Spanish Cove can help take stress out of downsizing after retirement
Whether you have lived in the same house most of your life or moved frequently, the process of downsizing for retirement living can be stressful and confusing. Even if you’ve downsized from the family home to an empty-nest cottage, you probably still have more stuff than you can accommodate in a retirement village.
That’s why Scott and Mary Lynn Peters and Bill and Helen Gillespie both attended seminars sponsored by Spanish Cove Retirement Village in Yukon to begin the process. Then, they used the services of downsizing professionals who work with the retirement village to complete the process.
Both couples couldn’t be happier with the results and life at Spanish Cove.
“Love it. Love it,” said Helen Gillespie, who moved into the retirement village with her husband, Bill, just two months ago.
“It’s our second downsizing,” she said. “We had five girls. After about 30 years, we moved to a patio home. We emptied about half of what we had then. When we came here, it was another half size, but it wasn’t that painful because we learned so much from the seminars.”
Scott and Mary Lynn Peters lived in 18 different homes during Scott Peters’ insurance career which took them from Oklahoma to Texas, Arkansas, Georgia and Illinois. They retired to Oklahoma City more than 20 years ago.
While she was the “master of the move” during the many changes, downsizing for retirement was much more daunting.
“It was dramatically different because we had lived in big houses and had lots of furniture and stuff. It was a big decision. We needed to dispose of a lot of our belongings. It wasn’t easy, but we always knew we were doing the right thing,” Mary Lynn Peters said.
The Peterses moved to Spanish Cove two years ago after attending a downsizing seminar and engaging with professionals recommended by Spanish Cove.
“We had a bit of anxiety about things, but you just have to detach yourself and realize they are just things — and turn them loose,” she added. “We had help liquidating. That’s a lesson we learned at a seminar about the transition. After we had made our decisions on what we could bring, we had an estate sale. It went very, very well.”
Helen Gillespie has similar praise for the seminars and the professionals that work with Spanish Cove to make the retirement transition smoother.
“We went to monthly seminars for about a year before making the decision to move to a ‘life care’ community,” she said. “It was great having the OKC Mature Moves’ assistance.”
“We haven’t looked back. We haven’t missed anything,” she added. “We were looking at a two bedroom, but we decided on a one bedroom plus office. We have 875 square feet. It’s plenty of room, and I still have empty shelves. You really don’t need a whole lot of stuff, especially not the dust collectors.”
And the life at Spanish Cove?
“Friendliest people anywhere. It’s like living in a small town. All kinds of folks, with all kinds of backgrounds,” she said. “No, it’s like living on a cruise ship — all the activities and services. And, the staff is ultra pleasant.”
There is no shortage of activities at Spanish Cove.
“Don’t come out here and expect to rest,” she said. “We go five days a week to some type of workout class. We’ve always been active; so now we can still be active.”
Scheduled exercise classes include Stretch & Strengthen, Tai Chi For Balance, Toning & Movement Class, Walking Buddies, Yoga, Chair Yoga, and Line Dancing to name a few. Activities include educational seminars and lots of volunteer projects. Spanish Cove also offers water aerobic and water walking classes in the indoor, heated salt water pool.
Other regularly scheduled events include Drama Club, Book Talk, Writing Life’s Memories, and Spanish Cove Singers. Residents also gather for regular card games including canasta, bridge and rummy.
One unique activity for Spanish Cove residents is Dragon Boat paddling. The retirement village made Oklahoma history as the first ever Senior Dragon Boat paddling team on the Oklahoma River back in 2012. This fall will be their seventh season paddling. A dragon boat paddling team is made up of 10 or 20 people (depending on the size of the boat) who paddle to the beat of a drummer at the bow, while a steer person, at the stern, steers the boat. Dragon Boat paddling is a complete and total body workout.
That’s one activity Mary Lynn Peters hasn’t tried yet, but she hasn’t ruled it out.
“When we first moved out here, someone who was a Dragon Boat paddler asked me. I’ve declined for the moment,” she said.
However, the team spirit of the Dragon Boat paddlers is one of the many things that makes Spanish Cove different from other retirement settings.
“It has a campus feel. You meet people in the dining hall, the gym, on your morning walks,” she said. “It’s a good feeling. We are all on the same journey. We’re all retired. We wanted an easier place to live without all the responsibilities, and we wanted life care.”
While the Peters did look at other retirement centers, their choice was not a hard one.
“Once we went to the seminar and met with staff, it just felt right. We just knew we would come to Spanish Cove,” she said.
“It’s been a good life, and it’s still good.”
For more information on Spanish Cove, visit www.spanishcove.com.
Spanish Cove residents made Oklahoma history as the first Senior Dragon Boat paddling team on the Oklahoma River back in 2012. This fall will be their seventh season paddling.