Name: Martha Lester
Former Profession: Income tax accountant
Home City: I’ve lived in seven different states including Georgia, Alabama, and North and South Carolina. I left Hilton Head, South Carolina to come here.
Current Residence: Oaks at Hampton senior living community in Cumming, Georgia.
How did you decide to be where you are now?
I was living in Hilton Head and I was all alone.
My son and his wife took me into their house and it was a great experience. I loved them dearly, but eventually it was time for me to find a place of my own.
My son came home one day after playing golf and said “I found a perfect place for Grandmommy.” He had seen the place from the golf course. We walked in and I said “I’ll take it!” the minute I saw it.
We had looked at a number of places by then. I thought this place was perfect, my son thought it was perfect, my daughter-in-law thought it was perfect.
It’s only ten minutes from their house. I have two grandchildren that drive and they can just drop in. One day last week, my granddaughter came in and said “I’m starving, Grandmommy, let’s get something to eat,” and the two of us went out to dinner.
What do you like about where you live now?
It’s not huge. It’s not a multi-story skyscraper. It’s one floor and it’s small and after awhile, you know everybody.
Moving around so much helped me make new friends. We’ve got a great staff, we’ve got great caregivers, and that’s another thing I like about this place. It’s like a big, happy family.
Also, we don’t have housework to do. We don’t have to cook. We don’t have to grocery shop. It’s perfect!
How did you decide the right time to move into senior living?
If you’re honest with yourself, you will know.
How has your happiness or wellness changed since moving into senior living?
It’s like moving anywhere. You’ve got to make new friends, find new things to do, and you’ve really got to help yourself, you know. You can’t just sit back and wait for someone to make you happy, you’ve got to help yourself.
What's your social life like?
Well, Sandy [our lifestyle director] keeps us pretty busy. Every afternoon at three there’s a gathering in the little bar in the dining room. Yesterday afternoon it was home baked cookies. Some days it’s bread and olive oil with different herbs in it. It’s nothing big, nothing expensive, but it’s a time for everybody to get together.
Last Sunday, about seven or eight of us went to the Community Theater. When they have a nice production, we go see it.
We’ve also got things going on here for the holidays and the families all come.
Would you change anything?
I don’t think so. We’ve got a great staff, great caregivers, and we have a good time.
What advice would you give others looking for senior living communities for themselves or their family members?
Visit lots of places. Check them out, see what you think about them. Keep looking and after three or four you will see what you like and don’t like.