Jeanne Sener says: There’s a lot to keep you busy, that’s for sure. I think this is the best move we ever made!
Fred and Jeanne Sener Interview, January 2014
J: Good afternoon, hello!
J: Hi there, this is Jill Hofer and Ines Newby. You’re on the line from The Watermark.
F: Could you, uh, tell me those names again?
J: Sure, Jill and Ines.
F: I missed the first one.
J: Jill, like Jack and Jill.
F: Ok, Jill and Iva.
J: Super, that’s right, thank you so much.
F: Ok… Hello.
J: And how are you today?
F: Pretty good, uh, my wife and I are on the….
JS: … are on the speaker.
F: Speaker. So…
J: Oh good! Ok. Well good, then we can all hear each other, that’s helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today, we really appreciate it.
J: Ok, what we are hoping to do is to take a few minutes of your time and talk about the process of making that move to a retirement community. What we are hoping to do is get some insight and some helpful information, not so much about “oh, why everyone should move to The Watermark”, but more about why everyone should really consider their options and consider, you know, do I really want to stay in this house another year or should I get out there and see what’s right for me. So, really, you know, anything you tell us is very helpful and, um, you know all your insights are appreciated! Alrighty, ok well let me start with a question then, if you could let me know, where did you live right before you moved to the community?
F: We lived in the Isles of Sarasota.
J: Oh ok. And were you there for long?
JS: Seven years.
J: Ohh ok. A little while and before that?
JS: We lived in Turtle Rock.
J: Is that also in the Sarasota area?
J: Ok, so you didn’t have very far to move, but you did make one move right before, well seven years, before coming to The Watermark…. or to The Fountains.
J: Ok, alright. So, describe, if you could, what kind of decision making process or how you really went about it when you thought, “hey it’s time to leave The Isles and what’s next for us? What’s our next, our next adventure?” What was that process like?
F: Well, we decided to, uh, look at various places around Sarasota and we finally settled on The Fountains here.
J: And, did you, you know, start researching a long time before you moved? Did you look online or visited other places?
JS: Well, we looked at other places, but we were thinking of moving while we were living there maybe for 3 years or so.
J: Ok, alright, so you did some nice advanced planning it wasn’t all really at the last, the last minute then.
JS: That’s right.
J: And how did you get started? Did you talk to people…. or know if you were to help a friend right now who said, “I don’t know where to start”,… did you go online or how did you do your research?
JS: Well, we were familiar with The Fountains, because back in 1999 my brother was a patient at the nursing area. And, that’s where he passed away. He was only there a short time, so we were sort of familiar with the area and then we used to get the brochures from The Fountains, inviting us for lunch or dinner and we took them up on it a couple of times to find out what it was all about, because we weren’t familiar with the Independent Living and the Assisted Living, so that’s how we got started then.
F: Actually, we visited 3 or 4 other types of homes like this.
J: Ah-huh, and then what kinds of things were you looking for? What kind of attributes?
F: Well, uh, we were looking for a full-service that would not require us to move so far if we did have to have nursing service or whatever.
F: So, was ideal we thought that they are all covered here on the same campus.
J: Nice. Yeah, that’s, that’s definitely kind of gives you a different feeling about the future doesn’t it, to know that?
F: Yeah, we are covered for whatever else or what’s next or whatever.
J: Right. Right, because that’s the great unknown, isn’t it, for everyone?
JS: And we wanted something like, that would be ours, like an apartment which we have now and it made us feel independent, and it’s home again.
J: Awe, that’s terrific.
JS: Because we have most of our furniture here.
J: Oh, that makes it feel like home, definitely.
JS: Yes it does.
J: Right from the start and then, so you worked with the community and do you remember the day when you decided, “ok, let’s do this?”
JS: Well it was back in, um, June of this year… last year rather, it is now.
J: Oh ok, and what did that feel like?
JS: Well, it was, it is hard to say really… like a dream. We are thinking, are we making the right move or what?
JS: But, I think we did make the right move.
J: Awe, that’s great. And at the time, did you feel like boy if we do this there is no going back or did you think, well we’ll give it a try?
JS: No, I think we just thought, once we move here that’s going to be it.
JS: Like I said before, we wanted some place, a place of our own and we could call it home instead of moving again.
J: Right, that’s a great reason to come some place that has all those services like you mentioned. Alright, well, was there anything that made you reluctant to move? You know, a lot of people are out there and they don’t, they kind of don’t move soon enough, you know, they don’t get as much out of that community once they do choose it, because they just waited so long. Was there anything that made you reluctant to move?
F: I guess not. We knew we were gonna have to move sooner or later so…
JS: Might as well do it sooner, while we can still enjoy life.
J: Good. Smart. That’s a great way to look at it. Ok, and then, let’s see what other couple more questions that I have. When you did move in to The Fountains, were you surprised by anything or you know, did anything, you know, turn out to be a little differently or, you know, good or just surprising when you did move in?
JS: I don’t think so. I think we were like, we were happy and in shock, I shouldn’t say shock, but everything was new to us.
J: Mmmhhmm, like what? Like the food or the environment?
JS: No, the food is good, very good. But, we didn’t really know what to expect.
JS: It was a new adventure for us, let’s put it that way.
J: Awe, that’s so nice. Well that’s a way to look at life, I suppose, isn’t it? No matter what you’re doing.
JS: Take it a day at a time.
J: That’s right and so now when you look at your life back, back in The Isles, or even before that, and you look at life now, are there some major differences or subtle differences?
JS: Well, I think we have more time on our hands now.
JS: And, uh, the people here are very nice and the resident people and the staff people. The staff people are very cooperative, you have any questions, you ask them and they have all the answers.
J: Oh, that’s great. What gives you all the extra time on your hands?
JS: Well before, when we were living at the Isles, my husband used to play tennis all the time and he had to give that up. So, that’s one thing. But, we do have a number of doctor appointments we have to attend to.
J: Yeah, that’s true. Let’s see, when you think about the different programs there at The Fountains, which, do you participate in any of those, like classes or clubs?
JS: We are starting to, because when we came here my husband had to go to the hospital a couple of times and that, sort of…
F: It slowed down our ability to take advantage of all the things that are available.
J: Sure. And now? Are you feeling a little bit better?
F: Yes, I think so. And we will gradually take on more of the things, I guess the…
J: Do you have anything in mind? Anything you are looking forward to, like new year’s resolution wise, for those clubs or activities?
JS: Not really. Maybe do, uh, attend the exercise classes more often.
J: Oh, that’s a good one, especially if you don’t have to drive to get there.
JS: That’s right. And do more walking.
J: Mmmhhmm. Well that’s super. Well those are some benefits about living in a community like The Fountains. Are there any other benefits that you think that people would enjoy, just about, you know, any good retirement community that they might move to? Any motivators to move?
JS: Well the grounds here are beautiful.
JS: And I think that helps people….
F: Get adjusted….
JS: Get adjusted.
JS: Like I said, go for longer walks, because you can just stay on campus here…. You really don’t have to leave the campus to do all these things.
J: Mmmhhmm, well that’s a great perk, that’s a great benefit.
JS: And of course, I don’t cook as often as I used to anymore, which helps, that …. we have more time.
J: Nice. It’s great to be able to go, to just walk right down the way and have a great meal, isn’t it?
JS: That’s right.
J: Nice, ok, let’s see, what advice do you have for people, in general, if they’re considering whether or not they should move to a retirement community?
JS: Don’t wait too long; it’s later than you think….
J: That’s good advice and if they said, well, why shouldn’t I wait, what do you think are the real reasons behind that?
J: Right, right, that’s so true. And then, you know, the reason to move, let’s see, let me look over my notes here, we’ve got food, access to exercise classes, let’s see, what else do you think people might find that benefited their lives, no matter where they moved, if they left that old house and came to a supportive community? Let’s see food, exercise…
F: I think the offering of classes, like the computer classes and things like that are a good opportunity for people that find a little more time on their hands.
JS: Plus they have a beautiful library here, it’s, all you have to do, for us, is go down the hall here to the library. Take advantage of the library.
J: Well that beats driving. Anything else along those lines? Anything that you thought maybe you can recommend to a friend like, you know, here is some reasons to stop rattling around in that big old house.
F: Well, you can also look at the economics they may find that it doesn’t cost much more.
J: They may find what?
J: They may find what economic wise?
F: They may find that it doesn’t cost much more to live in a place like this than what they are rattling around in.
J: That’s great, a great point, because a lot of those expenses are all rolled into one at The Fountains, right?
J: Hmmmm, that’s an interesting concept. Because I imagine, you are right, I imagine a lot of people do consider, “oh that’s just all new costs”, and they don’t think about all the other things that they are paying in the house.
F: That’s right.
J: Interesting. Ok, alright, that’s a great point. Oh, I should ask you, did you have any kids or people who were helping you make your decision?
JS: Yes, we have one son and our daughter-in-law, which we call our daughter, they were a big help. They took us to these different places to look at, and like everything else, we always came back to The Fountains.
J: Well that’s great. And how do your son and daughter feel about it now?
JS: They are very happy.
J: Awe, that’s nice.
JS: Because they know that, um, they know where we are.
F: And that someone is going to be around here to take care of us if necessary.
J: That’s wonderful, I’m glad that they’re happy too. And they’re kind of, they live in the area?
JS: Yes, they do. They live in Parish, Florida.
J: Oh, that’s so great. That’s nice and convenient, they can come by for special occasion and…
JS: Right, and you can always pick up the phone everyday if you want to and talk to them.
J: That’s true. That’s so true.
JS: I keep telling them, they have a life of their own too, this way they know where we are and they know that we’re happy. That was the main thing.
J: Oh, that’s great. Yeah, I imagine that means a world of peace and mind to them.
J: Well, super. Well I really do thank you for your time, I’ve gone through my questions, if you have anything at all to add, you know, reasons that people might just need to kind of get up off the couch and look around at their options, I’d be happy to hear anything else you’d have to say.
F: Well I think we covered most of what…
JS: Well I think we’ll think of something later on
J: Well, if you do just tell Joe!
F: After we hang up, we’ll probably think of something.
J: That’s the way it goes, isn’t it?
J: I’ll probably think of a question as well, myself. Alright, well if you think of anything…
JS: I think this is the best move we ever made!
J: Wow, that’s wonderful and just because… I mean do you just feel like you just made the right choice?
JS: Right, and we have the peace of mind there’s somebody to help us in case we needed the help.
J: That’s great and then in the meantime, when you don’t need the help…
JS: There’s a lot to keep you busy, that’s for sure…. (21:39)
J: That’s terrific, well thank you both so much and TGI Friday, and I hope you have a great weekend and again, we really do appreciate your time.
JS: Thank you very much and a happy new year
J: Happy new year to you as well
JS: Thank you
J: Thank you
J: Bye, bye.