Laura Ross didn’t even know she was looking for a new place to live. At 86, after living in her already downsized home, she sensed her life was changing. Being widowed 28 years, she was worried about tasks of tackling an ever-growing list of home repair projects. Her utilities and property taxes were forever spiraling upward. Her reliable lawn mowers, the surrogate “grandkids” who lived own the street, were leaving for college.
Laura was sitting in church thinking she might have just one more move left to make. The bulletin inserts announced vacancies at the senior housing apartment complex just blocks away. It piqued her interest. “I didn’t hear much of the sermon that Sunday,” Laura confesses with a smile.
As she held the bulletin insert in her hand and reflected on these things, she decided to go check it out. Monday morning Laura visited Canal Village and David’s Way, part of the network of 58 affordable senior housing communities owned and operated by United Church Homes throughout the country. She was pleased to learn that her monthly income enabled her to meet the qualifications. To make things even better, she instantly connected with Jamie, the housing community manager. Jamie told Laura there was an apartment that she could move into almost immediately!
Not one to make rash decisions, Laura wanted to first consult with her stepchildren as she continued to explore this possibility. However, she couldn’t help but realize the overwhelming sense of relief she felt about this decision. Her stepchildren, busy carving out their lives on opposite coasts, were thrilled at the prospect of their stepmom living in a safe, affordable, senior living community that was close to her home.
Once the decision was made, it didn’t take long for Laura to sort out her household. She knew she was ready for a fresh start and was excited about her future. Her stepchildren flew in to help and she moved to Canal Village.
Today, at 91, Laura continues to take great pride in her apartment at Canal Village which is often used as a model to show to other potential new residents. She still drives and helps out her neighbors with errands, enjoying the deep and abiding friendships she’s made. Known for her cooking skills, Laura loves to bring items to the pot luck dinners, or volunteers to prepare food for the feasts staged by the community. Canal Village is home.
“If it hadn’t been for that one church bulletin, I don’t know where I’d be today,” Laura says.
As she stands in her living room, on a frosty winter day, pressing her button for the remote start of her car, Laura is grateful that someone else has shoveled the sidewalks so she can participate in her home church activities and take those surrogate “grandkids” out to lunch when they come home from college to visit. She mostly enjoys the opportunity to continue to live in the community that she has called home for over 40 years.