Julie Anderson and her daughter were driving home from the mall in 2016 and passed by the construction crews building the retirement community that would become Park Place of St. John.
“She said, ‘Mom, maybe you and Dad should look into moving to a place like this.’” Julie says. “It turns out the kids had been talking about it for a while.”
Julie and her husband Tom liked to stay active, but they had begun to face some of the minor health issues that come with aging. After the family talked together, they realized that a move to Park Place would be the best option for their health and safety. But they didn’t realize what the move would do for their emotional health as well.
“We made so many friends,” Julie says. “That was one of the best things about this move—friends everywhere!”
After 73 years of marriage, Tom passed away. Having those friends to lean on, many of whom had experienced widowhood as well, was a special treasure.
“To have so many friends here who cared about me, and who had known and loved Tom as well—that was so special to me,” she says. “I was never alone.”
Julie moved to a smaller apartment, and every Mother’s Day, her children come and decorate her patio with beautiful flowers. Her children are well-acquainted with the Park Place family, and it feels like they are all one big family. Julie has embraced the Park Place lifestyle, particularly because they’ve taken away so much of the work.
After 73 years of cooking—now I get waited on,” Julie says. “It’s such a nice change. Hard to get used to, but I don’t miss cooking at all!”
Julie loves the staff and the easy lifestyle she has now. “I’m so thankful my kids thought of this,” she says. “I’m just so happy here.”