Sure‚ Brentwood is known for its million-dollar homes‚ high-quality schools and beautiful‚ rolling hills. But more and more‚ the area is becoming recognized as a great place to retire.
Money magazine‚ for example‚ has named the city as one of the Best Places to Retire.
“The older people get‚ they often get even more active‚ and there are so many opportunities in this area‚” says Jon Tagatz‚ executive director of The Heritage at Brentwood‚ a senior living community. “The health care here is excellent‚ it’s close to big-city arts and entertainment‚ and there are YMCAs‚ libraries and a great senior center close by.”
Situated on 48 acres north of Concord Road‚ The Heritage is a LifeCare community‚ which gives residents peace of mind because the future cost of basic long-term assisted living and nursing care is included in the monthly service fee.
“We want people to live a healthy‚ active life‚ but they have the comfort of knowing care is there if they need it‚” Tagatz says.
The Heritage offers 17 different floor plans. “We have a real choice of living arrangements‚ whether you prefer a single-family home‚ a garden villa or an apartment home‚” Tagatz says.
Because of its neighborhood setting and long list of amenities‚ The Heritage is practically a town within a town. Picturesque ponds and walking trails encourage residents to head outdoors‚ and there’s a fitness center‚ 36‚000-square-foot clubhouse‚ putting green‚ spa‚ library and on-site banking and postal services.
“One of our signature services is preferred-choice dining‚” Tagatz says.“Most senior communities have pretty structured meals‚ but here you pay a monthly fee and use it for your own meals‚ guest meals or a bar tab at the liquor lounge. It operates much like a country club.”
The Heritage also offers a deli/bistro with soups‚ salads and sandwiches‚ and a convenience store for necessity items.
Initially‚ the property was built to accommodate about 300 residents in 180 independent homes‚ but when fully built‚ it will feature 332 homes and 75 skilled nursing health-care beds and will be home to about 500 residents.
NHC Place in nearby Cool Springs is another senior community that goes the extra mile. The lobby‚ with its plush furniture‚ chandelier and elegant décor‚ feels more like a fine hotel than a retirement community.
“A lot of people come here and say they feel like they’re on a cruise or at a resort‚” says Hertha Hines‚ director of community relations at NHC Place Cool Springs. “All our staff members are trained in customer service. They’re really friendly and caring‚ and they love being here.”
NHC Place is divided into two sections – The Assisted Living Center‚ for residents of varying independence levels‚ and The Health Center‚ which provides a continuum of care for patients with medical needs.
“People can start living here in assisted living and later transition to the health center‚” Hines says. “They never have to move.”
All accommodations in The Assisted Living Center are apartment-style and include kitchenettes‚ private baths and emergency-response systems. And with the center’s attractive restaurant-style dining room and adjacent soda shop‚ it’s easy to feel like you’re on vacation – all the time.
“Residents have lots of choices‚” Hines says. “They can eat in the dining room or in their own room‚ and they can enjoy unlimited snacks in the soda shop. We try to be similar to the lifestyle they’re used to.”
And one thing’s for sure – seniors don’t get bored at NHC Place. There’s a library and resource center‚ hobby and craft room‚ sun room‚ lounge with a big-screen television‚ spa‚ courtyard‚ chapel‚ fitness center and even a resident choir.
“I love seeing seniors thrive‚” Hines says. “When they move here‚ they actually gain independence because they don’t have to worry about things like preparing meals or mowing the lawn.”
In other words‚ they have time for more important pursuits‚ such as getting involved at The FityForward Martin Center of Senior Citizens in Brentwood.
For just $60 a year‚ seniors can take advantage of all that The Martin Center offers‚ from aerobics‚ yoga‚ art and computer classes to bargain prices on massages.
“There’s a rainbow of educational opportunities at The Martin Center‚” says Sherry Coss‚ program and partnership director. “We’re all about keeping seniors healthy‚ happy and social. Many move here to be near their grandkids and don’t know many people. We help them find friends and fellowship.”
The Martin Center is housed in an inviting 16‚000-square-foot building with a warm fireplace and a large deck on the back.
Several special-interest organizations meet at the center‚ including history‚ genealogy‚ dulcimer and wine groups.
Monthly potluck luncheons and dinner outings are also on tap.
“We have members from their mid-40s to their 90s‚ and we broke 400 members in 2006‚” Coss says. “We’re an active center with busy seniors in a booming area.”
Read more about Brentwood Neighborhoods.