Why We Chose Otterbein SeniorLife as Our New Home

Posted on: November 10, 2022

Jim and Carolyn R. enjoy a walk with their dog Kiki near their Otterbein villa.

When Otterbein SeniorLife residents Jim and Carolyn R. began to think about downsizing, the timing never seemed quite right to take action. So, when they finally decided to downsize and move to a continuing care retirement community, they quickly realized that it was best not to wait.  

In this blog, you’ll learn more about Jim and Carolyn’s journey to Otterbein and how they’ve been adjusting along the way.

Making the Decision to Downsize

As we get older, we usually notice that it doesn’t take long to accumulate a lot of stuff. From clothing to books and souvenirs from travels, it can be difficult to part with items. Unless you make an intentional effort over the years to minimalize, you’ll likely find yourself with a home full of things that you don’t need anymore.  

And you might also discover, much like Jim and Carolyn, that you don’t need a large home anymore, especially one that requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep. You’ll need to consider where and what your next home will be when you start the downsizing process

Learn how to downsize your home without losing peace of mind >>

Finding the Right Community

Downsizing to a smaller home or condo at Otterbein SeniorLife

This is precisely what Jim and Carolyn did — they knew they needed to consider their options and not wait too long. It was important to them that the decision was theirs and not left up to their children or other family members. 

“We thought about a condo, but the tight housing market where we lived ruled that out,” said Jim. “Renting made no sense, as our house was paid off.”

Jim and Carolyn decided to look at continuing care retirement communities. They understood that this type of community had multiple care levels if needed. They wouldn’t have to worry about looking for another place to live or securing help, especially for unexpected medical concerns. 

“We visited a number of retirement communities,” said Carolyn. “The one we chose was a large complex, and we felt at home there — plus, we could afford the fees and monthly rent.” 

Find out what you should look for in a senior living community >>

Jim and Carolyn moved from a large four-bedroom, three-bath home to a two-bedroom villa with a sunroom. They had an online auction to sell several belongings and gave away more meaningful items to friends and family.

“It was clear that the house was too much for us. We weren’t even using all of the rooms,” said Carolyn. “Jim struggled with the huge property in the summer and winter — the yard work was endless.”

Even though the downsizing and moving process was stressful at times and involved multiple decisions, it was worth settling into a smaller home surrounded by a community of new friends, neighbors, and staff.

Experiencing Life in a Continuing Care Retirement Community

Carolyn remembers fondly the “three angels” that visited in their first days at Otterbein. Feeling overwhelmed by boxes, she felt their thoughtfulness was heaven-sent. The first visitor brought meals from the main dining area, and the second was their next-door neighbor with a welcome gift. 

The third visitor quickly became a friend to Carolyn through their mutual love for music. She also brought information about being a new resident and what to expect from Otterbein. 

“How blessed we were with two new couples who have already become good friends, “ said Carolyn. “We hadn’t even been here a week yet. We were concerned that we would not meet anyone or make friends. They have helped us in ways they will never know.” 

Discover what a continuing care retirement community can offer >>

Jim and Carolyn also learned about how many opportunities there were at Otterbein to get involved and stay active while meeting new friends. 

“What we didn’t fully realize is that the community offers all kinds of free programs, such as concerts, exercise classes, and my favorite — yoga four times a week,” said Carolyn. “And this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as programs go.” 

Residents doing yoga at Otterbein SeniorLife

Numerous amenities are available to residents in all Otterbein SeniorLife Communities, including on-campus and off-campus activities. Most communities have walking trails and fishing ponds. You’ll also commonly see that each community has a fitness center, woodshop, chapel, and on-site beauty/barber shop.

Having activities and opportunities at your doorstep and available assisted living and nursing care if you need it often brings peace of mind to residents and their loved ones. Jim and Carolyn initially felt the emergency pendants they were given to wear were only for “old people,” as Jim put it. However, they soon recognized the safety feature provided them with comfort.

“After about three months here, I had to make a solo trip out of state, leaving Carolyn and our dog Kiki to fend for themselves,” said Jim. “Guess what?! Carolyn wore her pendant while I was gone! She said she felt safer wearing it while she was the only adult in the villa.” 

Discover an Active Lifestyle at Otterbein SeniorLife

Are you interested in experiencing an active lifestyle like Jim and Carolyn at a senior living community? Otterbein SeniorLife offers a full continuum of care in nine communities across Ohio, with one location in Indiana. You’ll enjoy beautiful living options with numerous amenities, activities, and services.   

Explore Otterbein SeniorLife Communities