For a person who does not like to shop, I’ve been doing a great deal of it lately. The particular item that I am looking for falls into the category of “once in a life time”. No, it is not a wedding dress, a vacation home, an elusive antique nor my dream car. It is my next-to-last resting place, i.e., what use to be called, an old folks home. The home is not for an aged parent; it is for myself.
Why would a woman who just learned from her doctor that she is aging well, that her mussel tone is good, that all of her numbers included in a thorough blood test are excellent, that will start a new part-time job in a few months, be shopping for a retirement community? The most logical reason is that I want to have options in the event that leaving my house becomes a necessity for some kind of health reason. On the other hand, I just might be doing what bored matrons have been doing for several generations, shopping with no intention of buying. I get to leave the house for hours at a time, drive to places I’ve never seen before, get a free lunch at the facility, have the license to pry into other residents lives and compare one facility to another. One can spend a great deal of time doing the above. I’ve nearly a drawer full of comparative floor plans, price lists, activity schedules and unique features.
This past week, I visited the Lima Estates in Media, PA. This facility, although having none of the things that I thought I’d require ( town center with in walking distance, church with in walking distance, a water view, easy access to an airport), looks like a winner for several reasons. First of all, it is built on 55 acres that are well maintained rolling hills with small groves of trees, shrubs and seasonal flowers. These acres which but up against the Tyler Arboretum contain walking trails and occasional benches. The apartments for those able to walk and/drive have balconies. Most of them overlook the beautiful grounds. Secondly, the decor is sunny and cheerful in the halls, recreation centers, library and restaurants (yes, there are at least three restaurants). Thirdly, unlike any other place that I’ve visited, many residents were actually using all of the above. I saw them with my own eyes.
This facility is a full service facility. Once you have paid the entrance fee and pay your monthly fee, you are entitled to move into each additional care unit without having to pay for any up-grade in services. This is a very important feature. Yes, the monthly fees do go up annually, but the annual rise is no higher than other facilities which require additional fees for additional services. In addition, Lima Estates is part of the ACTS group which has been in business for over thirty years, is approved by the CCAC, and has 400 residents which are part of the 9000 residents in all of the ACTS group from Pennsylvania to Florida. So far, Lima Estates is my first pick for asthetic and finacial reasons. Also, Mass is said on the premises every Sunday.