Gatesworth resident Kathryn Stinson

Tim Parker

Donna Haerr spent more than a year looking for the right senior living community. Moving from Peoria to St. Louis to be closer to her family, Haerr wanted to make sure her new home met all her needs. She found that home at The Gatesworth. “It felt like the best fit for me, and my family and I have been very happy with the decision,” she says.

Although Haerr was an out-of-towner, her move to The Gatesworth was eased by a warm staff and friendly residents. “I’ve gotten a chance to meet people of all ages and from various walks of life. It made me feel very comfortable.”

Fellow resident Kathryn Stinson agrees. She especially credits the staff for a welcoming transition when she moved to The Gatesworth almost seven years ago; in particular, the attentive efforts of executive director Martha Kessell. “Martha has been especially good to me because she knows my children live out of town,” Stinson explains. “From the beginning, they were so accommodating and they take a real interest in you as a person.”

The efforts to accommodate every resident run throughout The Gatesworth, from the living arrangements to activities. Just several months after moving in, Harold Poth already appreciates the affordability and value he gets. “They ease so many of the responsibilities you face at home,” Poth says. “There are people who will answer your questions, take you where you need to go, help with the cleaning and laundry—it’s all customized to your preferences.”

And with no up-front fees, residents have more control over their money, Haerr notes. “With the monthly payments, you have the advantage of investing the rest of your money the way you’d like, so you feel more comfortable with your financial situation.”

The customized options carry over into the newly renovated residences, with choices that range from one-bedroom apartments to two-bedroom deluxe suites, with 10 different layouts and sizes. Stinson chose The Gatesworth after seeing how spacious her apartment would be, with the convenience of laundry facilities and elevators right down the hall, a large bedroom, gourmet kitchen and a balcony. “It’s just the perfect size, without being too large to take care of,” she says. “Everything is much easier here.”

The Gatesworth helps each resident create a place that is tailored to his or her specifications. Staff members showed Stinson how her furniture would arrange nicely in the apartment and made sure Poth’s art supplies would fit in the new space so he could continue his watercolor and pen and ink artistry.

While some residents may choose to spend the day relaxing in their apartments, activities and programs, both in and outside the community fit everyone’s interests. While Haerr enjoys the nightly music when her daughter visits and frequently attends the St. Louis Symphony, Poth participates in the available art classes and book clubs. “With all of the activities, it’s like living in a new city—and much more convenient than at home,” he says.

After living at The Gatesworth for almost a year, Haerr has volunteered to become a greeter and welcome new residents to the community. Very much a ‘people person,’ she looks forward to helping newcomers. “I’ll be doing some of the same things that people did for me when I moved in—showing them how this is a great place to live.”

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