Dr. Barbara Moser, 70, moved to Vi at Highlands Ranch in 2016 after making a simple decision: She didn’t want to spend another hot summer in Phoenix, Ariz. Eighteen months earlier, Moser had retired after more than 40 years as a radiologist, and she immediately started looking for her next move.
Moser was also inspired by her mother, who also moved into a retirement community when she was 70.
“My mother had four children living in different parts of the country, but she didn't want to be a burden to any of us,” Moser said. “She lived in her community for more than 15 years before she passed away; she took care of herself.”
Moving In — With a Little Help From the Pros
When preparing to make the move to a senior living community, Moser took a calm, methodical approach as she began her transition from her five-bedroom house into an apartment. She worked gradually to declutter and pare down her belongings over the course of a year, whittling down the items she wanted to bring to Colorado from her home in Phoenix.
“I filled my garage three times with boxes and things, and had the Salvation Army come each time,” Moser said. “I lived for 23 years in that house — that’s a lot of time to accumulate things!”
Once Moser decided on Vi at Highlands Ranch, the community’s Move-In Coordinator Laurie MacLeod began working with her on coordinating the move.
“One of the best parts of my job is getting to know our new residents on a personal level,” MacLeod said. “I work closely with them and help them fit as much of their belongings here at their new home at Vi as possible.”
MacLeod also suggested Moser work with a senior move manager in her area, a resource she feels can help residents with some of the more stressful aspects of the move like vetting moving companies and coordinating donations.
“For our new residents coming from out of state, I always recommend a senior move manager,” MacLeod said, noting that about 85 percent of new residents ultimately hire one. “They’re a great resource. It’s just nice when a resident can go into their unit the night they move in and sleep in their bed, with all their belongings among them.”
According to Moser, who worked with her move manager both in Arizona and Colorado, the manager was especially helpful in deciding how to arrange her furniture, as well as unpacking and organizing her belongings in her new apartment at Vi at Highlands Ranch.
MacLeod notes that most senior move managers can also assist with the often daunting task of “right-sizing” belongings to move from a larger home to a smaller condo, a project she and Moser discussed frequently.
“Many of our new residents come from a five-mile radius, so their move isn’t as daunting,” MacLeod said. “For Dr. Moser, it was a much bigger endeavor moving to Colorado from Arizona — and from a home she was in for so long. I know it was hard for her to donate so many of her belongings, but I was happy to help in any way I could.”
Adjusting To A New Life in Colorado
While Moser has been in her new home for just a few months, she’s adjusted well to life at Vi. So far she’s learning canasta and mahjong, and has enjoyed getting to know her fellow residents.
“I never had many hobbies before I retired — I always worked long hours or was taking care of my children,” Moser said. “Now, I’m learning to play canasta and mahjong, and I walk four miles every morning, enjoying the views and looking at all the different types of birds. It's just good for the soul.