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Fri, Feb. 21

An active, worry-free life: Seniors embrace lifestyle opportunities afforded by retirement communities

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Residents can opt to have breakfast, lunch or dinner in the Alta Vista Retirement Community dining room.

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Residents can opt to have breakfast, lunch or dinner in the Alta Vista Retirement Community dining room.

Two weeks before moving into a retirement community, Norma Phillip started having problems at her home.

Among other things, a water pipe broke, and that's when Phillips decided she'd had enough of the responsibilities of home ownership.

"The more things happened, the more I was determined to move out of there and let someone (else) take care of those problems," she said.

Phillips left the burden behind her and moved into a new retirement community in Prescott. Now Phillips can enjoy a meal, watch a movie in a small theater, go to the library, use the exercise room and make new friends without leaving the building.

That suits Phillips perfectly.

"I like to be busy," she said. "Life is easier."

The opportunity for activities and interaction is the main appeal for Phillips and others choosing to shed themselves of problems and move into places like the Alta Vista Retirement Community in Prescott.

The new senior living center is one of two such apartment complexes that opened its doors this past summer.

Executive Director Maggie Greenwood said the community has 132 apartments for independent or assisted living, about 60 percent of which are reserved.

Greenwood said prospective residents visit the community for friendship, wanting to unload some of the chores that come with home ownership, and have access to help around the clock.

"It's that security of knowing that someone is close by if something happens," she said.

The Highgate Senior Living community recently opened its doors off Prescott Lakes Parkway.

Ann Conley, executive director of the community, said people with an ailing spouse can move in with the comfort of knowing their husband or wife is getting quality healthcare.

Conley said the residents appreciate the around-the-clock attention they get there, rather than seeing a nurse for a few hours at their former homes.

"With us, they can go and be spontaneous," she said. "That's a huge attraction."

About a quarter of the Highgate apartments are reserved, according to Conley.

"Everything is designed around residents," Conley said. "It's a very tailored, specialized form of care."

Andrea Bahl, assistant executive director, said the community allows people the chance to stay in one place and get the care they need.

Bahl said residents can get a workout, visit the spa/barbershop, watch a movie and stay active.

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