he enjoys auditing courses at W&L, attending lectures at VMI, and taking in concerts and other events at both schools.

When he is not busy taking classes or enjoying cultural events at the two schools, Bill is likely attending classes at Kendal College, the lifelong learning program at Kendal at Lexington. Kendal College features resident-arranged classes that meet for several days and conclude with a field study trip or meet once a week for six weeks. Classes are taught by current residents or by professors from the local colleges. Topics are determined by resident interests.

Life has not changed all that much for Bill Watt. He has always sought opportunities for continued education, and he has always been active and involved. He and his wife just have a new home and a few added opportunities to keep them busy and engaged.

He concludes, “We still have a very active life that is centered around Lexington. Now we just have another lifestyle that is centered around Kendal.”

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