The classifications in senior housing and care can be confusing. Independent living is a fairly new concept, especially in rural ares. What is independent living, and what is offered at The Peaks?
Retiring with independent living is much like living in a normal home, but with added perks. The Peaks in Ronan, Montana is open to anyone 55 and older, and we offer services such as housekeeping, linen service, lawn care and snow removal. We also have meal options, resident garden, fitness center and community activities. Our ten apartments and community center on the edge of town have uninterrupted views of the Mission Mountains and our location offers privacy with the conveniences of town.
There are many design elements that we are implementing at The Peaks to increase resident comfort and safety. None of the buildings have steps inside or outside so that those with walkers and most wheelchairs have complete access. Doorways are wider, doors have lever openings, cabinets have larger drawer pulls, toggle switches control lights, commodes are taller, and grab bars can be installed in bathrooms. Master bathrooms feature door-less tiled showers with no lip on the entrance, so there is nothing to open step over, with plenty of room for a shower bench or chair should one be needed. We even installed luxury vinyl tile (LVT) which can have the look of wood but provides a softer surface with some grip. We believe that these adjustments along with the rest of the new construction make The Peaks the best place to retire.
What have you or your family members found more difficult with age? Comment below!
My grandmother and I have the same pattern of dishes and we have enjoyed getting each other different pieces for Christmases and birthdays. I love how they always make my table pretty, and I'm reminded of her whenever I use them.
When my wonderful mother-in-law called to say she was stopping by last week, I took a page from my grandmother's book and put the kettle on. Some would say this was a sign of hospitality, but I had my selfish reasons: I love the tea my father-in-law got me for Christmas.
The tea is Teavana's "Rev Up Energie," and I like it so much that I might as well sell the stuff. It smells wonderful, tastes great, and I love that the tea is loose so I can control how much I use at a time.
After my mother-in-law and I had our visit, I had the urge to "Clean Something" (more on this deep-seeded tradition later). I returned to the kitchen later on to find I had forgotten my lovely tea, which had grown cold on the counter! There was no way I was going to throw my good tea down the drain and a "Waste Not, Want Not" attitude has been drilled too deeply in me anyway. I muttered "Necessity is the mother of invention" as I poured my favorite tea into ice cube trays and slid them in the freezer, as the microwave could never do justice.
So far, I've come up with these ideas to use my tea-cubes:
1. Heat some back up to use in cooking, perhaps in a soup or Alfredo sauce.
2. Slide a cube over my eyes after being up all night with the baby.
3. Use to chill a touch of whiskey over, with the added bonus of a cocktail sensation once the ice melts.
4. Heat some up in a bowl to use as a face steam treatment after a long day.
5. Throw in a batch of lemonade for a different kick.
6. Microwave one cube at a time for our daughter's mini tea set.
I would love to have some more ideas on how to use up leftover tea! Does anyone have any suggestions to add?
Like many people in our community, our little family is on a Lenten journey where we give up certain comforts and distractions in order to focus and re-dedicate ourselves to the source of true happiness. I’ve started the book, “Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly (2016) and reflected on times where I’ve felt more satisfaction in my life.
When Sage and I moved back to the Mission Valley I knew that I wanted a smaller house. Thanks to the foreclosure market in the Flathead we lived in a beautiful house with 2 stories and –get this- four bathrooms. Four. The house I grew up in had two. This meant that after Sage or I cleaned two bathrooms, we had two more to go. At the time we had more bathrooms in our house than people in our family. It was ridiculous! I hardly even went up into the top story of the house (except to clean the bathroom) and I’m embarrassed to admit that one of the rooms up there became a catch-all that was a nightmare to pack up when we moved.
The house was beautiful and there were parts that I loved about it, but more often I had a heavy sense of guilt from not being able to keep up with it all. I realized that having all of that space, and all of the stuff that filled it, did not bring me true happiness. I was determined to downsize, and lyrics from Doug Stone's song, “Little Houses” (1994) helped ground me through the process.
“Love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate. Where you eat and sleep so close together, you can’t help but communicate. And if we had more room between us, think of all we’d miss. Love grows best in houses just like this.”
Sage and I designed The Peaks and our house with a lot of care. We carried measuring tapes with us for a year so that when we wondered, “How wide is this hallway? How tall is that counter?” we could measure it in the moment. There was more than one night where I stayed up late with floor plans on my mind! We are thankful for the insight from many people, and a lot of their suggestions were put into use.
Now that spring is getting closer we have been giving more tours of the apartments. Out of my favorite feedback we receive such as, “I love this kitchen!” “What a great view!” “Look at that tiled shower!” my favorite comment is, “I could live here!” I am so happy to hear that because we took such great care to make it a place where Sage and I would want to live, and where we could see our parents and grandparents living.
While the house we live in is not small, the guilt I felt in the larger house is gone. There is plenty of room for our necessities and favorite things, but not so much that there are rooms and closets of stuff that I don’t use. I can honestly say that my happiness increased when the size of our home decreased. We hope that the residents of The Peaks feel the same way, and that they find our services help them on their journey to greater happiness.
Kelly, Matthew. Resisting Happiness. Beacon Publishing, 2016.
Stone, Doug. “Little Houses.” Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, Epic, 1994.
Did you know that Ronan turns 26 years old today? Yes! Even though the town is 104 years old, it was instituted on February 29, 1912... a leap year! Don't just take my word on it. Read this article from The Valley Journal!
As a birthday present to this small town I know and love, Sage and I have an announcement: We're starting a business!
The Peaks will serve Ronan as independent living for senior citizens in the area. We will be building a 10-unit complex that offers breakfast and lunch, lawn care, snow removal, and other amenities to our retired residents. Last Thursday the Ronan City Council approved us- so we're official! We're looking to begin construction as soon as possible, so please join us on this exciting adventure!
Lindsey Dorrington was raised in Ronan, MT, earned a BA at Carroll College, and married Sage Dorrington. Together they're building The Peaks: a brand new luxury retirement community. They love being surrounded by family and friends and adding to the beautiful town they call home.