Jumping Right In

Laura DottererLaura Dotterer’s decision to move to Bethany Village three years ago followed a not-uncommon pattern.

Her husband Ronald had passed away, and Laura was living far from family outside of Rehoboth Beach. Laura’s daughter suggested that she tour Bethany Village, just a few miles from her Camp Hill home.

Three years ‘have flown by’

But unlike many who struggle with the decision to move to a retirement community, Laura saw the value of it right away. She counts herself lucky that she had already downsized once for their move to Rehoboth, and has found that she has all the room she wants in her two-bedroom West Apartment.

The three years “have flown by,” says Laura.

She has become a very familiar face around Bethany as she volunteers, joins trips to local musical performances, and is a regular at Wellness Center classes like the one in which she is pictured above.

“My husband and I were very entrenched in our community in Rehoboth,” Laura notes. “But I’ve always jumped right in, so I didn’t worry too much about not knowing anyone.”

Finding your place in a new home

Laura was lucky to have two very involved residents as her Bethany Village Ambassadors, Tom and Mary Lou Fabian, and says the Ambassador Program “really does smooth the way, although they don’t push. They really just show you what’s available and leave it up to you.” (See a CBS21 video featuring Tom Fabian here.)

She quickly signed up for a fitness assessment at the Wellness Center and was soon visiting the Center and pool regularly. That introduced her to residents from the East and West campuses, as has her volunteer role with Bethany Village Resident Council and other campus volunteer work.

New friends and experiences

In addition, Laura is a member of the Bethany Village chorus and sings at the weekly Vesper’s service. And when called upon, she serves as an Ambassador for new residents.

Recently, she headed out on a 10-day cruise with a new friend from Bethany Village.

Every month she checks the community’s planned events and programs, cross-referencing it with her volunteering schedule. “I know I’m much more involved than I would be if I had stayed in Rehoboth,” she notes.

When asked if she has ever told her daughter that she was right, Laura laughs and quickly says, “I think she knows that. She always says to people, ‘Mom’s never home!’ ”

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