“Probably the reason why most people come to The Fountains, initially, is that they are attracted by the lovely landscaped campus that’s here. That catches their eye first and then they begin to look around and The Fountains is one of the prime retirement communities in this region, maybe even in the United States, it’s very well run and very comfortable kind of a lifestyle.”
Bob Daisley Interview, August 2014
Interview starts at 2:36
J: Hi there, this is Jill Hofer at Watermark in Tucson. Hello?
B: Hello, yes.
J: Hi there, this is Jill at Watermark in Tucson, how are you?
B: I’m fine, thank you Jill.
J: Oh great, is this Mr. Bob Daisley?
B: Yes, that’s correct.
J: Oh great, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us, I really appreciate it.
J: I don’t know how much they let you know but we’re talking to people to learn more about the different processes that people experience as they move from their home, their house, to a supportive retirement community and how that really, you know, unfolded for them. It’s not quite all about “oh you’ve got to move to The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods” but more about “hey folks it’s probably a good idea to consider your options and find out what’s right for you.”
J: So we really appreciate your time and there’s no wrong answer. If you don’t mind I’ll ask you to sort of tell me how that process was for you, when did you first move and how did that story unfold?
B: Well, we first learned about retirement communities quite a while ago. We are northern people who moved to Florida because we like the weather here and we’ve been here since about 1981. At that time we moved to Sarasota and I had an aunt who was living in this region who was, at that time, well in her 70s and she progressed from her home to a condo and ultimately, as she got older, her son-in-law suggested that she go to retirement community in Brighton, it was then known as The Shores, and this was our first experience in learning about a retirement community. We used to visit her frequently and we decided that that seemed to be a very good setting as you got older. In her particular case that may have been a CCRC because as she progressed over the years she move from her independent living status on into assisted living and finally into nursing care and she finally passed away there. As we got a little bit older, we learned from some of our friends that they considered going into retirement communities as they got into their late 70s and these were folks that we knew up north and some of our best friends started to move into that type of facility. And we conversed between ourselves, my wife and I, and we determined that we thought that would be the ultimate thing for us to do as we got a little bit older. My wife was a type I diabetic and as we got into our early 80s, we decided we’re getting a little bit older, so it was time for us to move from our home to a retirement community. So we did, like a lot of folks down here, we began to look around at the local retirement communities that were available and in Sarasota there are plenty of them. And we must’ve researched probably anywhere from four to six of them, I suppose, and we considered one or two that we rather seriously thought we might want to move to. And one of our daughters came to visit us about that time and she went out on her own and was driving around one late afternoon and drove past The Fountains here on Tamiami Trail. And if you’ve not been to The Fountains, we are not too visible from the outside Trail but there is a gate there so my daughter drove up to the gate and looked inside and said, “My goodness, isn’t that a pretty looking place. They haven’t looked there.” So she came home and said, “You know, you fellas better go down and look at The Fountains while you’re looking around because that looks pretty nice.” So we, the next day, came down to The Fountains and we talked with some of the rental people here and we initially told them that we thought about going into what we call the Town Center here, that’s our apartment set up, and as we discussed this with the salespeople they said, “You know, we know you like an apartment type living arrangement but we’ve got a place that we really like a lot, most people have kind of ignored but we think it’s a really great spot.” So they took us over to one of the villas that used to be the sales office here and it was converted years ago into two villas. And we looked at it and it has a wonderful view and it has marvelous facilities and they said, “Well we can make a nice arrangement for you” and we talked back and forth and decided, finally, that was where to come. That’s how we got here. You got an earful.
J: When did you say that was?
B: Oh, I think that must’ve been about early 1980s, I’m sorry I’m giving you the wrong time, this would’ve been about three years ago, this would have been 2011. In the early 1980s is when we first came to Sarasota.
J: And where did you come from, up north?
B: We’re living at the time in Pittsburgh although we’re New Yorkers; we both came from Long Island.
J: Oh ok, I love Pittsburgh, I think it’s one of the prettiest cities I’ve ever…
B: It is now; if you lived there thirty years ago it was kind of smoky.
J: A little different.
B: We didn’t live there then though, we lived there when it had started to clear up.
J: And let see, when you first decided to move, what was motivating you the most? What made you say when you’re doing your pros and cons list, what made you really want to take that big leap?
B: Well, it was our age. We realized that we were in our early 80s and it was getting to be time for us to think about some lifestyle that was probably a little bit more guarded than living out on our own in a house and having had the experience of friends and relatives who had done that before us and knowing how successful their later years were, we realized that that was what we wanted to do. And as I mentioned earlier, my wife did have some health problems that we thought would probably become exacerbated in her later years so that’s another reason why we were urged to come.
J: Oh, ok. That’s foresight and that’s an important bit of advice for people. Did you have any certain amenities or programs or anything that really you just loved from the start or discovered that you loved later about the new lifestyle?
B: Probably the reason why most people come to The Fountains, initially, is that they are attracted by the lovely landscaped campus that’s here. That catches their eye first and then they begin to look around and The Fountains is one of the prime retirement communities in this region, maybe even in the United States, it’s very well run and very comfortable kind of a lifestyle.
J: Do you partake in any of the classes or clubs?
B: Oh gracious, I’m very very busy here. I am the president of the Residents Council.
B: In that respect, I stay extremely busy. I keep in close contact with our executive director, that’s Peggy Beasley, and I make sure that our residents meetings get run properly. I’m on a number of committees here. I take place in our morning exercise that takes place three times a week, you may have heard about it if you’ve talk to people at The Fountains. We have a fellow by the name of Steve Vincent who does kind of a fun light exercise routine that quite a few of our residents enjoy. We have usually around forty or fifty people that get in there on a good morning. And of course I have a meal plan so that I have dinner engagements every evening. Now, The Fountains, we’re told that some retirement communities don’t make much about making dinner arrangements, usually folks eat by themselves or maybe in the same group every single night but here at The Fountains we really have quite a social arrangement between our residents and we run quite a heavy calendar of different appointments with different residents every night at our restaurant or in our café, so that makes a real fun part of our existence here. As you may or may not know, we also have other activities that the dining people put on for us. We have sometimes beach excursions where we go, where they have outside restaurant tours, so there is a very constant barrage of activities that you can take part in.
J: Nice, nice, that’s wonderful.
B: I’m on the activities committee, too, so I get involved with those kinds of things, I’m on everything.
J: Sounds like you’re definitely hopping, keeping busy.
B: It does keep me very busy.
J: And it makes the community better so thank you very much for that, thank you.
B: You know in talking with residents here at The Fountains, I really have almost never encountered someone who doesn’t like it here. Very often when people first come they’re a little bit unhappy, it’s a little switch, you have to get to know people but usually they settle down. And even people that have little arguments with the management and whatnot, even those folks tell us that they like it really here so it’s a nice place to be.
J: Oh, that’s wonderful and you have kids?
B: Yes I do, I have four children.
J: Oh, how did they feel about you moving to a retirement community?
B: Oh, they’re delighted.
J: Really, what do they have to say?
B: Oh well, they think that’s what someone who gets into an elderly state should do for their latter years. I have a daughter whose father-in-law lives up at The Mather in Evanston, Illinois so that’s one part of the family that they also see another assisted living going on for one of their elderly relatives. All of our other kids are much for it, they’ve all been down many times here and they visit and they also enjoy the facilities here when they come.
J: That’s terrific, so they actually take part in the programs and dining and whatnot?
B: Well, they come and dine, yeah. They don’t generally get into any of the activities on a regular basis but we have a mile or so walkway around the perimeter of The Fountains and they all like to go out and get a run in the morning so that’s delightful for them.
J: That’s terrific especially since it’s such beautiful scenery.
B: Yes it is, it is quite nice surroundings there’s no question about it.
J: One big question that I always ask is general advice that you would have for people who are, you know, they’re still in the big old house, they’re still kind of living with the chores and the memories and hanging on and what’s right for one is not right for another but what advice do you have for people who are kind of on the fence and they’re just kind of stuck, not sure what to do?
B: In my opinion, anyone that gets into their late 70s or 80s should be looking into a retirement community. I have friends and acquaintances still who live out on their own and they don’t realize that in a few years you start needing a little bit more assistance and you don’t have the kind of steam that you had when you were in your younger years. They kind of forget about it and it looks like a major, major happening to them to change everything and move and sure it’s a little trouble and you have to liquidate your house and you have to move things and get rid of things but you know, it affects different people in different ways. Some of them it’s much more of a hassle but you get your mind set to it and you get it done and you have to allow a little time after you make the move to get used to the whole thing but then it begins to grow on you and as I mentioned, most people really find that they enjoy this kind of lifestyle, it’s helpful.
J: That’s great, well there’s a lot of benefits too.
B: There really are and I would recommend it to anyone as they get older if they can do it. Now you know everybody doesn’t have the same resources. It can’t be that easy for everyone but if you can you should definitely get into something of this nature in your later years. It helps your children and it certainly helps you yourself.
J: Well, that’s spectacular.
B: Well, I can, another facet that occurs here at The Fountains and that is that we have an assisted living facility and my wife and her diabetic condition developed Alzheimer’s disease and we tried to help her here at the villa initially with the help that came in from the outside but eventually got to the point where she became very difficult to lift and to move and to take care of and so I talked to our nursing staff and inquired about the possibility of moving her to what we call The Inn, that’s our assisted living and they were all for it. They were extremely helpful and they arranged for her to have a very fine room over there and that was just the perfect thing in her latter year because they have the kind of help that she really needed and they took really good care of her.
J: Oh, that’s wonderful and then you were close, you didn’t have to move.
B: In my case that’s another advantage for me here. As I mentioned, I live in a villa so I’m not right in the Town Center but I do have a golf cart and our Inn is just a little bit of a hike around the other end of the campus and I got in my golf cart and I was over there about four or five times a day making sure that she was getting taken care of right so it was very, very helpful.
J: That’s great; oh I’m glad to hear that. I think that’s a special bit of advice for the couples out there really you know. They don’t want to wait too long because it’s only going to be harder if they, you know, have declined while they’re in that big old house.
B: That’s very true, that’s a problem that a lot of older people either shove aside or don’t realize but it happens, you know, we all get there sooner or later that you start failing a bit and boy it sure helpful to have some extra help.
J: And to not have to drive across town for it.
B: Oh, you have to make a drive for that sort of thing?
J: If you’re still living in your house and you need help you’re in a car, you’re doing all those heavy transfers and that’s tricky. Well, that’s just a terrific perspective and great advice. I can’t think of a question I have that we haven’t covered.
B: Ok, well, I’m glad to be of any help to you. I’m obviously a big booster for The Fountains.
J: Yeah, thank you for doing all your volunteer work. I really like Peggy; I’m sure she loves working with you.
B: Yeah, we have a very good rapport, we have a great time.
J: I’ll thank her for recommending you or anyone who sent you our way, I really do appreciate it.
B: Well, you’re very welcome and I’m glad to help you whenever I can.
J: Thank you, have a great rest of your day.
B: Ok, you too, bye-bye now.