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Mr. Abbott

I frequently reflect on one of my customers from years ago, and how he could not justify the cost of moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community. Although he requested information from me, I seemed to never connect with him on the value.

Every time I would call, he would go on and on about how if something happened to him, he would go to the VA Hospital. I tried to explain that we are for independent active older adults, and that the VA Hospital, while it has it valid uses, is not comparable to what we offer. He was always gruff. I did not look forward to these calls.

But I would still call him four times a year to see if he would like to come in and meet me. I was part of a start-up team to open a new luxury retirement community in the north suburbs of Chicago. I cringed when his name would come up on my call list. Sometimes I would put it off for a day or two knowing we would have the same conversation again. And he was always gruff.

So you can imagine, much to my surprise, how after 2 1/2 years of calling, one day I heard a familiar gruff voice in the reception area of my office. I jumped up, and immediately knew it was him! And much more to my surprise, he wasn’t a grumpy little old man, but a tall, strappy 80-something. And yes, he was a WWII veteran.

He told me his stories of landing on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. How they were holed up on the beach for two weeks. How he then went to work in New Mexico on the Atomic Bomb, and how he ultimately was the head of quality control at one of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers in the area.

He told me the chemical and mathematical equations used in quality control, and unfortunately, that is where he lost me. He was a smart guy and real leader in the Pacific.

Despite all he had been through, I had the challenge of convincing him that staying in his house forever was not the best choice. He clearly had the means and education to understand that the VA Hospital was not the last stitch effort in health care and that our community could do a lot more for him, both as an active healthy senior and should anything happen to him in the future.

Sure enough, I was able to talk him into one of our smaller apartments. We were, after all, more affordable than he thought, and with Life Care, future expenses would definitely be at a minimum. He was very concerned about leaving his estate to his children.

After he moved in, I could easily tell we had worked together wisely. He was very happy he made the right decision. I was happy too because that is my reward at the end of the day. It was a win-win, plus I got to know a great man. I was able to offer him a very attractive solution.

Presidential Moves

My husband and I always love the Presidential Inaugurations. Even if our candidate does not win, it makes us feel so proud to be American and the democratic process.

We love the pomp and circumstance. After all of the divisiveness of the campaigns and the gut wrenching political advertising, it feels good to have it over and a celebration of the newest leader of the free world.

As we were watching one year, when a new President was being sworn in, my husband said, “Just imagine what is happening at the White House right now.”

“What’s happening?” I asked. “Well, they are moving out the old President and moving in the new.” Wow! As I pondered that, I thought about how the President and First Lady did not lift a finger. That morning, the White House was the same as every other day.

But once they left for the passing of the baton, the crews got going. All the packing, moving out of their possessions and the decorating, un-packing and moving in of the new family’s possessions all takes place in that one day. Beds are made, pictures are hung, lamps work and family photos are in place. In a well orchestrated performance, the new Presidents do not miss a beat.

Wouldn’t it be nice if that could happen to everyone? For many of us, just the thought of moving can set us back several years. No way could I never get out of here. The work and effort are just too much to fathom.

For seniors, that concern is magnified all the more with the question of stamina for the move and the volume of accumulated treasures, representing many of the joys of their lives. So many people resist the idea of moving because they cannot resolve the issue of getting from point A (their current home) to point B (my retirement community).

Many times people will say, “If only someone could pick me up and place me here, I would move in a minute.” “I can’t face the work and I don’t want to part with my treasures.” And of course, “I love my home.”

But times change, and there is something deep inside that says this period of my life is not going to last forever. How do I move?

That is where we can truly help. We know what we are doing.

Because we only work with seniors; because everyone who moves to our community is downsizing; because many of our residents have lovely possessions; and because we understand the stress and exhaustion that accompanies a move, we have dedicated staff to address all of these issues.

With a Move-in Coordinator to help our residents through every part of the move, it is sounding more and more like that Presidential relocation plan. The Coordinator starts by preparing your home ready to sell. Then, he/she assists with the realtor selection process, deciding what to take and furniture layout, hires professionals to help with the distribution of items to family, friends, auction houses, nonprofit donations, packing, unpacking, picture hanging, bed making, etc.

Well, it is a little like the Presidential move. I have actually had a couple who enjoyed the day with their family while we moved them fully to our community. When they arrived, furniture was in place, flat screen television was installed, lamps worked, beds were made and pictures were hung.

The kitchen was done the next day, but they went to dinner that night in our dining room (hosting the family), and the next morning, headed down to the complimentary breakfast and coffee. There, they met some other residents, and the beginning of a new life was launched.

Now that I think about it, kitchens are not that important in the White House either. They don’t have to move out Dolly Madison’s china, but they do have the select their own pattern to live on after they are gone. In our community, multiple sets of dishes are definitely not necessary.

So there are decisions to be made, and thought must go into the move. It does need to be orchestrated. That is why we admire and depend so heavily on our Move-in Coordinators.

Not to sugar-coat moving. There is no doubt that it is a stressful time. But I always encourage everyone to make that move while they have the stamina, and please, let us do the work. It can be amazingly easy.

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My husband and I always love the Presidential Inaugurations. Even if our candidate does not win, it makes us feel so proud to be American and the democratic process.

We love the pomp and circumstance. After all of the divisiveness of the campaigns and the gut wrenching political advertising, it feels good to have it over and a celebration of the newest leader of the free world.

As we were watching one year, when a new President was being sworn in, my husband said, “Just imagine what is happening at the White House right now.”

“What’s happening?” I asked. “Well, they are moving out the old President and moving in the new.” Wow! As I pondered that, I thought about how the President and First Lady did not lift a finger.  That morning, the White House was the same as every other day.

But once they left for the passing of the baton, the crews got going. All the packing, moving out of their possessions and the decorating, un-packing and moving in of the new family’s possessions all takes place in that one day. Beds are made, pictures are hung, lamps work and family photos are in place. In a well orchestrated performance, the new Presidents do not miss a beat.

Wouldn’t it be nice if that could happen to everyone? For many of us, just the thought of moving can set us back several years. No way could I never get out of here. The work and effort are just too much to fathom.

For seniors, that concern is magnified all the more with the question of stamina for the move and the volume of accumulated treasures, representing many of the joys of their lives. So many people resist the idea of moving because they cannot resolve the issue of getting from point A (their current home) to point B (my retirement community).

Many times people will say, “If only someone could pick me up and place me here, I would move in a minute.” “I can’t face the work and I don’t want to part with my treasures.” And of course, “I love my home.”

But times change, and there is something deep inside that says this period of my life is not going to last forever. How do I move? 

That is where we can truly help. We know what we are doing.

Because we only work with seniors; because everyone who moves to our community is downsizing; because many of our residents have lovely possessions; and because we understand the stress and exhaustion that accompanies a move, we have dedicated staff to address all of these issues.

With a Move-in Coordinator to help our residents through every part of the move, it is sounding more and more like that Presidential relocation plan. The Coordinator starts by preparing your home ready to sell. Then, he/she assists with the realtor selection process, deciding what to take and furniture layout, hires professionals to help with the distribution of items to family, friends, auction houses, nonprofit donations, packing, unpacking, picture hanging, bed making, etc.

Well, it is a little like the Presidential move. I have actually had a couple who enjoyed the day with their family while we moved them fully to our community. When they arrived, furniture was in place, flat screen television was installed, lamps worked, beds were made and pictures were hung.

The kitchen was done the next day, but they went to dinner that night in our dining room (hosting the family), and the next morning, headed down to the complimentary breakfast and coffee. There, they met some other residents, and the beginning of a new life was launched.

Now that I think about it, kitchens are not that important in the White House either. They don’t have to move out Dolly Madison’s china, but they do have the select their own pattern to live on after they are gone. In our community, multiple sets of dishes are definitely not necessary.

So there are decisions to be made, and thought must go into the move. It does need to be orchestrated. That is why we admire and depend so heavily on our Move-in Coordinators.

Not to sugar-coat moving. There is no doubt that it is a stressful time. But I always encourage everyone to make that move while they have the stamina, and please, let us do the work. It can be amazingly easy.

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Pro-Active vs. Re-Active

I always considered myself a pro-active person. I signed my children up for nursery school well in advance. We bought a bigger home BEFORE we out-grew the last one. I divorced my husband before we killed each other.

But seriously, I exercised and taught aerobics, took good care of myself, got plenty of rest and raised my children conscientiously. But I was not pro-active on one thing. I did not get a colonoscopy.

Yes, when my doctor said at my 50th birthday physical that I should get one, I took the name of the doctor. However, we moved. We gutted the house, and I oversaw a major home improvement project.

I still had the colon doctor’s name, but then my husband changed jobs, and we moved to Florida. And I got a doctor in Florida and made an appointment to have the colonoscopy interview. But, I went to the doctor’s south office, rather than his north location – forcing me to reschedule.

Then, I changed insurance, hence a new primary physician. I saw her, and wanted to make an appointment for the colonoscopy, but was told I needed a full physical before I could set the appointment. Then, I received a notice in the mail that the new doctor has become a Concierge Doctor, one who charges $1,500 membership fees a year so you can be elite.

Shortly after this, I had a terrible stomach ache, which led to an Emergency Room visit. This visit resulted in an emergency appendectomy. Doctors then discovered I had Stage III colon cancer. I should have been more pro-active!

Even my brothers were immune. They never brushed their teeth, yet had no cavities. I brushed and brushed, but it would result in 10 cavities. Even both of them had colonoscopies. No one even bugged me about it. They assumed I would just do it. Of course, they should. Why shouldn’t they. I have always been smart about these things.

It makes me think about all the years I have been working with seniors – the successes and failures. I have been urging them to be pro-active. This means making a move out of their private residences and into a retirement community at a certain age, rather than waiting for something to happen.

I encourage people to start making a plan, visit different retirement communities and just see what they are all about. See how making a move could make a big difference, not only for you, but also for your children and the people who love you.

Having mostly spent my career working with continuing care communities, I automatically gravitate to this type of community above all others. Not only do you have the active, independent living, but you also are covered for Life Care.

This means that you have access to skilled nursing and/or assisted living through your contact. But, moving to a CCRC, as they are called, is costly in the sense that you pay an upfront entrance fee that is either refundable or not, depending on the plan.

It is because of the entrance fee that the entire community is more stable, with a more stable population of similar socio-economic residents and less moving in and out. And since everyone has to “qualify” for independent living through the Wellness Director, it is a very pro-active decision. You must do it when you are active and healthy.

On the other hand, for a short period of time, I have worked and opened a rental retirement community. While there are numerous similar features in the services of providing meals, maid service and transportation, there are many differences.

Rental communities tend to be more re-active. People move in fast. There is not much to the application process. It tends to attract and older, frailer population. There it is more transient, as residents come and go.

Since there is no continuum of care, residents must move out if they need higher levels of care or have care provided in their apartment. This again leads to a frailer group. And mostly, with a rental retirement community, it is more likely that the children are in town trying to “place” mom or dad, rather than pro-active parents making their own decisions.

That is not to say that people do not age in place at any community. I strongly believe that any community is better than staying in your home forever. The stories and stories of falls in bathtubs, in-home care that has gone awry, children leaving their families to care for mom or dad and on and on are what I tell people to avoid.

Make a plan. Find out what is right for you, and then do it. Do not wait to react. Be pro-active! It will result in a longer, healthier life and give everyone peace of mind.

Our marketing plan focuses on getting our community name in front of people who might be looking to make a move. We tailor our message so people know we are a continuing care community with incredible services, including future health care support, if ever needed.

We advertise, send out direct mail, have Internet presence, TV ads and rely on referrals. We never call anyone who has not in some way contacted us first. Yet, it is amazing to me when people who have called me say, “Oh, I just want the information sent in the mail.”

They don’t want to visit. And even after I have sent the information, they still do not want to visit since they are “just gathering information.”

Just a brochure? How can anyone make any decisions from a piece of paper? I have got to assume that when someone calls us for information, something has triggered the call. And when they receive the information, they would realize all the more that a visit would be absolutely necessary to get a feel for the place.

We can be a cheerleader. Over the phone, we can tell people that not only is future health care included, but also complimentary continental breakfast, dinner (or lunch) in one of our five dining rooms, maid service, valet service and a large Clubhouse including cocktail lounge, movie theater, fitness center, swimming pool with classes, Performing Arts Center, card rooms, billiards, hair salon, activities and more.

Residents feel active yet secure in knowing there are emergency call systems in their home, a daily assurance program and a nurse on-site 24-hours a day. With 327 apartments and 34 floor plans, there are many choices. And most important of all, our dedicated quality staff that strives to make each day perfect.

Yet, people put off visiting. Why is that? I cannot figure it out. In Chicago, where I worked for many years, one couple signed up at my luxury retirement community.

The husband was a very successful lawyer. As they were signing the contract, he stopped. While they were looking forward to this change, he looked at me in all seriousness and said this was the most important decision he had ever made in his marriage.

We would take care of his wife if something happened to him. And she was the most important person in his life. That stopped me too. When you reflect, it really puts this decision in perspective. It is not about the size of the rooms, the number of closets or the food in the dining room. It is about security and peace of mind. And that is what Life Care is all about.

And seeing is believing. So, what does it take for that person who gets printed material yet does not want to see it themselves? It takes me, and others like me to encourage, cajole, entertain, get serious, call, send mailings and hope not to pester the person. After all, they should visit. And remember, they called me first.

Grandmas

Grandmas are getting younger and younger. I say that because a few years ago, I became a Grandma. All of my friends were having grandchildren, and I did not understand the big deal. Weren’t we too young?

Look how young and cute my friends have become. No gray hair, still listening to rock music, working out at the fitness center and taking their grandchildren to the mall or Disney World.

It is very cool to be a grandma, especially when you are young enough to chase after thse little balls of energy. But then I became a Grandma – Gigi to be exact. Now I understand. Grandchildren are sensational.

My grandma was Miss New Hampshire, although I never saw her sash or crown. She must have been beautiful judging from her lovely three daughters, one of whom was my Mother. But to me, she was always Grandma, as wide as she was tall with those black, lace-up sturdy high heels. She never wore pants a day in her life, thankfully considering the girth. She loved B. Altman. She never chased after anything. She was Grandma.

We would go to Grandma’s house every year for a week, the same huge house. It was the same huge, beautiful house where my Mother grew up. It had gorgeous landscaping with Dogwoods and Azaleas and not one pebble out of place on the driveway. I know because my Grandfather would set me up picking them out of the grass and putting them back in place each year.

My Grandmother lived in New York. We were in Chicago. She wrote my mother long, hand-written letters. But when we visited, she seemed kind of depressed. It was quite a chores keeping up the place.

Occasionally, she would laugh until she cried, and then would howl, a little like a coyote. Hooooo-hoooo! Laughing, crying, rubbing her eyes with her peaches and cream complexion would get all blotchy. But the best part of Grandma (other than the B. Altman) was Sunday dinner.

She would make the most spectacular standing rib roast for the whole family. Everyone would come to see us, and Grandma was a great cook. But then she would go to bed for three days, and usually kick us out on the fourth. A week was enough time.

When Grandma was at the end of her life, and went into the hospital, it was serious enough for us all to fly to New York. Grandpa was gone. It was not her alone in the house. While she was in her hospital bed, she said she hated all these strangers in her house. “Grandma, we’re not strangers. We are your family!”

But the truth came out. We were long distance relatives, even though she and my Mother were so close and wrote letters, almost daily.

No nursing home for Grandma. No Continuing Care Retirement Community for Grandma. They virtually had not been invented yet. Not much the family could to but take turns caring for her. And from that standpoint, she was not sick long and not a burden.

Today, we have options. Today, people are living longer too. But the perception has not changed much from the days of Grandma. It is amazing to me that so little is really known about retirement communities by the people I meet as a representative of one. We educate others that you do not need to hold on to that house to remain fully active, independent and protected if something happens in the future.

One of our residents, Mrs. Bishop (not her real name) told me the story of when her husband became suddenly very ill. The children came to Florida, flew them up in a private plane to a world-renowned hospital in the Northeast.

While Dad was in surgery, they waited. But while they were waiting, all the kids had their heads buried in their cell phones. Mrs. B. was sure they were all texting about her. “How do you think Mom’s doing?” “I don’t know. She looks like she is holding up pretty well.” “Do you want her to stay with us tonight?” No one was talking, just texting. And she sat and watched, worried of course, but humored.

As a modern woman, Mrs. B. saw right away that she did not want to live in the house after her husband passed away. Our community offered so much for her, but she insisted that her husband would never have moved to “a place like that.”

Even during the move, she shook her head that she never would have moved. Yet, once she was settled, I asked her one more time, “Do you think he would have like it?” It was then, once she knew the lifestyle, when she replied, “Yes. He would have loved it, and I am only sorry we did not move in together.”

The meals, the lack of maintenance and housework, the camaraderie, the couples, dancing, entertainment, the Men’s club, everything would have been a lot of fun for them. Plus, he would have appreciated the security that he would have given her and the kids that she would be taken care of should something happen to him.

Times have changed. There are many options, including of course, staying in the house forever like Grandma. But making a change, or at least learning about the options, is something everyone owes themselves and their children. Someone said to me the other day that she did not have time to consider moving to a retirement community.

Times have changed. There are many options, including of course, staying in the house forever like Grandma. But making a change or at least learning about the options is something everyone owes themselves and their children.

Someone said to me the other day that she did not have time to consider moving to a retirement community. She was going to her granddaughter’s wedding. When your grandchildren are getting married, isn’t that the time you should be looking for a retirement community?

Once upon a time, I had a crystal ball. Okay, it was only a crystal ball that had to do with work, so I could not see into my children’s futures. However, when it came to work, I could see into my own.

Through a glitch in the technological system, I ended up copied on everyone’s e-mails. I was a consultant at a new retirement community and set up everything from the start – the logo, stationery, business cards, brochure, Website, office furniture, sales center design, contract, pricing and computers.

Being the only personnel on site, I asked that my e-mails be forwarded to my cell phone. When I added a sales representative, every once in a while I would receive one of her e-mails on my phone. Weird, I thought, but it did not happen very often (as it turns out, she wasn’t using e-mail very often). As we added more staff, their e-mails started showing up on my phone too.

Since I was a consultant with a two-year agreement just to get the sales process started and fulfill the initial move-ins, I did not consider this a long-term issue. We did not have an Informational Technology Department, as it was difficult to change or fix and a little embarrassing to mention it to the new General Manager. So I let it go.

Not very many e-mails were filling my phone. We had a small staff, and not much was happening. I was considered upper management and in all high-level meetings. So it wasn’t until I saw an e-mail entitled “Dee Todd” did I have any interest in my cell phone e-mails.

There was a new management company coming on board. We were ahead of schedule for sales. The company thought I was paid too much, and began reviewing my contact, etc.

Now my cell phone became my life. Every time it buzzed that a new e-mail had arrived, I was on it. I had done my job too well, and now was going to be asked to leave before I was set up with my next plan! I was a mess. My stomach was in knots. What should I do?

I could see the train wreck before it happened and had to create a plan. Over the next two months, the e-mails were flying. I was busy making contacts for my next job.

Then one day, the news came. It was fumbled by them; there was no thank you, no goodbye to the residents or co-workers, many of whom I hired. They just walked me to the door and my car. End of subject.

I was ready. My desk was cleaned out. I went to my car, no tears, no fear. I had my dignity. I had made many contacts, although I did not have my next job in place. I had said my quiet goodbyes to those who mattered. I knew what was going to happen, but I could not change the course of events or change the future.

That leads me to the subject of crystal balls. There are a number of times I work with seniors who live in their homes and are considering a change. Where to go? When to move? What should we do? So many times, they look at me and ask if I have a crystal ball. We laugh. I act like we are in a séance, and do a little voodoo.

It seems funny, but it really is not that funny. When I help them make one of the most important decisions in their life, the ultimate choice of who will take care of me if something happens to my health, it is not an easy decision to take lightly.

When people take the action of moving when they can, to what truly is an independent, active community of like-minded seniors, plus have the luxury of Life Care, they are making that decision from a position of strength. I want to do this. I want to do it now. I know I don’t need help or care, but I don’t want something to happen to me (or my spouse) and they start scrambling.

What if text messages started coming to your cell phone that you are going to miss that small step in the garage and land on the floor?

That happened to a wonderful woman who had inquired at my community in Chicago. She lived in this home for 40 years and certainly knew that step. But the weather was cold. She had just closed the garage door, had groceries in her arms and missed the step. On the floor, she was paralyzed and could tell right away that she had broken her hip.

She knew no one would worry about her that evening. She was stuck on the floor, cold and frightened. But in that survival human spirit, she dragged herself across the whole house over a four-hour period to the bedroom phone and called 911.

She came to see me with her niece that spring, in a wheelchair with the hope of walking again. Now she was serious! If only we knew what was going to happen when I had met her earlier in the winter! If only I could have given her stronger guidance – on how living alone forever is not the best solution.

So when I look into that crystal ball with my clients, I say I cannot see the future. But what if something happens to you? What will you do? And if I am lucky, they nod their heads and make a plan.

I live in a new modern world where my children live a long way away from me. I have often said to my friends that I want to come back in my next life as our children.

These kids have had so many advantages with the technological advances. I remember when a long distance call from Chicago to New York was a big deal.

“Hurry and talk to Grandma fast. She is calling Long Distance!” Now, it is practically nothing to call a cell phone in Europe. And you can video call with Skype for free. My children had a good life with summer camps, lots of friends, family trips, good schools, college life and in the case of my daughter, junior year abroad in Italy.

Many of my friends had children who went to other countries during their college life, and my niece, who is now attending Dartmouth, just finished a stint in Guiana – dirt huts, poor people and hard to find hot running water. It is more or less a requirement of the school to attain international experience.

My daughter’s experience was not quite so rustic but nevertheless impactful. Once there, she never really came back from Italy. She fell in love with Italy, and then she fell in love with an Italian man. Now, she has my two little Italian granddaughters. Everyone says how great it is for me to have such a wonderful place to visit.

Wouldn’t it be more wonderful if she lived nearby? Plus, who is going to take care of me when I get old? What happened to the day when Grandma moved in with the family, and the family unit was a giant ameba – everyone went en-mass to dance recitals, soccer, games, graduations, birthday celebrations and family dinners? Admittedly, there is still much of this going on, but society has really changed in the last generation.

Why is that? We live in such a fast-paced society (in part because of the technological advances too). More women are working outside of the home, and now Grandma is more alone. Staying with the family is not all that attractive. Plus, we have modern Grandmas. They are texting, attending local colleges for classes, traveling with groups of friends and enjoying life with their peers. Or we hope so.

And ultimately, do we really want our children to take care of us? Are they even capable? My opinion is no and no.

When I was working at one of the most luxurious retirement communities in one of the most affluent Chicago suburbs, I received a call from a woman. She was whispering into the phone, “Can you help me?”

She was calling from her son’s mansion on Lake Michigan, but did not want me to send information. We just talked. He was traveling, and she was alone in the house. Her friends subsequently called too to see if I could help her get out of this situation.

Ultimately, I met her and her son. Looking her in the eye, I described the ambiance of our community and the friendships that result. The son chimed in, “Don’t look at her. Talk to me. I will be paying.”

I knew it was a lost cause. They went home to her isolation, and his feeling that he was doing the right thing by providing her with such a beautiful home.

I do think daughters have more of a clue than sons, in general. But when I think of my daughter and how much she loves me, I still know that she is not trained to take care of me, if I need it. In my recent health challenges, she sat with me and wished with all her heart that she could absorb the pain. “I’ll take it. Give it to me.” But at no time would I wish anything like that on my daughter.

She is my daughter. I would jump in front of a bus for her. I am the protector. I am the mother. She was very supportive, made me feel better, but we were both trying to manage the process as best we could. Plus, she was chasing after two toddlers while ministering to me.

So I return to my favorite subject: Continuing Care Retirement Communities. What a fabulous invention.

First of all, I know I have been focusing on single women. But, the best time to make a decision to move to a CCRC is as a couple. This way, both partners are covered for Life Care. They can make the move together, set up a new life, meet new friends, and overall, the entire process is easier. And it is just as important for men to move to communities as it is for women.

I have had plenty of people tell me their husbands would probably starve if something happened to them. That won’t happen, but there are plenty of men who move into my community who are living on frozen dinners (women too for that matter).

With a CCRC, you don’t have to rely on your kids for anything. You have set up your own resources for any future eventualities as you age. Plus, a huge issue is the “aloneness” factor.

You move in when you don’t need to so you can make friends, have fun and live a totally independent lifestyle. If you want to read by the pool, read by the pool. If you love shopping, shop away.

If you want to join a group or go to the theater, sign up. You don’t have to cook. You don’t have to clean. You don’t have to worry about the house. You don’t even have to change a light bulb. More time to enjoy life and less change to fall of a step stool.

So in the words of my friend’s mother, “How come it only takes one mother to take care of 10 kids, but it takes 10 kids to take care of one mother?”

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