Talking to the neighbors before choosing a new home makes sense under any circumstance. Thinking about it after a major loss, whether it’s that of a spouse, a job or your adult children moving far away, can leave a person feeling overwhelmed. The Knolls understands the importance of a genuine connection between friends and neighbors. It was that understanding that led Betty Alexander to decide The Knolls was where she wanted to begin the next chapter of her life.
It couldn’t have been easy. After 54 years living in the Yonkers home she’d shared with her late husband and where they’d raised their two daughters, Betty knew she had to decide how she wanted to live now that she was on her own. The Knolls turned out to be the answer.
Expanding her support system
“I have two overachieving daughters who had moved west,” Betty explains. “They both asked me to move in with them, but I wanted to stay in New York. I love my daughters, but this is home. My friends are still here, and I didn’t want to break those old ties. Besides, my independence is still very important to me.”
However, it quickly became apparent to Betty she was going to have to make a move of some kind. “There I was, living in this empty house,” Betty recalls, “and I realized, I’m tired of shoveling snow. I still had my car, but I didn’t use it anymore.”
Betty turned to one of her closest friends, whose adult children were more than willing to do the footwork to save Betty from having to traipse all over Westchester County. “I’ve always been close with her kids,” she says. “They were certainly closer to me, physically, than my own. They treated me like family and took my search for a new home on themselves.”
After looking throughout Westchester County, they happened upon The Knolls. “Once I visited,” Betty says, “I knew the hunt was over. The Knolls was close to home, and I was able to choose an apartment with a garden, which, coincidentally, also happened to be down the hall from another longtime friend, which made the decision that much easier.”
Reflecting on the move
With the decision made, Betty found herself with a 60-day window in which to pack a lifetime of memories. “My son-in-law moved in to help me pack. Even so, it was crazy. At the last minute I ended up hiring professionals to help with the move. Packing and unpacking killed my back. Fortunately for me, The Knolls has facilities and a personal trainer, who was able to give me one-on-one attention. That’s helped enormously.”
So, eight months after her move, how is Betty acclimating to her new life at The Knolls? “I’m enjoying myself immensely,” she says. “It also doesn’t hurt that I’m only 20 minutes or so from Yonkers, so I don’t feel like I’ve lost the connection to my friends there. But living here allows me to stay far more active than I believe I would have been had I not made the move. The people are wonderful, and there’s just so much to do, and so many things to get involved in. It’s a good living experience. Your cooking is minimal, especially since the food is so good. There are also a few resident committees that have actual input — management listens to us. The staff really bends over backwards. They’re all very helpful, polite and solicitous of the residents.”
And it seems Betty has wasted no time getting involved in activities at The Knolls. “We have committees for pretty much everything,” she says. “Food committees, an environmental committee that deals with what can and can’t be recycled. There’s a communications committee responsible for sending out bulletins, as well as a cultural arts committee that covers far more ground than the name implies.”
Continuing her list of creative benefits offered by life at The Knolls, Betty says, “They bring in concerts and other entertainers. But they also take us on excursions to theaters. There was even a comedy show they took us to. They bring so much to the campus, it’s difficult to decide what events you want to attend.”
Then, of course, there are the people. Betty and her friend, Sophie, eat dinner together almost every night. “She plays bridge and likes to take long walks,” Betty says, “but otherwise we do almost everything together. We’re kind of a matched set.”
Asked how she’d sum up her time at The Knolls, Betty thinks for a moment and says, “There’s so much to do and so many wonderful people, it’s difficult to pick out one or even two specific things. Each day is a good day. When they say, live the life you love, I believe they really mean it. But you know what one of the best things really is? My kids are thrilled to pieces for me. I think they were concerned about me. But now they don’t have to worry, and that is everything.”
If you’d like to learn more about The Knolls retirement community from future friends and neighbors, you can start today. Contact us to schedule your visit, where you can meet incredible people like Betty and experience our active, vibrant lifestyle.