Today, caring for aging parents means asking questions like, “Where will mom and dad live?” “What is their current lifestyle?” and “What types of care facilities are out there?” Rose Arbor and Arbor Lakes are two senior living centers in the Maple Grove community that provide answers to these questions through individualized care programs.
For new Maple Grove residents Mary Titus and Bill and Becky Congdon, relocating to the senior assisted living centers involved making a significant change with the help of family and loved ones. There are a myriad of options for families to consider when choosing a care facility, now more than ever.
Mary Titus is a new resident at Maple Grove’s Rose Arbor senior living facility. Until August 2015, Titus had lived in Plymouth her entire life, when a lifestyle change prompted her to move to the assisted living community. Rose Arbor also provides independent living, assisted living and memory care options for seniors.
“For somebody who lived alone for so many years, she’s a very social person,” says Landy Anderson, Maple Grove resident and friend of Titus. Anderson lives in Maple Grove with her husband and four children. The two women have known each other for the last 10 years, having met at Victory church in Maple Grove where Titus was the secretary.
As their relationship grew, Titus came to see Anderson as part of her family. “I told her I’d have to adopt her as my surrogate daughter,” Titus laughs.
When the time came, the Plymouth resident enlisted Anderson’s help to find new living arrangements. She was especially looking for a facility that would fit her financial needs. Together, the two toured Rose Arbor.
Titus immediately felt at home on her first walk-through at the senior living center. “I said ‘Landy, I could move in here today and be happy,’” Titus says.
“I just had that feeling.”
With no immediate family, Titus was grateful for the help the Anderson family provided. “[Landy] took over my move; she totally orchestrated it,” Titus says. “I moved from a three-bedroom full basement home into a two-bedroom apartment here. So there was a lot of downsizing. . . She helped me get everything in place here. She and I worked together so beautifully.”
Having helped her mother-in-law move into senior care several years before, Anderson notes one of the positive things about moving to an assisted care facility is the way it helps seniors with adverse symptoms of depression, loneliness or Alzheimer’s. From social gatherings to the helpful staff and making friends with other residents, the senior center often becomes an extended family for a resident and provides much needed support and structure day-to-day.
“You wouldn’t believe that [Mary] was so isolated for so long,” Anderson says of her friend. “The relationships with her neighbors and staff were immediate. She thrives there just being able to visit with people on a regular basis.”
Living near Rose Arbor gives Anderson the chance to assist Titus with housekeeping and to nurture their friendship. The nearness also allows the Andersons to pick Titus up for church services. “It’s only three miles from my house,” Anderson says. “Rose Arbor is ideal living for seniors, especially those in need of different services nearby. A trip to a pharmacy, a Walmart or Aldi’s is just within six blocks.”
While Anderson acknowledges transitioning parents or loved ones to assisted care can be emotionally difficult, she has also seen the numerous benefits that result from the change. “It’s always challenging for people to think about giving up that independence,” she says. “But I just see so much opportunity for them to be with people.”
Bill and Becky Congdon, longtime North Dakota residents, relocated to Arbor Lakes Senior Living center about two years ago. The Congdons’ three adult children live in Maple Grove, St. Cloud and Waterloo, Iowa. Daughter Kathleen McCleneghan lives in Maple Grove with her husband and two children. She thought Maple Grove would be an ideal location for her parents who experienced some challenges with aging.
“My dad was becoming more and more unstable on his feet,” McCleneghan says. “When they moved into Arbor Lakes, he was still walking, but he was stumbling and falling a lot, and my mom’s memory was getting worse.” The Congdons mainly needed help with their day-to-day household chores and in managing medications.
Having traveled by motorhome all over the United States, hiked the Grand Canyon too many times to count, and lived 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the couple needed an environment that provided some assistance, but also supported independence.
The Congdons still seek an active lifestyle, attending Twins games, getting out in the community and attending their grandchildren’s sporting events. The central Maple Grove location also works out well for them to see children and grandchildren in surrounding cities.
“It’s a nice community for them,” McCleneghan says. “There’s a lot to do in the summer months, and it’s easy for them to get around downtown. They don’t have to drive, they can ride their bikes or walk or [take their] scooters to a lot of different events at the Town Green down the street from them.”
The Congdons still keep their spirit of adventure. “I go across here and fish in these lakes,” Bill says. “They’ve got “no fishing” signs on ‘em, but I don’t pay any attention to that. I catch perch and bluegills and just throw them back.”
“We’re having fun here,” he says. “We went to a basketball game two weeks ago, we went to a hockey game this weekend. We have to have some plans of doing something. We can’t just stay in.”
The couple has easily made friends with the other Arbor Lakes residents as well. “It’s just a fine place to be,” Becky says.