Posted: June 29, 2022
In the words of her cousin, “If I’d have known this was The Broadmoor for seniors, I would have moved over a lot sooner.”
Shirley Bowman (pictured above) smiles recalling the conversation she had with him shortly after she encouraged him to move to Holly Creek Life Plan Community, where she and her husband, Tom, had moved only a few months before. While moving is a major step, especially later in life, many Denverites who have lived in the city for decades are looking for ways to stay connected to their community and downsize to locations easier to care for and easier to leave for trips across the country.
For Shirley and Tom Bowman, the move to Holly Creek made sense on multiple levels. It was getting harder for both of them to keep up with their current, acre property and Tom’s hip procedures. Plus, they wanted to be able to enjoy their condominium in Palm Springs without worrying about their home for a few months in the winter. They decided to move before it became a burden for their children to help them with the process.
The Bowmans made the transition last September, after being on the Holly Creek waiting list for only a short period of time. They chose Holly Creek because they already had friends living at the community and because of its friendliness and Christian ties.
“We came over here, and God just opened every door. There was one space but 3-4 people ahead of us,” Shirley Bowman explained, “Every one of them turned it down. We were ready to move into the smaller apartment, and three days before our move, the biggest one became available. We moved in there and love it.”
One huge positive is that their mountain-view house sold the first weekend it was on the market and for more than they even expected.
“Now is a good time to move, because real estate is really good,” explains Cierra Olmstead with A Move Handled with Care, a company that specializes in helping older adults transition from larger houses to community homes. “The value isn’t the things inside your home but the home itself. If you allow a company like ours to help you downsize quickly, then you have a better opportunity to sell while the market is still hot.”
For the Bowmans, downsizing in advance was key. They kept what they wanted the most and gave the rest to their children to keep or sell. And a Move Handled with Care “was wonderful” with helping them.
“A lot of people want to downsize even if they don’t plan to move until the next couple years. It’s smart to engage our services early, so we can help complete the downsizing processes more slowly and methodically. This also helps people not to feel paralyzed if a crisis occurs and they must move more quickly,” Olmstead explained.
“It took a lot of stress off,” Bowman shared. “It’s very stressful to move after you’ve lived in a place for 50 years.”
The Bowmans are now thoroughly enjoying their Holly Creek Home. Shirley Bowman loves that she doesn’t have to cook every meal, can make new friends and can still dine at the community’s restaurants with her neighbors on a regular basis. The couple is also excited about the indoor/outdoor pool, library and gardens.
“I would love to go and sit amongst the flowers,” said Bowman.
Another key element they’re enjoying is the convenience of everything at their new home. “The convenience of everything is very important,” Bowman added, “Tom loves his desk, and he can have a desk in a separate room doing his own thing. I don’t have to go downstairs to the laundry. If you don’t get your package within a day, they bring it to you. And the maintenance is fabulous—I had two lights go out, and they were up in a short time to fix both.”
As for her cousin, “I kept telling him how wonderful it was. He was living by himself for five years. He’s grateful that he’s here now.”
Bowman’s advice for older adults is simple—”Get rid of stuff you’re not using” and be ready to move when the place and the time is right. The reward is worth it!