By Paul H. Wilson, resident of The Fountains at Greenbriar, a Watermark community
The following are real-life experiences and circumstances under I am now able to view and advise others in finding the right retirement community. I gained my “three hat” perspective during decades through my professional work experience, family and personal involvement in making the decision to become a Watermark resident. I am uniquely qualified to capture and blend light-heartened and serious tones in the aspects of many important topics related to retirement living.
Hat One – Education and Work
With a master’s degree in counseling, psychology and special Education, I owned and operated facilities for senior adults in long-term care and specialized rehabilitative medical care. I was one of the first to provide specialized care for people living with Alzheimer’s disease, Sub-acute post hospital care, and care for women and men living with HIV/AIDS. I also was executive director of a large retirement community providing independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, home health and therapy services. I worked with state licensing officials to help inspect sub-par homes and help close those not meeting the appropriate standards. My homes maintained the highest state and federal standards, and I was continually active in speaking throughout the country on quality care, management, and services.
Hat Two – Son of a Resident
My mother had a series of minor stokes, and at first, she was able to live in her own home independently. Finally, due to increasing need, her physician recommended an independent living home for her. She immediately turned to me to help her choose the best environment and services. Active in my profession in long-term care services management, I was acutely aware of the many homes providing independent living services close to where my mother lived. I knew, firsthand, the best of the best. Together, we toured the top three so the choice would be ours together. There was no doubt that The Fountains at Greenbriar stood head and shoulders above all the rest, both in my professional opinion and in my mother’s opinion of wanting a home. She moved and was extremely happy there for more than 8 years as a valued resident and member of the community. I was very active in their community and visited several times weekly and participated in the life of this vibrant community as it brought new life and opportunities to my mother.
Hat Three – Resident of Independent Living
Living with a chronic balance disease, I had a major fall in 2018 that necessitated my move to Independent Living at a relatively young age and came with considerable mixed feelings. After discussion with the associate team, I moved into The Fountains at Greenbriar. I am active in the community and as a compassionate personal and professional expert, I am uniquely able to bring a perspective to families and potential residents from my own experience. I assure everyone I meet of the peace of mind that comes from the knowledge of safety and shared experience, and you often will find me giving a hug, pat on the back, sharing a smile, or engaged in friendly conversation. It is an honor to share with another resident who may be discouraged or lonely or working through the trials of moving into a new lifestyle the many opportunities they have before them and to encourage them to look at their own giftedness and discover how it can fit into our larger community. They are not alone. From games to religious groups, there are others to meet and share this wonderful journey with. I am privileged to bring the best from all I have learned wearing all my hats to help enable each person, whether Resident or Associate, make each day at the Fountains at Greenbriar the best day yet in our journey together.
For those curious about making a move to a retirement community for themselves or a loved one, take into consideration these top three questions to ask to make the right choice.
1. Do I have choices in all aspects of living?
2. Do I see genuine smiles and welcoming faces?
3. Do I feel safe, secure and that it is a place where I can thrive?
My choice to move to The Fountains at Greenbriar has proven, on all points, to be both wise and wonderful!
Paul H. Wilson is a resident of The Fountains at Greenbriar, a Watermark community, located in Independence, Missouri.