Words of Wisdom: Independent Living

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independent living residentBorn in Manhattan in 1918, Bob Schapiro refers to himself as a child of the Depression. “It made a tremendous impression on you, especially if you were a New Yorker,” he said. “To this day I can see the long, deep lines of people just waiting to get a bowl of soup.”

After he served in the war, Bob and his brother decided to get involved in the printing business. Five years later, however, his brother decided he had had enough, so Bob bought his share and continued what was a very successful business. Eventually he sold it and pursed his passion as an antiques dealer.

Bob met his wife Mary Susan (Sue) after the war. “I saw her across the room at a party and I told the guy standing next to me, ‘I want to marry that girl,'” he said. After a brief courtship, the two married and raised four children while pursuing their love of traveling. When their house was becoming difficult to manage, their daughter Mary discovered Friendship Terrace, an independent living community in Washington, D.C. near her home.

While everyone was on board with the idea, Sue began developing health problems and needed the care of a nursing and rehabilitation center. The couple had fortunately been prepared and purchased a long-term care insurance policy which helps pay for her specialized care. “I go back and forth to see her everyday,” said Bob.

In his three years at Friendship Terrace, Bob has made several friends and also speaks very highly of its staff and management. “I was a businessman and I like being in a well-run business,” he said.

The location of the community also gives him access to everything he needs. “I walk down to the McDonalds every morning for a cup of coffee,” he said. “It’s good exercise and it keeps me going.”

While Bob often dines in the community’s dining room, he enjoys eating his lunch when exploring the galleries and museums throughout D.C.. He is also known to hop a bus to pursue a favorite pastime of collecting antique cigar boxes.

There is even more in store for Bob as the community begins its capital improvement project including apartment upgrades as well as public area and general building renovations.

From business principles to valuable antiques, Bob is full of sage advice. When it comes to making a life transition he said, “Stay loose and relax, this might be a little different from the life you were living, but take advantage of what it offers for you.”

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