Lenbrook was the natural choice for us when my wife and I decided it was time to move into a senior living community. It was the right choice for several reasons. For one, my parents chose to live in a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) way back in 1964. My father lived there nine years and my mother 22 years. Those were happy years for them in Penney Farms, Florida. So I’ve known what a CCRC is for a long time.
CCRCs, like Lenbrook, now call themselves “Life Plan Communities.” Call it what you may, it's still the same "age-in-place" strategy. My wife and I wanted a community that would allow us to stay in the same community as our need for higher levels of care may increase. Moving is a huge chore. A single-location community removes the burden of moving multiple times. Lenbrook offers it all in one campus – independent and assisted living, rehabilitation and skilled nursing care.
One Man’s Dream
Another reason Lenbrook seemed like the natural choice for us was the fact that I had met one of the original developers of Lenbrook back in 1980. At the time, he was a nursing home administrator and I was interviewing him as a part of my research work for the North Georgia Health Care System Agency as a part of a fellowship from the Gerontological Society of America. He had just acquired the property and told me he had a dream to build a new community and wanted to name it Lenbrook. So, my wife and I had our eyes on Lenbrook for years and the location was close to Piedmont Hospital where our doctors are.
You Need to Plan for the 90s
Some people think "old age" means "You're going to drop dead soon." But it's not. It's a moving target. Look at us, we never dreamed we'd get this far. Since middle age ends at 70 these days, chances are that many of us will reach the 90s or more. That means if you retire at 60, you may have 30 more years. You've got to plan for it.
With a doctorate in Sociology, I've spent my professional career studying how aging affects the structure of society, medicine and healthcare. So for my wife and me, planning ahead for how we wanted to retire, and how would we handle the changes in our health as we age was just something you do.
Unfortunately, some people wait to plan and wait too long to make a move. That makes it more difficult. We wanted to move, get established, make friends and have a support system in place for when we would need it. We've done that and are having plenty of fun in the process.
I hope the new name "Life Plan Community" will prompt others to start thinking about their retirement plans earlier, while they are still independent, healthy and can enjoy their new friends and community.
Carleton Guptill and his wife Fay enjoy singing together in Lenbrook's choral group and serving in a variety of Resident Association leadership positions. Born in Maine, Carleton moved to Atlanta and attended Boys' High School (now Grady). After receiving his BA and Master’s degrees from Emory University and a PhD from Duke University, Carleton taught sociology for 15 years at the University of Maine. He returned to Atlanta to expand his teaching career to include large health-related research projects. In 1980, he was awarded a fellowship to study nursing homes in Georgia. He retired in 1998.