When retired business teacher Jean Gordon moved from her large house of many years in Uncasville to Masonicare at Mystic in the spring, she knew right away “this was the best move I made,” she said. She and her cat, Cuddles, easily settled into her new two-bedroom apartment. “There is so much to do here,” says this computer-savvy retiree who quickly stepped up to become editor of the residents’ new monthly newsletter.
Masonicare at Mystic opened over a series of weeks in late 2016 and early 2017, celebrating its Grand Opening on April 25. A crowd estimated at over 300 joined the festivities at the area’s newest senior living community located on Clara Drive, just a third of a mile from the Mystic Aquarium.
Designed for adults 55 and older, the 179-apartment community provides Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care.
“We are a rental model, which we find offers seniors more financial flexibility than they may encounter elsewhere,” notes Jamie Cornell, marketing manager. Indeed this appealed to Jean, who says, “The month-to-month lease was a big selling point for me.”
Residents who have moved in have found themselves with a bounty of things to do. There is a heated indoor salt water pool, exercise room and classes, game room, bistro, art studio and library. Right next door to the 18-acre campus is the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center with 10 miles of walking trails. And Masonicare’s friendly transportation team will take residents to scheduled destinations and medical appointments in a 15-mile radius as well as to L+M, Backus and Westerly hospitals.
Mark and Judy Migdail moved from Westchester, New York into their apartment in December with their 7 year-old Maltese, Rafe. Their daughter, Shari Migdail-Smith, lives nearby in Rhode Island. After researching many senior communities, she found the design of Masonicare at Mystic’s apartments to be the most spacious. Her parents especially appreciate the full-size kitchen and generous cabinet and closet space.
Perry Phillips, Executive Director of Masonicare at Mystic, says, “We believe this is the future of senior living: wide open spaces, lots of natural light and a very homey feel . . . along with an array of amenities and support services. We’ve also been very selective in hiring our team here, making sure we are creating a culture of superior customer service and meaningful engagement.”
With housekeeping and linen service, an accomplished executive chef and an energetic activities director, residents really can enjoy a worry-free lifestyle and pursue their favorite hobbies or a new interest. Lisa Kennedy is the woman behind some fun-filled events including a Kentucky Derby party, a luxury cruise, a “Casablanca” night as well as trips to such places as the Thimble Islands and Abbot’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank. The community also hosts visiting lecturers, physician specialists and spiritual services. Jean Gordon reports that “the food here is outstanding. And I’ve tried things I never thought I would!”
Are you hesitant about moving, especially into an unfamiliar place where you don’t know anyone? Meet Karen Hawthorn, Masonicare’s Resident Services Counselor and a position unique to Masonicare. “I greet each new resident as they arrive,” Hawthorn says in her soft voice, “I’m the person that will be there to help you transition through all the changes.” She also co-facilitates a monthly Caregiver Support Group with area caregiver advocate, Bob Elmer. The group meets the third Wednesday of the month and anyone is welcome to come. “It’s free and you don’t need to be a family member of one of our residents,” adds Karen. “We encourage each other and share coping techniques.”
“Another source of comfort for someone contemplating a move to our community is the moving assistance we provide through our partnership with Caring Transitions,” says Cornell. “Their professionals will help you sort and pack your possessions, as well as unpack and set things up in your new apartment. Residents love it!”
“We have quite a few Assisted Living and Memory Care apartments still available,” he notes, “and have a great pricing special for new move-ins. Not only will we waive our one-time community fee of $5,000, but we will also reduce the first year’s rent by $1,000 a month in Assisted Living and by $1,500 a month in Memory Care. ”
Masonicare has a special approach when it comes to Memory Care. Called “The Argonauta” after a seashell described in Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s book Gift from the Sea, it focuses on all aspects of the individual.
“Our vision for Memory Care encompasses growth and engagement, holistic wellness, relationship-centered care and a neighborhood environment,” says Grace Giannini, Masonicare’s Memory Resource Coordinator. “Each Argonauta resident is honored as unique in a setting focused on dignity, kindness and safety.”
If you or a parent or loved one are looking for gracious senior living in a picturesque setting with an abundance of amenities to ensure well-being, come visit Masonicare at Mystic. Take a tour, meet residents and staff and explore the ways the community meets your individual needs.
Masonicare at Mystic is located at 45 Clara Drive. For more information, call 860-415-2500 or visit www.Masonicare-Mystic.org.