More Time for Travel: CCRC

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CCRC seniorsBoth widely traveled and from military families, Joe and Dolores Benn quickly found that they made the perfect couple. Joe, a retired Navy Commander, served as a naval aviator in Korea. He and his first wife had three children.

Dolores was a registered nurse, who moved around most of her life with her military husband and three children. She relates, “I was used to moving and enjoying various social activities. When my husband passed away, I expected to spend my retirement with my children, but then Joe came along, and we were just so compatible.”

After marrying, Joe and Dee lived in Woodbridge for several years. They began to consider a move after seeing first-hand the negative consequences of delaying retirement decisions. Joe recalls, “We saw our family members and friends who were in their 70s and 80s and had stuck with their homes and waited to make any decisions begin to get more and more ill. Their houses started to fall into disrepair, and they were looking to their children more for assistance. We didn’t want that to be us.”

He adds, “I also felt like I was always doing home maintenance-cleaning gutters and repairing roofs and everything. I could do it at 74, but I began to realize that in five more years I might not be able to. The house was really just too much to keep up.”

While the couple admits that downsizing was difficult, they would not trade their new lifestyle for anything. “Preparing to move a large amount is very difficult, both physically and emotionally,” admits Joe. However, Joe was the driving force behind the move, and Dee is now thankful for his support: “When he began talking about leaving, I couldn’t imagine changing our lifestyle. I was so happy in the house, but I didn’t have the correct insight until we looked at retirement residences.”

Dee and Joe toured several communities, but they found the spacious apartment and accommodating staff they were looking for at Greenspring Village, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Springfield, VA.

The Benns completed their move to Greenspring this past summer, and although they are still settling in, they have found the lifestyle change to be enormously positive. They are continuously surprised by the solicitous nature of the staff at Greenspring and intrigued by the interesting neighbors they have met. One of the most remarkable changes, though, has been the added ease of daily living at a CCRC.

Joe acknowledges, “We no longer have to shop for groceries, cook meals, or wash dishes, which results in the freedom to do other things. We really used to spend an inordinate amount of time in obtaining and preparing food. We now spend our time planning ways to entertain ourselves. I will be taking up gardening, and we certainly plan to travel.”

The Benns are planning for an extended vacation next summer and intend to take a large trip every year. They are also looking forward to becoming involved in many of the clubs offered at Greenspring and getting to know their new neighbors better. Right now, they are happy just showing off their spacious, new apartment to visitors.

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