For Kathy Rozpad, assisted living is the best of both worlds

Assisted Living Story

Winters are long in Rhode Island and usually cold. Really cold. So once Joe and Kathy Rozpad retired and moved from the family home into an apartment, they began spending the winter months in Florida. But when spring returned, so did they.  Rhode Island was home, and they loved the long summer evenings, the colorful falls, the ocean breezes and their many friends.  But when Joe’s health began to fail, neither he nor Kathy were able to get out as much as they used to. After Joe died, Kathy knew that despite the comfort of familiar places, it was time for a move, especially with one of her daughters living in Virginia and the other in North Carolina.

“I don’t drive now and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I’d start to feel cut off from people and activities. My youngest daughter wanted me to come to their home in Poquoson. She didn’t push me, just kind of suggested it might be a good idea.  She knew the decision would have to be mine. What I said from the start was that as much as I enjoy being close to my daughters and their families, I didn’t want to be a burden on anyone.  Besides that, I’ve always valued my independence. So I felt the best solution would be to live close by but still have my own place.”

Kathy’s daughter did some research on retirement communities with assisted living options since her mother needed some extra help with a few daily activities. She had noticed Warwick Forest while driving by so it became part of the list and, ultimately, rose to the top.

 “My daughter had done her homework, but this was no snap decision. I spent a lot of time thinking it over. So when I finally moved to one of the assisted living communities at Warwick Forest I had high expectations. And I wasn’t disappointed. The early weeks were an adjustment period.  I had been married 58 years and now I was starting off on a new phase of my life. But the staff were very gentle, very patient. They’ve been helpful all the time I’ve been here, but were especially supportive during that transition.”

What Kathy realized shortly after arriving at Warwick Forest was that she had become increasingly isolated during the time before the move.

“I’m a very sociable person. I enjoy activities and I don’t have any problem meeting new people. The apartment I chose was roomy and comfortable but what made it feel like a real neighborhood was the chance to get out and do things.”

“On a typical day, if there is such a thing, I exercise, maybe swim and get a walk in, then have lunch. What I would say about the food is that it’s very good and there are a lot of choices. In the afternoon I might do some painting or knitting with a group of friends.  I get out for shopping or other day trips during the week. And I like to cook so I have people over for dinners, new friends as well as my daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.”

Kathy also appreciates the fact that a lot of the typical concerns and worry are taken out of the equation, particularly in Warwick Forest’s assisted living community, so she and her neighbors can focus on doing what they want.

“Having a little help with some things actually works to give me more independence. Over the course of a day you can do as much or as little as you like. I think it’s great that Warwick Forest offers those kinds of choices and accommodates personal preferences. If you want you can just sit and look out the window at the lovely campus. But that wouldn’t be me. I’m a lot more likely to be outside the window doing something I enjoy.”

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