“I think it relieves you of a lot of worries and responsibilities in maintaining your own home and I think it keeps you active here and the fact that you’re eating with different people in the dining room, you’re socializing more and if you were in your own home I think you would tend to be by yourself a lot.”
Bob and Barbara Tice Interview, May 2014
Interview starts at 1:59
J: Hello there.
J: Hi, this is Jill Hofer at Watermark Retirement Communities in Tucson, how are you?
B: I’m fine.
J: Oh great and is this Mrs. Tice?
J: Oh great, is it just you today or will your husband be joining you.
B: Well, my husband is available if you wanted to speak to him also.
J: Well, you know what we can do, if you like, we can just chat and if there’s anything that you think is easier for him or more directed to him to answer we can pull him on. Sometimes speakerphone is a little hard to hear, otherwise I’d say put me on speakerphone but sometimes those aren’t so great, you know?
B: Right and he does have a hearing problem.
J: Ok, well we’ll make sure to include him, when you hear a question that’s better for him we’ll ask him, that’ll be perfect.
J: Well, thank you. Well, I don’t know how much they told you about the interview but it’s just pretty straightforward. We are looking to kind of get an insight on the process that people go through, no matter where they move, you know.
B: I see.
J: Ok great, yes so if they’re sitting in the big old house or maybe they live in a condo and they just don’t know what is best for their next step.
B: Sure, ok.
J: So any perspective is just great. I’ll start out with a couple questions and then I’ll just kind of ask you to tell me how it all took place for you.
J: Alright, super, when did you move to Greenbriar, The Fountains?
B: We moved last May 17th.
J: Oh, happy anniversary.
B: Thank you, we’ve been here just slightly over a year.
J: Yeah, just barely, yeah that’s great and just prior to moving to The Fountains, where were you?
B: We were in what they call a patio home in our area with outside maintenance provided.
J: Oh, nice and were you there for a long time?
B: Twenty-five years.
J: Oh, no kidding and was that in Independence also, in the area?
B: Yes, in Independence.
J: Right there, and then prior to that patio home were you in Independence again in a different home?
B: Yes, we were in, I guess you would call it our own, freestanding home.
J: The homestead?
B: Yes, right.
J: So you were kind of ahead of the curve, you already moved once and kind of simplified and you know got rid of all that outside maintenance. What prompted that?
B: We were in a home that was over 100 years old and we were dealing in antiques and we loved it but it got to be just a little bit too much for us to maintain and we wanted to do some traveling and so we were just trying to simplify our lifestyle and the outside maintenance appealed to us.
J: What year was that house that you were in?
B: What year it was built or what?
J: The really old one?
B: Well, I’m thinking 1869 but I’m a little vague about that now, I don’t know.
J: That was a lot of years ago, there probably is a little bit of maintenance on an 1869 home.
B: Right, quite a bit.
J: But a good place for people who love antiques and who make that part of their lives.
B: That’s true yeah and I did enjoy it.
J: Now, when you spent your twenty-four, twenty-five years in the patio home, what made you start to think “hey we might want to move again?”
B: Well, at our age my husband is going to be ninety-three in June and I just turned eighty-five and we were thinking that we were needing to give up a car and we needed someplace that would provide us, you know, limited transportation to doctor’s appointments and even though we had outside maintenance there was still, you know, upkeep to the inside of the house and even some of the outside we were responsible for and that got to be, you know, a burden really and we just, you know, decided we’d like to try an independent living facility like The Fountains and it was a hard decision. We looked and thought about it for a long time and checked out several different places similar to The Fountains in the area but we liked The Fountains the best and what they had to offer.
J: How did you do your research, did you use the Internet or call on the phone and set appointments to go see places?
B: Well, I guess we, some of it was, you know, we did out on our own that we knew was here, was available, and some of it, like John Knox Village, I don’t know whether you know about it here, it’s in Lee’s Summit that they do a lot of entertainment trying to entice people in and we did a lot of investigating there and I guess, you know, we were invited a lot out to the different events here The Fountains and compare everything.
J: How long did you take to do your search?
B: I guess, well you know, I guess we were thinking about it for possibly a year or a little more, you know. It was something that one day you were all for it and then the next day you had second thoughts.
J: Interesting, how does that play out?
B: Well, I guess we finally reached the point where we said “yes, let’s do it.”
J: Well, it is a big decision and it’s always a good idea to do a lot of research.
B: Yes, that’s true.
J: And when you had your wavering moments, what was making you want to stay in your house? What was making you reluctant to move?
B: We liked the association, the homeowners association that we were involved in and we liked our neighbors. We like the area where it was. It was very convenient to our doctors and hospital and grocery stores and restaurants and friends, you know, that we had made over the twenty-five years in the home association and we were, you know, comfortably situated financially there in knowing that we would move, you know, to someplace like The Fountains we were going to have to start using some of our savings.
J: True, ok, well those are all good things to consider and then when you thought “well, here’s why we really do want to move” what was it that tipped you over, tipped your scales and said today’s the day we’re making that phone call.
B: Well, my husband likes to go to different events and one of them here was, I guess you would call it a business seminar that The Fountains has done, you know, locally. All the businesses get together to have you come by their booth and talk to them and see what they have to offer and we happen to run into one of the salespeople from The Fountains there. We had been interested in a two bedroom and at the time that we had looked there were no two bedrooms available here and the lady that was there was chatting with Bob and she was telling him “well we have two bedrooms available now” and she said “we are offering a nice incentive.” She said “we will discount the amount that they charge for a second person here for a year” and it was very tempting, nice thing to have so we decided we would make the move.
J: Well, that’s terrific, sounds like just sort of a timing thing; you were just there and just kind of pulled the trigger.
J: Ok and do you have children, do you have kids?
B: Yes, we have two sons in the area one of them is over on the Kansas side and the other one is in an adjoining city, Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
J: Oh ok and what was their role in this? Did they get involved with going around to places or did you take care of that yourself?
B: We more or less took care of it ourselves. They did help us with the move and our oldest son came over before the move and looked it over with us.
J: Ok, how do they feel about you guys moving from the patio home to Greenbriar, did they feel good about it?
B: Yes, I think they are happy about it.
J: Oh good and what do you think makes them feel good about it?
B: Well, knowing that we are pleased with our living arrangement and I guess the security of this place and the fact that one of the main reasons we wanted to move over here was that we wanted to give up having to maintain a car and drive.
J: Yeah, ok, well I can see why that would make them feel good about knowing you were in a good place where you were happy.
J: And let’s see, here’s another question, how is life different for you now than it was, say, the last year in your patio home? What are the day to day differences?
B: For myself I find that I have a lot more free time since I don’t have to do much in the way of cooking and our cleaning and there’s activities that we have been able to enjoy here and I think both my husband and I have enjoyed the fact that we just have less responsibilities.
J: Nice, nice, what kind of activities and programs are you going to that you like?
B: Well, we play bridge once a week with people here and we do one of the exercise classes. I’m learning to play pool.
J: Oh you are? Fun.
B: Well, I guess offhand, they’ve got a lot that they offer here and we have just picked out what we thought we would enjoy.
J: Sure, pick and choose.
J: That’s what it’s all about, what kind of exercise class is it?
B: It’s mostly seated in a chair and one of the residents here leads it and then once a week they bring in a physical trainer that leads an exercise that is mostly sitting in a chair also.
J: That’s nice; does your husband take part in that as well?
B: Yes he does and also he uses the fitness room here.
J: Oh really?
B: Uh huh.
J: That’s nice and then you don’t have to go out in the weather and you don’t have to do any of that.
B: That’s true.
J: You guys get a good amount of snow there don’t you?
B: Yes and this year particularly we had a bad winter. That is one of the nice things about it; it is that you don’t have to get out in it.
J: Nice, yeah no shoveling, go ahead.
B: Right and also one of the other things here on Sundays they have chapel service that some of the different churches in the area will come and conduct and our church happens to come out one Sunday month and do that.
J: Oh, nice well that worked out well.
B: Yes it did.
J: That’s a wonderful thing, you see all those folks that you liked all those years
J: That’s good, well did you ever think that you might have moved sooner or did you feel that your timing was just right for when you move to the community?
B: I think our timing was just about right for us.
J: Really, that’s great how so?
B: Well, the fact that I wanted my husband to quit driving and this way he’s got a lot of activities here that he can become involved in without having to drive someplace or I have to chauffer him somewhere and I don’t know, I was sick and tired of cooking so I certainly enjoy that part of it and it just seemed the right time for us.
J: Well, that’s good what do you think he loves the most about it?
B: Just a minute, I’ll ask him. What do you like the most about living here Bob? He said “being around people” he’s very social; a lot more so than I am and he enjoys, you know, talking to people and being around them.
J: Well that’s nice, I’m looking here at a note, it looks like, let’s see the community is involved with Nativity of Mary.
B: Oh, the students from, yes, yes.
J: What’s that all about?
B: It’s a school here in Independence and once a month they bring them over and they usually have a craft that they do with us and interact with them in that’s about it but it’s nice to be around young people you know, we don’t get that much anymore here.
J: Right, you know honestly once your own kids get a little older and your grandkids. Even I don’t get to be around little kids as much as I’d like to, I’m not too nearby my family. How old are those little kids?
B: Well, they are not little, they would be what I would think would be sixth-graders which would run an age about twelve, thirteen?
J: Oh fun, so they can actually carry on a little conversation.
B: Oh yes, yes.
J: Well, that’s great and let’s see if I have another note here from Desiree, oh is Bob a musician?
B: Yes he is, after we married he never played professionally but he’s a drummer.
J: Oh no kidding.
J: That’s wonderful so does he enjoy doing the musical type programs?
B: Oh yes we both do and we like the dances.
J: What kind of dances?
B: Well, for our taste it’s mostly 40s and 50s music.
J: Sure, ok.
B: Maybe country-western but there’s usually, once a month they bring in music for dancing in the afternoon and besides that they usually have some musical entertainment during the month. I think they’re having somebody come in and play the baby grand piano in the multipurpose room this Saturday which we are looking forward to.
J: Oh, nice, well isn’t that great? And you don’t have to get in the car to do it; you don’t have to scratch the ice off the windshield.
J: Get in the red hot car in the summer.
J: Super, well I certainly do appreciate all your time and all this information, that’s my last question but I’d sure be happy to hear anything else that you wanted to tell me that you think is good advice out there for people who are just kind of sitting on the fence, you know what advice would you have for folks about kind of taking that first step maybe?
B: Well, I think it relieves you of a lot of worries and responsibilities in maintaining your own home and I think it keeps you active here and the fact that you’re eating with different people in the dining room, you’re socializing more and if you were in your own home I think you would tend to be by yourself a lot.
J: Sure, that’s very true, well that’s a good benefit of moving, may be the biggest one of all.
J: That’d be a good motivator for people to think about.
J: Well, thank you, thank you so much.
J: I really appreciate it and please thank your husband for me and for taking out time.
B: Ok, I will.
J: Alright have a great day.
B: Ok, thank you goodbye now.
J: Thank you, bye-bye.