Coming to Wesley Homes, Part 1

We are excited to present Wesley Homes Des Moines resident Pat King as a guest blogger. Pat will post about her process of choosing a retirement community as well as fun things happening at Wesley Homes. Welcome Pat and Smokey!   Beginning the Process, Part 1 by Pat King, Wesley Homes Des Moines resident “I was just thinking,” I said to my son Bill and his wife Shawn, “that eventually I’d like to move to Wesley Homes.” I was visiting them at their condo in Hawaii. Silence. Shawn asked in a low voice, “Isn’t that a retirement home?” Bill asked, “Why would you want to move there?” “First of all, I’m lonely,” I said. “Eating dinner and cooking for myself was an adventure when Dad first died, but it’s not now. Also, I’m not the sharpest pencil in the box these days. Decisions aren’t easy. I’m getting forgetful.”  Then I admitted, “Sometimes I do embarrassing things. I misread a recipe and burned the Rice Chex Mix to a cinder. I didn’t know Rice Chex could burn so fast. I mixed up the phone with the TV remote and couldn’t get the TV to work. Three times I’ve had to rush the smoking frying pan out the door to the deck.” Bill looked thoughtful or maybe shocked. “Would you want to go sooner or later?” I didn’t know. A retirement home or as they are called these days, a retirement community, had been in the back of my mind since my husband had died two years before. I hadn’t thought about sooner or later; it was just one of those thoughts that kept popping up. Now I considered it. “Except for Smokey [my cat], I’d like to go sooner,” I said. Bill had been in finance for a long time, and he loved a challenge. “Do you have any idea about the price?” “There’s an upfront buy-in fee and then a monthly living fee that includes my own apartment and three meals a day,” I said and made a ballpark guess at the cost. “Okay, how much do you have coming in each month?” asked Bill. “Dad’s pension and Social Security is all.  I have no investments.  Also, I have car expenses, contributions, internet, medications and insurance.” I stopped and looked out the window at the sun setting over Honolulu. “When it gets right down to it, I don’t think I can afford a retirement community.” Bill was not deterred. “First thing we do is sell your condo. You’ll be spending over your income each month, but you’ll be getting interest on the money from the sale.” He jumped up, “I’ll be right back.” He dashed to his computer and came back a few minutes later with an actuary table that projected my life and expenses for the next 26 years until I was 104. He laid it out on the table. “If you’re careful, you can do it.” “What happens if you become sick?” Shawn asked.  Her mother was battling a serious health issue and was in and out of the hospital. I remembered something I had read. “Wesley Homes is a CCRC, a continuous care retirement community. Once I buy in, I’m taken care of for the rest of my life. I’ll have my savings, Group Health, Medicare and even Medicaid if I needed it. But that would be down the road.” Bill was into this. “When you get home, call Wesley Homes and talk to them. Get a tour and ask questions. Call Mary Therese (my oldest daughter) to go with you.” “What about Smokey?” He was my husband’s companion and best friend.  “Where would I find a loving home for him? Wesley doesn’t take cats.” Or do they… Next Thursday, Finding the right fit for me and Smokey at Wesley Homes