A ‘Pinch-Me-Like’ Experience

Bill and Cindy have a great appreciation for all that Village On The Isle offers.

CCRC meshes luxury, independence with safety net of assisted care.

At age 80, Bill Bouman hasn’t lost his fastball. Which is to say that his deadpan sense of humor remains as sharp as a razor. Ask him, for example, how long he and his wife, Cindy, have been married, and he’ll tell you with a straight face, “It’s going on 184 years now.”

“Oh, tell him the truth,” Cindy reprimands.

“OK,” Bill retorts. “It’s actually going on 186 years.”

The truth is that after meeting while both were in college in Michigan, Bill and Cindy have been married for 57 years. During that time, they pinballed between the Midwest and Northeast a few times before settling in Florida following retirement.

“We started out as snowbirds, first in Fort Myers and then in Placida,” Bill relates. “We did that about five years, then moved to Venice, where we found a condo right on the water a block and a half from downtown. We started living there year-round in 2011.

“We really loved it there, but as we got older, we decided we needed to make plans for the later stages of life. We were and still are in pretty good health, so we wanted a place where we could live independently but also get the care we might need later on.”

Active, Independent Living

Bill and Cindy didn’t have to look far to find what they wanted. Less than three miles from their condo, they discovered Village On The Isle, a continuing care retirement community, or CCRC. Also known as a Life Plan Community, Village On The Isle provides residents with a vibrant, independent lifestyle with the ability to easily transition into assisted, skilled nursing or memory care should the need arise.

The ability to receive assistance while still living in an independent setting was at the forefront of Bill and Cindy’s decision to move to Village On The Isle. Cindy, who notes that the couple moved from a 1,700-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath condo to a 1,460-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath apartment at Village On The Isle, says their intention was for this move to be their last.

“It used to be that when you went to a retirement community, you were going into a small dark apartment with Formica countertops and shag carpet,” says Patrick Long, a retirement counselor at Village On The Isle. “Well, at Village On The Isle, you’re getting a spacious apartment with lots of natural light, luxury vinyl or tile floors, quartz or granite countertops, and washers and dryers.

“We also offer a variety of floor plans, including two-bedroom, two-bathroom models with a den that provide more than 1,600 square feet of living space. So, you can get all the amenities you may have had or always wanted to have in your own home. You also get the assurance that if more help is needed down the road, it’s available for you right here. No one will need to pack up and move.”

Their timing could not have been better. The couple moved into Village On The Isle in December 2019, just as the community was completing a $100 million renovation of its campus that included the development of a new health care center as well as remodeling and upgrading of all apartments.

“We moved into Emerald Sands, and let me tell you, the new construction and finishes on these units is truly high end,” Bill raves. “You get the opportunity to choose some additional features, which we did. We added built-in closets, plantation shutters and things like that.”

Cindy recognizes that a lot of thought was put into small details that even typical high-end condo builders don’t consider.

“For example,” she details, “we have pocket doors in some areas, and they’re built so that when the door goes into the pocket, it stops at the handle. That way, so you never have to fumble around for the handle.

“Another thing they’ve done is made all the doorways very wide so that if someone winds up having to use a walker or wheelchair at some point, easy access to each room is already there. It’s those little things they were very conscious of, which is one of the reasons we really love it here. It’s perfect for us. It’s a wonderful place to be.”

Village On The Isle also provides daily meal services, housekeeping, maintenance and transportation services, plus utilities such as high-definition television, phone, high-speed internet, water and electricity.

The community even has its own beauty salon/barbershop, several large community rooms, multiple dining venues, libraries, a heated outdoor swimming pool, a small marketplace, fitness studios and a full-time fitness instructor. The amenities prompted Bill to liken Village On the Isle to vacation living.

“Atmosphere Is Great”

“Living here is awesome,” Bill enthuses. “It’s like a cruise ship, where the cabins are extremely spacious, nicely appointed and high quality. We’ve been here for a year now. The whole time it’s been like this wonderful, pinch-me-like experience, where the staff can’t seem to do enough for you.

“That’s kind of the universal attitude here. Everyone is so incredibly helpful and positive, whether it’s the employees, the dining staff or maintenance. Everyone is very outgoing and positive, and they’re always asking how you’re doing or if there’s anything you need. The atmosphere is great.”

Bill and Cindy still have a car but don’t often use it. The community offers an array of onsite and offsite activities and programs, with transportation to off-campus events.

“We bring in entertainment and offer several social opportunities, but it’s important to point out that residents don’t need to give up their activities in the community,” Patrick emphasizes. “Many residents maintain memberships in golf leagues, book clubs or whatever they may have been doing socially or on a volunteer basis. The benefit of being here is that there is more happening on campus. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Bill concurs.

“It’s a very active place, and because of that, it was amazing how quickly we developed a sense of community just within our own building,” he reports. “We became a neighborhood, and one of the neighbors came up with a great idea. He suggested we all put together a short, two-page narrative about ourselves, explaining who we are, what we’ve done and what brought us here. We put those write-ups into a little book, and we each have a copy.

“It’s a very nicely done piece of work, a bound book, and you can read in two pages a little bit about each of the residents and learn a lot about them. That’s helped to bring us all a little closer.”

Cindy concludes: “With that sense of community and all the amenities, we really feel blessed to be here The staff is great. We’ve made a lot of new friends and feel very cared for. As I said before, Village On The Isle is a marvelous place to be.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb
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    • Village On The Isle

      Incorporated in 1979, Village On The Isle is a faith-based, not-for-profit, Life Plan Community—also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community. We are affiliated as a social ministry with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Fl... Read More