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For almost 50 years, the family-owned Delmar Gardens retirement communities have served the St. Louis area with their dedicated staff and personalized attention to each resident. This year, the company will add a new dimension to that care with the launch of licensed assisted-living, says Kathy Gilmore, VP of Delmar Gardens Enterprises.
After decades of challenging themselves through workouts and sports, these local seniors are still going strong. Here, they share stories of endurance that led them to health and happiness in their golden years.
Seniors looking for a new home in the new year are invited to discover it at Mari de Villa. Two villas recently have become available at the 27-acre senior living campus, which offers all levels of care, from independent to assisted living, 24-hour skilled nursing and memory care.
Bill and Anne Tao
You’ve been working hard to achieve your financial goals, dreaming of the days when you will be able to enjoy retirement. But are you doing enough now to ensure you can maintain your accustomed lifestyle into the future? Here, local financial advisers share the most important factors when it comes to setting aside money today for a brighter tomorrow.
In this issue, you’ll find our quarterly Retirement Lifestyle section, which features five colorful profiles of St. Louisans who continue to make their mark well into their golden years. In the following pages, you’ll get to know more about a passionate advocate for seniors, a longtime university president, an 80-something acrobat, a patriarch of the local Greek community and a former cartoonist.
If you flip through the funnies or skim the editorials, you might miss what Bill Wilson calls a “fine art” often overlooked by its audience. This resident of Aberdeen Heights in Kirkwood is not only a former cartoonist—he’s an avid collector of editorial cartoons, illustrations and comic strips.
Elizabeth ‘Bunny’ Wight Herring, who swung from a trapeze to celebrate her 80th birthday, has never been particularly interested in contemplating what she can’t—or shouldn’t—do.
Dennis Golden probably is the only sitting university president to have twice turned down a draft offer by the NFL. The Fontbonne University president, who plans to retire in 2014 after 19 years at the institution, turned down his contract with the Dallas Cowboys in order to serve in the Marine Corps. After his service, he declined another offer from the New York Giants, to take an assistant dean’s job at his alma mater, Holy Cross College.
The concept of the American dream was popularized by historian James Tuslow Adams, who described it as the dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.
Marylen Mann grew up admiring history’s greatest philosophers, from Aristotle to John Locke—and she aimed to follow in their footsteps. “But my dad told me there were no employment ads in the paper for philosophers,” Mann recalls, chuckling. “He said, Do education, you can always fall back on that.”
A Mari de Villa resident recently celebrated her 90th birthday with a large group of family and friends in the new Waterford Room private party suite, overlooking the same sparkling lake her mother did 30 years ago.
Some of life’s biggest moments—marriage, the birth of a child and retirement—are a time to celebrate. But local legal professionals say families should also remember that life-changing events mean changes in your life insurance coverage.
At Mari de Villa, guests are always excitedly asking, What’s next?, says president Fred Wiesehan. The senior living community is in the midst of a five-year construction project, to be completed in 2014, that is geared toward amenities for the ever-changing senior lifestyle. “Guests have embraced the changes, and they get excited every time there is new construction.”
Almost everyone who lives beyond middle age can anticipate developing osteoarthritis at some point. It is one of the most common age-related diseases, caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints due to wear and tear over time.
The St. Louis community provides a variety of practical, educational and social resources for seniors, but many older adults may not be aware of the opportunities. Learn how what these local organizations have to offer.
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.
When Ken Heise sat down with his parents several years ago to look over their retirement plan, he discovered how much work needed to be done. “I saw their lack of a solid plan, and realized that I wanted to help provide people a secure retirement that they can enjoy with confidence.”
They help you sell or buy your home, but how well do you really know your real estate agent? We went beyond listings and contracts and interviewed several local realtors to learn a little bit more about them.
How do you make it to the top? “Find what you’re passionate about,” says Moneta Group’s Nancy Georgen. “You can be good at something, but if that’s not what you want to do, it doesn’t matter how good you are. You’re not going to get the satisfaction and you’re not doing the best you can.” We talked to three ladies who learned this by heart early on, and as a result they’ve reached their dreams.
Recently, Coldwell Banker Gundaker agent Carla Borgard helped a couple move out of their Town & Country house into a villa nearby. The couple had lived in their home for 42 years, but now in their early 70s, the upkeep and daily trek up and down the stairs to their basement tuck-under garage was too much. “I don’t know how they did it for this long,” Borgard says. “Their new villa was move-in ready with very little maintenance needed, and they’re very happy.”
As residents explore the campus of Mari de Villa every day, it would be understandable if the theme song from Cheers began playing in their heads. “You walk in and everyone knows your name,” says president Fred Wiesehan. “It’s very important that our staff gets to know our guests and vice-versa—it creates a very comfortable, happy environment where everyone feels at home.”
The Baby Boomers who are now starting to reach retirement are known for independence, and for those who need help to maintain their lifestyle, home health care providers are stepping up to help them do just that.
When retirement beckons, it’s tempting to imagine a rewarding lifestyle where your days are finally your own, and your calendar is filled with things you love to do. Your plans might include moving to a retirement community, but before that chapter begins, there are decisions to be made—important stuff like What color granite in the master bath? How nice would it be to have a private elevator? Retirees who choose the Villa Estates at Mari de Villa have those personalized choices available, and more. “Our Villa Estates units range from about 1,000 to 3,500 square feet,” says president Fred Wiesehan. “And they are very customizable. When our guests decide to move here, we sit down with them and discuss what they have in mind: things like hardwood floors, carpeting, tile, cabinet and paint colors, and we refurbish their villa to their specifications.” And that elevator for villas with a lower level? “It’s a beautiful brass and cherry ‘cab’ that can take them between floors!” he adds.
As the English proverb affirms: Better late than never. And for an active senior who is interested in a change to a healthier lifestyle, there’s always an opportunity to modify routine, according to Amanda Joggerst, a trainer at Friendship Village. “It’s never too late to change,” Joggerst says. “You just have to take things one day at a time.”