A Family Tradition: Second Generation Living at Asbury
Kathy and Bruce Seagrist’s decision to enjoy their retirement at Bethany Village could be best described as a fait accompli. Both of their mothers had lived at Bethany, friends of their mothers had lived at Bethany, and the couple’s single-family home was just a short walk from the community’s back gate. So, when Kathy and Bruce decided to make a move, there wasn’t much wavering on the location.
“We knew the drill when it was time to move,” jokes Kathy. “My mom loved it here and participated in so many things — it was incredible how she became a part of the community.” Kathy also loved her mom’s apartment and she and Bruce often commented “they could live here.”
And, in 2020 during the height of COVID, Kathy and Bruce moved into their West apartment. “We felt very secure here. The staff went above and beyond to keep us safe,” says Bruce. Now that COVID restrictions have eased, Kathy and Bruce are enjoying their beautiful apartment and access to great amenities. They are buoyed by the strong sense of caring and community at Bethany Village. “We would go out of our way to help any of our neighbors,” says Bruce. “And they would do the same for us.”
And seeing the care received by their mothers— especially during their time in skilled nursing — made their own decision simple. “We took a large burden off of our children by making this choice,” says Bruce. “They know that we are in a safe, comfortable place, and that they won’t be faced with having to decide for us. We made the choice.”
The Seagrists are just one of dozens of second- or third-generation Asbury residents who’ve chosen to follow in the footsteps of a parent or close family member.
“It was pretty much a given.”
Bonnie and Hank Piorkowski moved into their Springhill Garden home in 2018. “It was pretty much a given that we’d retire here,” says Hank. Hank’s great aunt and uncle were among the first people to move into the newly constructed residential living apartments in 1990. And his father and mother were residents of Springhill’s assisted living and skilled nursing neighborhoods, which provided him with a first-hand experience of the quality health services built into a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) like Springhill.
“My aunts, uncles, and parents were well cared for here,” says Hank. “We visited often while they were here, and we always knew this was where we wanted to be when we retired.”
Still thrilled with their decision, Hank and Bonnie are enjoying the community’s active lifestyle and relishing the peace of mind that comes from knowing, should they need it, health care services are nearby.
Hank practices his golf swing on the campus putting green, swims in the pool, plays on a horseshoe league and tends Springhill’s beautiful Butterfly Garden, along with his backyard crop of flowers, beets, and peppers.
And as a couple, Hank and Bonnie play a weekly game of cards with their neighbors, go Wii bowling in the community room and enjoy dinners and other get-togethers with the many friends they’ve made in this close-knit community. And, they have plenty of time to do it. “It’s great not to have to take care of anything here,” says a happy Hank. “If anything goes wrong, I just dial zero and someone shows up to fix it.”
“A Perfect Fit.”
“It’s a perfect fit,” says resident Jane Reiser of life at Asbury Methodist Village with husband Dave. “We do the things we enjoy. We’re no longer relegated to taking care of a house.”
This dynamic couple, who lived just a few miles from the community, had specific parameters when they started their search for a senior living community. They wanted an active campus with plenty of opportunities to thrive, and to stay in the area, allowing them to keep their doctors, friends and proximity to the museums, attractions, and culture of nearby Washington. DC. And, at the advice of their friend and financial advisor, they focused only on CCRCs and were impressed with Asbury Methodist Village’s financial security and nearly 100-year history of serving seniors.
Like the Seagrists and the Piorkowskis, the Reisers did not want to pass a burden of their potential future care to their children. “We wanted to make the decision, so our kids didn’t have to,” says Jane.
And, hard as it was, Jane gave her own mother Audrey Hildebrand that same leeway. When Jane and Dave moved into their Villa in 2015, Audrey was 90 and was still living independently in a 3-story townhouse several hours away in Delaware. Jane encouraged Audrey to come to Asbury, but it wasn’t until she had a serious car accident in March of 2018 and was no longer able to drive that she finally called Jane and said, “she was ready to move.”
In December of 2018, Audrey moved into her bright, sunny 1-bedroom apartment, where she is “thriving,” according to Jane. Audrey plays bridge and bingo, walks daily, and takes an exercise class with Jane — in person or on Zoom — five-to-six days a week. “I’m so relieved she’s here,” says Jane. “It’s such a great place to live.”
Jane enjoys water walking in the pool, taking yoga at the wellness center, playing bridge (with and without her mom), organizing events as the social chair of the Villas, leading bi-monthly bus tours around the community for new residents and working as a member of the Asbury Clowns, a group of residents who dress as clowns and attend community events and visit skilled nursing and assisted living residents.