After 45 years of marriage, Chuck and Norma Dandurand decided to downsize from their west side home, avoid the hassles of everyday home and yard maintenance and dedicate more of their time to travel and doing things they both enjoyed. That was two years ago.
“Norma and I wanted to choose and make the selection on where we’d like to live in our golden years, and not get our kids involved in that process -- so we scouted five senior communities in the area and fell in love with this particular apartment,” Chuck said. “We informed the kids only after we made the final decision to move here!”
Having lived in west Wichita since 1969, the Dandurands chose Via Christi Village at 3636 N. Ridge Road. They feel no loss of freedom and appreciate no longer having the upkeep of a house.
The Dandurands advise mature adults to make the move to a retirement community while they are still physically able, rather than wait until they have to move and risk leaving the decision to family members to make for them.
“We were able to be selective and suit our own needs,” Chuck says.
They like the lake view at Via Christi Village and the fact that the community sits far enough back from the road to eliminate any road noise. They also like the wide hallways and the bright, warm interiors that felt like home to them. It’s also adjacent to the new St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church.
“We enjoy the leisurely lifestyle here, the staff is great … very accommodating,” Chuck says.
The Dandurands’ current activities include eating out, going shopping and making weekend visits to the Farmer’s Market where they purchase fresh produce to use on the BLT sandwiches which are part of their weekend traditions.
A place to ‘come home and live’
Moving for matured adults can be a traumatic and difficult experience. While Chuck and Norma are happy in their assisted living apartment, they say they are excited about the construction of a new 80-bed skilled nursing unit at Via Christi Village. Should either of them eventually need nursing care, the two connected buildings will make a future move less stressful.
Chuck chairs the Resident Council for the community and was excited to be included in the planning for the skilled nursing addition to be comprised of four 20-unit neighborhoods with all private beds. He was influential in including small dining areas that promote getting to know fellow residents instead of having one large, hotel-style dining room.
“We want to create a place where people can come home and live,” says Jerry Carley, CEO of Via Christi Villages.
Carley’s ultimate vision would be to expand into a senior retirement village as well, giving seniors a place to retire and a neighborhood they would never have to move from again.
In the past two decades, there have been significant advancements in the senior care world. Seniors now have more options to choose from, and can customize their home for their particular level of care.
Assisted living at Via Christi Village offers a secure and supportive environment for people who want to stay active, but prefer a little help with daily chores. Residents also have access to a dedicated professional staff, nutritious meals, inter-denominational church services, transportation, beauty and barber shop, and a beautiful outdoor courtyard with a lake view.