Tom and Elizabeth Burke got their first inkling of what life would be like at The Gatesworth before they even moved in. “They have a moving assistant who comes in and assesses what furniture from your home can come to your new apartment,” Elizabeth Burke explains. “We had so much furniture and too many things, and she helps decide what can fit. She’s with you the day you move in, and she stays with you all day—it’s like they’re holding your hand.” Burke thought this in itself was a helpful service, but the fact that the assistant came all the way from St. Louis to the couple’s Chicago-area home was beyond expectations. “She had a daughter who was looking at Loyola University, so she was able to come to our house while she was there.”
The couple, each 73, decided to make the move in April because St. Louis is where two of their six children (and five of their 14 grandchildren) live. “We wanted to make a change for ourselves before our children had to for us,” Burke explains. “We looked at many places, both here and in Chicago. The minute we walked into The Gatesworth, it was such a wonderful, friendly atmosphere and it was so beautiful.”
Since moving, the couple hasn’t looked back. “This place enriches our lives,” Burke says. “We’re just very fortunate and very lucky. We have to pinch ourselves every day. It’s just a very stimulating place to be, with the activities and conversations with the other residents, who are all very learned and have great, diverse backgrounds.” She’s tried out many of the activities, including the Current Events group, continuing education, movie nights, the walking club and day trips. “Being from out of town, we want to get to know the area.”
Their new residence also has relieved many of the burdens of home ownership, Burke says. “The apartments are cleaned once a week; and if you’re unable, you can call a personal assistant who will do your laundry and make certain that you have all your errands and appointments taken care of. There’s a limo that will take you different places like shopping. We always say it’s like a cruise ship that has docked—it’s even better than that, because everyone is so kind. The staff’s motto is ‘Ask us what you need, and the answer is always yes.’ That’s what they say, and it’s true.”
But the greatest joy is being close to family, Burke says, noting that Tom, a sports enthusiast, gets to see all of their grandchildren’s Little League games. “He even got to help coach at a few of them; he was just thrilled with that,” she says. “This is all keeping us young.”
On the Cover:
The Gatesworth is a senior living community with a commitment to the wellness of its residents—mind, body and spirit. Pictured on the cover: Tom and Elizabeth Burke. For more information, call 993-0111 or visit thegatesworth.com.