My neighbors on 2 west…(from left) Margie Eberhart Wilson, Joy Mansfield, Amy Hoffman, me and Hazel Beggs. Missing a good party are Mabelle Mase, Carolyn Eland and Dorothy Carmichael. The picture was taken in Joy’s apartment because she has the largest, nicest kitchen that is never used for meal preparation. I think she uses it for storing clothes.
Those of you who really know me are aware that I didn’t give up and move here to die. It is unfortunate, I believe, but some people do that when they go to a nursing home. They wait around until their spouse is really sick or dies and they move into a senior place or they wait around until their kids drag them to a care facility feet first.
For me it was quite the opposite: I moved here to get more out of life than was available to me two years ago when I lived alone in a large house in Ellsworth. And, that’s exactly what has happened. More is a good thing when you are older and I found it by moving here. The Palace is different from most places and you have to visit it, or talk with my kids, to get the idea of how great it is. It is my happy place.
It has been two years since I moved here November 28, 2012. That does not seem possible. I guess the adage that time flies when you’re having fun applies to me. Now. At age 86. At least I believe it to be a general truth and has gained credit over the years to be worthy of repeating. Some of my friends have been here a very long time, since this place first opened, and I’ve not heard anyone say they made a bad choice. In fact, it’s a choice they made without any regrets. I count my lucky stars every day that I had the foresight to realize a good thing when I saw it. That hasn’t always been the case with me.
Since I’m old and wiser now, I will pass on a bit of advice for anyone who might be interested in the subject. And those of you who still have parents to look after might take note. My observation during the past two years of living among old people, is that they, for the most part, don’t plan ahead. Almost never. Even though they know they are going to get older, be less able to do things they’ve done throughout their lives, show early signs of falling victim to Alzheimer’s or dementia or Parkinson’s or a myriad of other problems that plague older people, they still don’t plan for those eventualities. It’s the biggest mistake I see that some here have made. They waited too long to come investigate the possibilities, opportunities and get on the waiting list for a spot of their own.
For some reason they want to stay in their own homes. That works on occasion, but for most people that turns out to be a very lonely existence with very little stimulation from outside. Their circle of friends gets smaller and smaller and they have to rely more and more on children or friends to help them out. They become more prone to accidents, less able to summon help and more dependent on others outside the home.
The Palace is a different kind of home that fills in all the gaps that living alone doesn’t have. The Palace is different from other retirement centers/nursing facilities in this part of the country. Once you move in here, they will take care of you until you die. For instance, if you go to another independent living facility here in Salina and you need nursing care, you have to move to a nursing care facility. If one spouse develops memory issues, you can be separated. Here, one person may live in independent living while the spouse may live down the hall in secure Memory Center or Health Care. They can visit back and forth, participate in meals and activities with one another so it’s very much the same as living together. They are under the same roof. You get help here so one person doesn’t have total responsibility for caring for their spouse. The idea is to move and get settled in a new place while you have plenty of time to meet new people, become familiar with the opportunities available to you and adjust to new surroundings. People tend to wait too long to sell their houses, dispose of possessions to prepare themselves for a new direction they’ll be taking.
And, one of the best features of the Palace is that the “outhouses”, as I call them, are gorgeous townhouses, very spacious with two car garages, and equipped with all new “everything” before you move in. They are nearby on the Palace grounds. They are the best kept secret around here.
I have a very active friend who is 71 who just moved in a townhouse and another couple the same age who will move when one is available. They are all very active in the Salina art community. Their move is just plain smart on their part. If they want to eat meals here they can, but most don’t except on occasion, and they have available all the services of the Palace…maintenance takes care of their yards, snow removal, mail delivery and any upkeep they might need. Nursing care is available within minutes.
So, if a resident wants to leave for the winter they can head to Cap d’Agde that is set on a small spur of land west of Beziers and south of Montpellier. It’s the best known naturist resort in France, possibly in Europe. It’s large, with a whole village where you can shop naked, bank without any clothes on, and take to the naked lifestyle big time. All they have to do here is close the door and leave. Everything here is secure and well-tended to. (I got your attention with Cap d’Agde, didn’t I?) The point being, you can leave any time, on the spur of the moment and be away as long as you like and everything here will be taken care of so you can have a worry-free vacation.
I’m a self-appointed cheer leader for this place because I’m so happy here, but the person you need to talk with about particulars is Kim Fair at 785.825.1366, marketing director of the Palace. She’ll show you around, let you see every nook and cranny, have a free lunch with her and decide for yourself. If you tell her I sent you, I think they might even do something nice for me…if you move in…and I pass it forward.
If I can answer any of your questions, please call me 785 then 826 followed by 3668.
And, thanks for tuning in…