The Residence at St. John: A Great Place to Make Friends!

Since moving into their new apartments at The Residence at St. John, Charlene Kaltenbach, Lois Kowalski and Kate Rowe have forged new friendships, making the transition from their lifelong residences to a continuing care community to be an enjoyable and fulfilling journey.

After living along Myoma Road in Mars for the past 60 years, the thought of staying in her home for another winter didn’t appeal to Charlene. Thus, during the early months of summer, with the encouragement and assistance of her family, she made the choice to relocate to a new apartment at The Residence of St. John.

“I had decided I didn’t want to be there for another winter,” said Charlene.

“I had to go out in the ice and snow to out to the mailbox, and get the paper and my family was afraid I would slip and fall on the ice.”

Despite her decision, Charlene continued to harbor a handful of concerns about the move, particularly regarding leaving behind her friends, church, and some cherished belongings. This is precisely why the three-and-a-half-mile transition to the St. John Community proved to be an ideal choice. “I wanted to be closer to my friends and my church and this way I am closer,” explained Charlene.

“It’s one of those things where making the transition is really hard, but you have to either make up your mind that you going to like something or your just going to have live with it. I try to stay positive, look on the bright side,” said Charlene.

Ultimately, her apartment proved to be spacious enough to house a significant portion of her belongings. “I took this apartment because it was larger and I could bring more of my own furniture, (and) wouldn’t have to leave so many things at home,” elaborated Charlene.

Her social life also picked up as she now meets Lois and Kate almost every day for lunch and dinner. “We talk usually at every meal. We sit around the table and sometimes we stay there for quite a while, just talking,” explained Charlene.

As per Lois, the trio has slowly but surely developed a strong friendship since their initial encounter at a St. John Community beautification event in June. “We are in the garden a lot of times, because we started the garden, and we take care of it…,” explained Lois.

“The Garden is very important; it got me out of my room. I love it,” elaborated Kate, who is becoming more and more acquainted with The Residence at St. John. “It’s got everything I need here. I am well taken care of. I’ve got friends that look after each other too and everything all paid for… and we don’t have any other bills.”

As for the three new friends, Lois best sums up their relationship. “First we say we are friends, and now we say we are family… we all feel like a family, said Lois. “We all tell each other our problems, someone to cry on, someone to have a good laugh with…”

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