Resident finds affordable, relaxing lifestyle at Overland Park retirement community
Overland Park, Kans. – Before Jane Watts decided to move to Tallgrass Creek, she compared a list of all her home expenses to the monthly service package at the continuing care retirement community developed and managed by Erickson Living in Overland Park.
"I was leaving a four-bedroom home with a nice-sized yard, so there were quite a few items on the list," says Jane, a former school teacher. "The comparison showed that Tallgrass was a good value. When you add in not dealing with all the yard and home maintenance issues, it was a great value."
Jane was among the first to reserve a residence in Hummingbird Square, a modern residence building that was in the beginning phase of construction. She moved to Tallgrass Creek soon after the building was completed in 2017.
"I reserved early because I wanted a certain location and floor plan," says Jane. "It also gave me plenty of time to plan my move."
Though Jane loved the large home where she and her late husband Darrell lived, it had become a "constant drain" on her time, energy, and pocketbook.
"When I'm with friends who still live in their homes, I'm reminded how easy it is to live at Tallgrass," says Jane. "The conversation usually turns to a dishwasher that isn't working, a basement that's flooded, or some other maintenance problem that I no longer worry about."
Jane is also reminded of the costs associated with her former home when she pays her annual insurance premium that covers just her belongings, not her entire home.
"The insurance premium covering my former home was huge and due at the end of each year," says Jane. "Insurance coverage for only my belongings is very inexpensive. It's so nice not anticipating that large bill every year."
Tallgrass Creek Sales Director Blake Marshall notes many prospective residents have a misconception about the affordability of living at the community.
The financial structure at Tallgrass Creek has two basic components, the 90-percent refundable entrance deposit and a monthly service package. The entrance deposit secures the resident's apartment home as long as they live in the community. If they decide to move away from campus, they receive 90 percent of the deposit. If they spend the rest of their lives at Tallgrass Creek, the 90 percent goes to their beneficiaries.
The monthly service package covers most utilities, including air conditioning and heating, 24-hour security and emergency first response, flexible dining plans, scheduled shuttle service, landscaping and grounds upkeep, trash collection and recycling at your door, and standard maintenance and repairs.
"When people consider normal yard and home maintenance costs plus 'pop-up' problems like replacing appliances, roof repair, and weather-related issues, it puts things in perspective," says Marshall. "All these things and more are taken care of here."
Tallgrass Creek's commitment to providing residents with a safe, secure home for life is evident in the community's Resident Care Fund. This program ensures that no Tallgrass Creek resident will ever be asked to leave their home due to financial hardship stemming from unexpected costs or other unforeseen circumstances.
Qualified and experienced
Jane also found "wonderful value" in using Tallgrass Creek-recommended moving professionals.
These providers have all qualified for a program offered by Tallgrass Creek's management company, Baltimore, Md.-based Erickson Living, one of the nation's leading senior living providers. The program is called the Erickson Realty and Moving Services and includes complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs. This includes downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of real estate professionals.
"The local providers we work with really know their business," says Personal Moving Consultant Nancy Worthington. "It saves so much time, stress, and confusion not having to research potential real estate agents, movers, estate sale companies, and more."
For her move, Jane utilized the services of a Tallgrass Creek-recommended real estate agent, moving company, and downsizing organization.
"I'd heard from other residents that these people really know what they're doing," says Jane. "They were absolutely right. They were worth every penny."
Jane also relied on Worthington's sound advice, reassuring support, and 25 years of experience working in senior living. Worthington has helped almost every resident simplify their move to Tallgrass Creek.
"Nancy visited me in my old home and spent a lot time helping plan my move," says Jane. "She had great suggestions and was so calm and helpful throughout the entire process. She's a delight to work with."
A big plus Jane experienced "right away" at Tallgrass Creek, is the multitude of interesting activities and fitness programs that are available, along with the new neighbors she now has.
"I've met some of the most interesting, fun people," says Jane. "I eat dinner almost every night with friends I've met here and it's so enjoyable."
Jane also enjoys having someone else do the meal planning, cooking, serving, and cleaning up.
"It's wonderful to be waited on and just enjoy my friends," says Jane.
Jane notes that she has become quite accustomed to the worry-free lifestyle at Tallgrass Creek.
"It's a completely different life but it's a really good life," says Jane. "It's hard to put a price on the friendships, activities, and low-stress lifestyle that I've found here."
About Tallgrass Creek: Tallgrass Creek, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 65-acre campus in Overland Park, Kansas. The not-for-profit community of more than 500 residents and 350 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information can be found at TallgrassCreek.com.
Photo Caption: Jane Watts and her fellow neighbors recently sent this happy photo to their children so they could "meet" their mothers' new friends at Tallgrass Creek. On the bottom row from left are Paula Josey, Jill Jones, and Judy Higginbotham. Top row from left are Karen Keenan and Jane.
Photo courtesy Jane Watts