Bella Browne, a resident at The Gatesworth, admits to experiencing a few pangs when she moved to St. Louis a year ago. She looked forward to being closer to family in the area, but it was tough giving up the Manhattan apartment she loved. She also was concerned about the stress of relocating several states away.
“As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry,” Browne says. “The Gatesworth staff took care of the details, and my move-in process was easy.” The retired educator and counselor originally looked for a senior community in her home state, but when her son and daughter-in-law encouraged her to move near them, she considered The Gatesworth. An acquaintance of Browne’s mentioned that her mother enjoyed living there, and that sealed the deal.“The community is amazing, and you can take advantage of the amenities anytime you choose,” she says. “There’s an incredible exercise room and pool, as well as great classes and activities of all kinds. I originally was afraid of feeling isolated after my move, but that never happens here. The staff is wonderful; when I ask for anything, the answer is always ‘yes.’”
Move-in coordinator Heather Cox is dedicated to ensuring residents like Browne settle in happily. Cox has an interior design background, so she can help them create attractive, comfortable living spaces. She schedules a pre-move meeting at the person’s home, even if it’s out of town, to carefully talk through the process. “We measure and photograph belongings, decide what to keep, and arrange for the movers,” she explains. “Sometimes it’s difficult for people to visualize how their art and furnishings will fit in a new space, but I can help with that.”
The process can be as hands-on as the resident likes. “Some people say, ‘Here are my house keys; see you after move-in,’ and others want to be more involved,” Cox explains. “It usually takes three to four days, including packing, moving, unpacking and furniture setup. We take plenty of time to make it as easy as possible.”
She adds, “Downsizing and moving can be difficult for seniors, especially if they are coming from a large home or have lived in the same place for many years. We treat the move like an adventure and try to make it positive. Sometimes there are challenging family dynamics to overcome, but we can help residents through that as well. We are here to give them an easier life by simplifying the process and taking away stress. When they are in a new apartment and marveling at how much it feels like home, that’s how I know we have succeeded.”
Browne says her favorite Gatesworth moment took place just a few days after she moved in. “I needed to do some grocery shopping, so the staff told me to go to the entrance and ask for a car,” she says. “I stepped outside and there was a stretch limo waiting to take me to the supermarket! I laughed all the way there and called my friends in New York to tell them about it. To me, The Gatesworth isn’t just about comfort, security and independence. It’s like a little bit of heaven.”
The Gatesworth offers seniors a comfortable and supportive community, luxurious amenities, and activities to help them stay active and engaged. Pictured on the cover: Move-in coordinator Heather Cox with resident Bella Browne. For more information, call 314.993.0111 or visit thegatesworth.com.
Cover provided by The Gatesworth
Pictured at top: Gatesworth Resident Bella Browne
Photo courtesy of The Gatesworth