Longhorn Residents Talk Next-Level Living with Life Care
Many of us don’t fully grasp the power of a future-proof plan until life serves up a curveball that puts it to the test.
Take Longhorn Village residents Wynn and Andrea Presson and Dianne and Warren Terry for example. Both couples knew long before moving into the Austin senior living community that it was a place where they could enjoy first-class services and amenities, luxury maintenance-free independent living residences, chef-prepared meals, fitness, learning and creative outlets, social connections and a robust calendar of programs and activities to support an active and fulfilling lifestyle.
But the couples also understood an undeniable truth: their futures held the potential need for long-term care services and support that could span several years. Their own journeys unraveled the daunting challenges of finding suitable places for their aging
parents requiring higher levels of care.
“When we were trying to take care of our mothers, back several years earlier, we went through the traumas of helping get them placed in nursing homes and other locations,” Wynn says. “We made the commitment then that we would not put our kids through that. Whatever happened with us, we knew we’d be cared for and it took that burden off the kids.”
“We’d experienced things with our own parents and saw what it was like for them,” adds Warren. “We wanted to have everything in place for continuing care and a better situation. It relieved our kids of a lot of things I had to do for my own parents.”
The Gift of Aging in Place
With forward-thinking eyes on their futures, they embraced the idea of planning and being ready for a potential health crisis. The Pressons and Terrys knew choosing a Life Plan Community like Longhorn Village meant if their health changed, they’d receive care and services in a familiar setting and wouldn’t have to leave the place they made their home.
But it wasn’t until Andrea received a dementia diagnosis and Dianne injured her foot, that the couples truly understood the perks of having built-in care right here on campus from people they already knew and trusted.
At Longhorn Village, our Life Plan transcends expectations with Life Care, the most extensive and comprehensive type of plan provided. The Pressons and Terrys wisely invested in their future by paying a one-time, mostly refundable entrance fee, along with a monthly service fee tailored to their residences and contracts.
Life Care grants them and their loved ones invaluable peace of mind through priority access to exceptional on-site health care services, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. It’s senior care at an affordable rate, significantly below the Austin-area market and locked in for life.
Built-in Care When You Need It
Retirement should be a time to relax and enjoy life, not worry about skyrocketing health care costs. With a Life Care community, you can retire without those worries, ensuring your financial flexibility while gaining access to top-quality health care you deserve.
But it wasn’t care that made Wynn and Andrea want to become Longhorn Village residents – it was the ample square footage and spectacular views of their independent living villa. When Wynn retired in 2004, the couple moved from Kansas City, Missouri to Austin, Texas to escape the cold and return to their deep Longhorn roots (many of the couple’s immediate family are Texas Exes).
They initially put down a deposit at another retirement community, but then heard about Longhorn Village six months later. The other community’s largest villa was only 1,500 square feet compared to the 3,000-square-foot independent living villa at Longhorn Village.
“There was much more space and it had one of the best views overlooking the canyon, whereas at the other place, we’d be looking at housetops. We got our deposit back and moved to Longhorn Village,” Wynn says.
The couple lived in an independent living villa for nine years before Andrea developed dementia and other health issues. Two years ago, Wynn moved into an independent living apartment in Longhorn Village while Andrea moved to Palmetto Place memory care, right on the Longhorn Village campus.
“Fourteen years ago, when we first came here as new residents, we weren’t thinking about and didn’t pay a lot of attention to the Life Care side of things. But it became much more important and meaningful when Andrea entered memory care,” Wynn shares.
When engaging with potential residents, Wynn’s resounding message is, “Don’t wait too long!” He and his wife witnessed the unfortunate scenario of residents arriving too late to fully embrace the vibrant social atmosphere and independent lifestyle offered at Longhorn Village.
“I was 69 and my wife was 64 when we moved in, which is on the early side of things, but we were concerned that something would happen to us physically and we wouldn’t be eligible for independent living,” Wynn says. “We wanted to make sure our future was well taken care of.”
Financial Freedom of Life Care: Icing on the Cake
For many active and healthy older adults, the significance of Life Care may not be immediately apparent. While they’re aware of the availability of continuing care, the details of a plan may only come into focus when the need arises.
“I’m a strategic planner by heart. As we saw what happened with our parents and friends, we said: ‘That’s not going to happen to us. We’re going to do some things differently.’ It was planned ahead very definitely, but we didn’t really explore in depth the payment aspect of care,” Wynn says.
“We just assumed our insurance would be kicking in heavily and Medicare would cover a lot of the costs. But when you throw in the cost implications (of memory care and services), having Life Care is icing on the cake – like a very pleasant surprise.”
Not having to worry over who will take care of Andrea or where she’ll receive the care she may need in the future offered peace of mind and motivated Wynn to explore other interests. “I had to get out and not just brew in the apartment, so I got a 32-hour job working five days a week as a cashier at H-E-B.”
Wynn says working at the grocery chain has been a “super outlet” for mental, physical and social interactions. “It’s a marvelous place to work, very people-centered and positive, and they couldn’t be more supportive and responsive to whatever my needs are,” he says. “After I come home from work, I go over to the memory care community and sit and spend time with my wife. The close proximity is ideal.”
Care at Longhorn Village Is a “Real Blessing”
Having health care services conveniently located on campus also was a true gift for the Terrys when Dianne fell and injured her foot a couple of years ago. “Life Care wasn’t a deciding factor for us moving in 4 ½ years ago, but it was certainly a great add-on and a great advantage to have,” Warren says. “We tell people now, ‘Don’t wait until you have a crisis because then you’re going to have real problems.’”
After spending five days in the hospital, Dianne moved into the Longhorn Village Health Center for three weeks for short-term rehabilitation. “It was a real blessing to be there. It was close enough for Warren to walk over and bring me my favorite coffee every morning. He and our dog and our kids would come visit me in my room or we’d go outside on the porch. Our friends from here would also come see me,” Dianne says. “And I can’t say enough nice things about the people and the staff — everybody was great.”
Once she was released from the health center, Dianne returned to the couple’s villa where she continued to receive at-home rehabilitation, which was a welcome surprise she says.
“We’ve had friends in other communities have to hunt out a rehab facility where they could be taken after their hospital stay and, in many cases, they’d have to travel back and forth to rehab,” she says. “I received all the care I needed on our campus, and then they came to the house to help me there. We didn’t know we would experience that, but we did, and it worked out so well.”
Life at Longhorn Is “Very, Very Easy”
The Terrys met at The University of Texas and have been married for 61 years. Warren jokes they moved to Longhorn Village because Dianne didn’t like his cooking.
“I had quit cooking because I just couldn’t be on my feet all the time or as much, so then he started cooking,” she explains. “And then we agreed we needed to be someplace where somebody else just did all the cooking, and we’re glad we did!”
All jokes aside, the couple realized they wanted a simpler lifestyle. “We talk to friends and they’re having to get the pool repaired or this and that repaired, and all we have to do is send in a work order and it gets done,” Warren says.
“It’s almost like living in your own home, except for the fact that you have less responsibilities from some of the nuts and bolts. Plus, the incredible staff is available whenever and for whatever we need.”
The couple said they’ve gotten to know other residents on a much deeper level than if they were just neighbors next door, and they love welcoming new and prospective residents.
“If we want to get to know somebody better, we’ll get together with them at dinner and visit that way. We can have dinner with different people each evening,” Dianne says. “We see new people coming in all the time so it’s a real blessing to be able to introduce ourselves, get to know them and help them feel comfortable here.”
“This community is great and it’s just very, very easy to live here. Imagine the best neighborhood that you’ve ever lived in — that’s what Longhorn Village is,” adds Warren.
Ready to embrace a retirement future filled with control, peace of mind and the freedom to live life on your terms in the best neighborhood in Austin? Contact us to learn more and see if Longhorn Village is the right place for you.
Featured Images: Longhorn Village / Jeremy Hess, 2022