Entering any new stage of life often comes with mixed feelings, and that may be more true than ever when approaching one’s later years. What will the days look like without a full-time career? How’s your health? And who will take care of you if it changes and you can’t be independent?
Planning for the unknown undoubtedly stirs emotions but undertaking the decision proactively can bring peace and even a discovery of new passions.
This is the case for husband-and-wife Ron and Pam Parmer, residents in Asbury Methodist Village, a continuing care community in Montgomery County, Maryland. While they have lived there for nearly eight years, they initially made the move in their mid-60s and 70s, respectively.
“Too often, people consider moving to a community like Asbury Methodist too late. Everyone said to us, ‘It’s too early—it’s too soon.’ And to be honest, I felt like it was a little too soon, too. But we wanted to make the move on our own and the way we wanted to do it. As it turns out, I’m so happy we did,” shared Pam.
Reasons to rethink retirement living
People’s reasons for moving to a senior living community vary. For Ron and Pam, it was simply a matter of logic and falling in love with what they saw.
“Our son and his family lived in California at the time. We knew we wanted to downsize, and if we did become incapacitated at some point, we didn’t want to be a burden.” said Ron.
Within Asbury Methodist Village, residents span several decades of life, with many still in their working years. To meet the varying needs of its residents, the community offers several living configurations, including villas, apartments, courtyard homes, and assisted living.
This ability to scale and change the level of support based on your needs as you age—within the same community or even your own home—is one of the main draws, along with the community amenities. While all transitions are fully self-initiated, residents have a seamless option.
Amenities and lifestyle
Asbury Methodist Village residents have an astounding number of amenities and activities to enjoy. The village houses a fitness facility complete with an indoor lap pool, rock-climbing wall, boxing studio, yoga studios, and more. The community has a partnership with Strathmore through an artist-in-residence program and is even a registered arboretum.
Since moving to the community, Pam and Ron have partaken in swimming, water aerobics, Tai Chi, yoga, climbing, boxing, lectures, and more.
“We were in really good shape physically when we moved in, but we’re in better shape now because everything is so convenient,” shared Ron.
Pam has become very involved with booking speakers for the Keese School, a resident-run continuing education program that features speakers, artists, and musicians nearly 50 times a year.
“Our Keese School is totally unique,” commented Ron. “While it’s completely resident-run, Asbury is very supportive and helps us in multiple ways. It’s been active since 1978, and when it started, it charged just one dollar to attend each lecture. Today, it still costs attendees just one dollar. With the proceeds, we give college scholarships to on-site staff.”
Two years ago, the community added pickleball courts to complement its existing tennis and bocce spaces.
“I started playing when they added the courts. Our group is growing, and we’re around maybe 20 people now,” commented Ron who recently won the Maryland Senior Olympics title after adopting the sport.
The community offers comprehensive medical services and even has innovative brain health services.
“We all go to the dentist and eye doctor once a year. But you don’t usually get a brain checkup once a year,” said Ron of the Rosborough Wellness & Brain Health Center. “Well now, through the Kinnections Brain Program they do a baseline so they can measure right on campus and detect problems before they occur. We get tested once a year. If they find something minor, you get ‘prescribed’ not a medical prescription but different activities [like yoga to help with balance, for example] to help. It’s not a pass/fail test. It’s just to see where you are.”
Residences and lifestyle
Beyond social and wellness amenities, the community provides for its residents full circle. The wellness department offers additional support, such as pastoral care, Parkinson’s support, and grief groups.
The residences themselves offer community members beautiful options that allow them to age in their homes.
“All the living arrangements are wonderful. One of the best things is that everything’s included. There’s no more maintenance. If a ceiling light goes out, they’ll come change it. All the yard work, mowing, blowing snow—all that’s gone. If something happens to your appliances, someone comes with a new one. It’s very easy living,” shared Pam.
“One of my favorite things about living is Asbury is that it’s a safe, stimulating place to age. It has a campus feel that gives a somewhat rural setting in a metropolitan area,” shared Ron. “We didn’t expect our lives to expand—you kind of expect them to shrink. But that didn’t happen. We were always very active socially and physically, but we’re even more active now.”
For additional information about Asbury Methodist Village, please visit AsburyMethodistVillage.org