LaVerne Brown: Taking Control of Her Retirement

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LaVerneBrown-webIt’s tough to catch LaVerne Brown sitting still. This active 78-year-old recently returned from an annual jaunt to Las Vegas with daughter Katherine and her calendar is filled with upcoming activities and commitments. Last winter LaVerne moved to Park Springs from Decatur where she settled 10 years ago following the death of her husband Bill.

She left a job with a nonprofit that serves people with disabilities and a full life in San Antonio to be closer to Katherine and daughter Elizabeth. Recalls LaVerne, “I had a big transition to make following my husband’s death. It takes a while to find your own identity. I had to rely on my intuition and take control of my life.”

That’s exactly what she did. Life was comfortable in her Decatur townhouse, but after a decade there, LaVerne realized she just didn’t need three floors of living space and started to think about downsizing. “The silver chest hadn’t been used in eight years. I sold it to a marvelous fellow who buys silver, and I know it will be well-used.” At a family dinner Katherine suggested her mom take a look at Park Springs.” The minute LaVerne saw the community, she knew Park Springs was for her.

She moved into the 9200 Building five months ago and loves single-level living. “My condo is extremely accessible and I have my own parking space. After working so hard to gain accessibility for the handicapped, it thrills me to see wheelchair ramps near the doors for those who need them!”

Another huge plus is the fun and engaging Park Springs lifestyle. “If you feel alone, just go down to the Clubhouse and you’ll find someone to talk to. The first few weeks, the doorbell kept ringing with people looking in on me.” Always active, LaVerne is currently taking classes in stretching, balance and chair yoga. “I’m working up to Tai Chi,” she says with a smile.

Laverne stays in touch with Decatur friends and often invites them to Park Springs for lunch or dinner. “The meals are excellent and everything is homemade. My cardiologist told me I didn’t have to report back for six months, which is great news! The bistro will also deliver if the weather is bad or you just don’t feel like going out.” Remembering how good it felt when others reached out to her, Laverne will often approach a new Member sitting alone in the dining room and use the opportunity to make a friend.

Search Your Heart
Laverne urges prospective Members to spend a night to get a feel for what Park Springs is all about. “You also need to search your heart to determine if this is really a move you want to make.” LaVerne thinks one of the most important factors in a smooth transition is the support of family, which she has in abundance. “My family is beginning to realize that this silly thing called aging catches up to you. I look down the road and know they don’t have to worry about me.” Elizabeth and her husband live in North Carolina and Katherine and her husband bought LaVerne’s townhouse in Decatur. Although they’re close by, both daughters love knowing that their mom has all the help she needs at Park Spring.

Among LaVerne’s favorite Park Springs amenities is the library. ”And the beauty shop here does a better job than my old fancy salon, at half the cost. “It’s kind of like living on the Queen Mary. There are so many choices in meals, activities and entertainment.”

LaVerne also appreciates the many healthcare options should she need them – from a physician staffed onsite clinic to short and long term care, memory care and in home assistance. She adds, “I wake up every morning and thank God I’m here at Park Springs.”

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Park Springs is Atlanta’s premier Continuing Care Retirement Community by Isakson Living. To learn more about the resort-style amenities and services at Park Springs, visit www.ParkSprings.com or call 678-684-3300. Tell them LaVerne sent you!

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Stone Mountain, GA 30087

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