By Mary Huebbe
One of our potential residents who was taking a tour of our facility expressed concern about being able to afford living in a senior community. He was concerned about paying $2020.00 a month and still being able to afford his normal living expenses. He was talking about how he only pays $900.00 a month now plus his utilities for his own home; he struggles with it because of being on social security. Frank (name has been changed to protect his privacy) feels it will only get worse as the cost of living increases. However, he is also concerned about staying in his own home because he worries that as he ages, his health won’t allow him to do the things he is currently doing, such as the yard, cleaning his home, cooking, or even being able to get out and visit with his friends or go to his card clubs. Frank talked about how last winter he felt trapped because of the weather conditions and he had a bout of depression as a result. He doesn’t want to go through that again, but fears he doesn’t have a choice.
Frank and I spent the whole afternoon together. We ate lunch and discussed what he would like if he was able to move into our facility. We then toured the different Independent areas that he was interested in. When we finished and came back to my office, he told me how good he felt because of the people we encountered on our tour. He said the facility made him feel like he was among friends, and he felt comfortable, yet he was still concerned with finances. I gave him our brochure with our prices and highlighted where he was interested. I told him to take it home with him and go over all the information. I suggested that he fill out the worksheet that we include in our packet called the “price comparison sheet.” This sheet would help him figure out what he actually pays at his home now, compared to what he would pay if he moved into our facility. As it turned out, there wasn’t much of a difference once he started adding the cost of his living expenses and property taxes.
Frank, who now lives in our facility, says he is extremely happy and enjoys his new family. He lives in a cottage and is very active. He isn’t concerned about this winter coming and feels he has a peace of mind now that he hadn’t had in a long time. The best part is, his family, who doesn’t live in the area, also has a feeling of relief; they don’t need to worry about him being alone anymore or wonder if he is eating properly. The only problem is, when they call, he’s never home!
Ridgecrest Village has a variety of Independent living housing. We offer 33 cottages, which lets you still have the outdoors you love without all the maintenance you don’t. Gerry and Jean McKinney moved into their cottage this spring. When they first came to look for a place, he was a little standoffish. After several months of showing them different places, they finally decided on one. The problem was, they were getting ready to go south for the winter and wouldn’t be back until spring. The next week we got together and picked out what that they wanted for their cottage, such as carpet color, paint color, and cabinets. They gave me an idea of what was important to them and then they were gone. Ridgecrest has their own refurbishment team here, so I was able to meet with them, explain what I felt was important and let them do what they do best. In spring, when they returned, it was so wonderful to see Gerry’s and Jean’s eyes light up as they looked at their new home for the first time. From their totally new kitchen to their sunroom, everything looked even better than they could imagine. My reward didn’t come until last week though, when I was giving another tour and they graciously let me show their cottage. Gerry looked over at Jean, and then looked at the people I was touring and said, “I never expected to be living in a retirement place, but we are home and it is great!” They have been enjoying their four-season porch and plan on enjoying it all winter as they watch someone else shovel the snow.
Darlene and John, who also moved into a cottage, recently agreed. Darlene stated, “We are so glad we are here. It has felt like home since the day we moved in; the friendship here is like no other.”
Many of our residents enjoy the fact that they don’t need to cook for themselves anymore, but sometimes still want to when they have large family gatherings. For these, they can use our party rooms, which have full cooking amenities. Their one complaint is that while they are doing the cooking they are missing out of the visiting, so our very own Chef Dave came up with this solution for them and I decided to share it with everyone.
Entertaining for the Holidays
Meal preparation during the holidays, whether it is for a festive family dinner, or a small gathering of friends to celebrate the season, can be full of fun and creativity, while at the same time a stressful burden on the host. The goal of any gathering is to enjoy the time with guests. This enjoyment can deteriorate if the hosts feel they are spending too much time tending to meal preparation. Some hosts become overburdened with the worry of meal timing and when to put things in and out of the oven, and the concern over the mounting pile of pots and pans in the kitchen sink which leaves a post-gathering cleanup that no one wants to deal with. The goal of the following recipes is to provide an economical meal solution with most preparations completed hours before guest arrive so that there is minimal attention required during the hour just preceding the meal, and the least amount of cleanup afterwards. Sounds almost as ideal as having someone else do the cooking and cleaning for you!
For a complete meal, we have arranged two vegetable options, a festive pecan and cranberry sweet potato dish, and a rosemary pork roast full of holiday aroma, without the high cost and worry of beef and whether it is rare or well done enough to each guest’s individual tastes. Each recipe should prepare enough for eight guests, and are all items that could be prepared the morning of the gathering and ready to put in the oven in stages during the time before the meal. For ease of cooking, all items can be cooked in a 375° oven, so as to reduce the time management worry of when to raise or lower the oven temperature. The below recipes are ordered by the length of cooking time (longest first).
Roast Pork with Rosemary
Prep time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 2 – 2.5 hours
4 lb pork roast or tenderloin
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic (minced)
¼ cup fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Rub the roast OR tenderloin liberally with olive oil, then spread the garlic over it. Place it in a 10x15 inch roasting pan, season with salt & pepper and sprinkle with the rosemary.
3. Bake at 375°F for 2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145°F. Let rest 15 minutes before carving.
Pecan and Cranberry Sweet Potatoes
Prep time: 25 minutes; cooking time: 30 minutes
Place in oven after pork has been cooking 1 hour 45 minutes.
3 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced (approximately 5)
1 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
½ tsp salt
½ cup pecans
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ cup butter
1. Peel and slice sweet potatoes 1/2 inch thick. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the potato slices for approximately 10 minutes — tender but not mushy soft.
2. Drain potatoes and toss with butter to melt. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and mix thoroughly. Mix in dried cranberries and pecans, and arrange in dutch oven baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 15 more minutes or until tender.
Lemon Buttered Asparagus
Prep time: 10 minutes; cooking time: 15 minutes
Place in oven when pork is removed from oven to rest
3 lb asparagus – remove the bottom 2 inches, or the purple woody part of the asparagus stem
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp butter
1. Melt butter, mix with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil
2. Mix seasoned oil and butter with asparagus, arrange asparagus in 10” x 13” baking pan and roast for approximately 15 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes; cooking time: 15 minutes
Start sauté pan on the stove 10 minutes before removing pork from oven
3 lb whole button mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
¼ cup cooking sherry or white wine
1. Wash and drain mushrooms thoroughly.
2. Heat olive oil in sauté pan on high heat. Add mushrooms and stir. Add salt and thyme, sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Add sherry or white wine and stir mushrooms. Continue cooking on high heat for approximately 3 minutes. Pour into serving piece.
We hope this helps you with your Holidays.
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Merry Christmas from Ridgecrest Village!
Ridgecrest Village is located at 4130 Northwest Boulevard in Davenport, IA. Call Mary or Bob at 563-391-3430 for more information or visit www.ridgecrestvillage.org.