A Balancing Act
Choosing Our Independent Retirement Lifestyle
Do you know what the symbol above represents? According to this post by Mark Cartwright in the online Ancient History Encyclopedia:
The principle of Yin and Yang is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy and culture in general dating from the third century BCE or even earlier. This principle is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, for example female-male, dark-light and old-young. The two opposites attract and complement each other and, as their symbol illustrates, each side has at its core an element of the other (represented by the small dots). Neither pole is superior to the other and, as an increase in one brings a corresponding decrease in the other, a correct balance between the two poles must be reached in order to achieve harmony.
People researching a move to an independent senior living community are seeking a harmonious balance between services, convenience, and safety v. control, independence, and privacy, Here in Louisville, Kentucky, there are enough retirement living facilities to practically guarantee that everyone looking can find a place that suits them to a T. I often say Cornell Trace is the most independent of the independent senior living communities in town. Who are the residents here, and what makes Cornell Trace a good balance for their needs and desires?
The happiest people at Cornell Trace would rather do it themselves than have someone else do it if for them. But they are not in stubborn denial. Most residents are realists who acknowledge the changes and limitations increasing age is imposing on them. That’s why our Contract For Occupancy is basically a maintenance agreement. Those repairs and chores that require procuring quotes, evaluating service providers, and scheduling service calls are our responsibility. No more climbing a ladder to clean the gutter or change a ceiling light. If your AC stops working, your water heater springs a leak, or the dryer doesn’t heat, you only need to call the Property Manager and help will be on the way. And you save your energy for the things you love to do!
No “One Size Fits All” at Cornell Trace
But why does Cornell Trace not offer housekeeping or meals, or excursions–and where is the activity director? The reason is what makes Cornell Trace the best buy on the independent living market in Louisville: extra services and personnel cost money, and to offer the aforementioned services would make it necessary to charge everyone for staffing them, even if they do not use the services. The balance here is the control a resident has. For instance, the cost for housekeeping service would add significantly to everyone’s monthly maintenance fee since the square footage of the patio homes at Cornell Trace is unusually generous for a retirement community. If our residents want a housekeeper, they choose who comes into the home to clean, when they come, and how much they are paid for that service. When they are ready to eat, folks here can enjoy selecting from a variety of menus at local restaurants or prepare meals themselves in their own spacious kitchens. They value the independence of having their car available at anytime, parked just steps away in the attached garage.
At Cornell Trace an Activity Director would be competing with the creative energy generated by the residents. When I took my position here 5 years ago the monthly Potluck was the only event sponsored by Springhurst Pines management, but the social scene was thriving! I arrived to find a busy calendar that included weekly exercise, a needlework circle, bridge games and men’s and women’s groups that dined out together. I tried adding several new functions and discovered the bustling schedules of folks here often resulted in poor attendance. I’ve finally settled on two popular additional events that don’t crowd the calendar, and community members continue to develop their own ideas.
Our community is driven by the energies of flexible, resilient, forward-thinking people who know their own minds. They derive a feeling of purpose by contributing to the social vibrancy of Cornell Trace. They help maintain healthy brains with creative thinking and fellowship with others, which contributes, in turn, to sustaining their independence. We are blessed to have more than our share of neighbors like this. Their insight and balance my not be as old as the ancient concept of Yin and Yang, but it certainly comes from the wisdom of their years.