Don't Wait to Move to Enjoy Full Benefits of The Oaks

August 07, 2020

When retired Shreveport businessman Kurvis Burns and wife Betty were looking for a senior living community to call home, they were drawn to the breathtaking beauty of The Oaks of Louisiana.

“It looked like a park,” Burns says. “I knew it was the place.”

Three hundred-twelve acres of manicured lawns, vast gardens, walking trails, two gorgeous lakes, a pond, pecan orchard, towering trees and a variety of wildlife that ranges from rabbits to deer, Canada geese to raccoons - so much to enjoy, especially for independent senior adults like the Burnses.

The couple, who “try not to wait for anything,” moved to The Oaks in 2016 while they still were independent and could enjoy maintenance-free living and the benefits of an Oaks of Louisiana lifestyle. They did not want to wait until illness or a medical event forced a move to an assisted living residence or skilled nursing facility.

Preparing for the Move

Tired of maintaining a large house and yard and all the responsibility home ownership and maintenance entail, the Burnses began the process of downsizing.

They enlisted the help of a relocation company to help organize, sort and dispose, donate or sell belongings they didn’t want or need, and they prepared mentally and physically for the move.

“It is life-changing no doubt,” Burns says. “You have to get used to it but anytime you retire and move it is an adjustment. The process wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, though. We wanted to spend our time in a more relaxed way. It was time.”

The Benefits of Moving While Healthy

From choosing a retirement community to actual moving day, moving is a stressful and often overwhelming process. It is understandable that senior adults who have lived in the same house for 30 or 40 years say they are not ready, even as health issues arise or home and

But moving gets more difficult with time, says Rhonda MacIsaac, director of independent living at The Oaks. "Those who are independent and in good health can better handle the transition, often embracing this new chapter in life. Those who are frail often have a more difficult time making the transition, which can lead to other health problems for them. 

Burns acknowledges his peers too often say they are not ready to move to a senior living community, though there is a risk to waiting. 

MacIsaac, too, hears this statement frequently. “Yet, once independent living residents move here, most all regret not having made the move sooner,” she says. “They realize they could have spent months, even years, enjoying the freedom from home maintenance and new friendships, activities and financial predictability moving when you are healthy affords. Waiting until a health issue occurs means a loss of control in decision making and the opportunity to experience the benefits available in an independent residential setting."

At The Oaks, the many benefits and amenities keep residents active and healthy. This was one of the main reasons the Burnses picked The Oaks. "When we checked into the services The Oaks offers, there were so many options and amenities," Burns says. "We couldn't have made a better choice."

Residents are encouraged to stay involved through health and wellness programs, book reviews, off-campus excursions and out-of-town trips, lectures, lifelong learning classes, socials, spiritual life programs and more. Moving to The Oaks earlier allows residents to more fully enjoy and benefit from the activities, MacIsaac says.

The Oaks emphasizes total wellness and strives to keep residents healthy and independent for as long as possible by ensuring opportunities that include physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and social experiences.

“By waiting too long to move, more than likely when you move to The Oaks you'll need assistance or you have some serious stuff going on and need even more care,” Burns says. “There is a lesson to be learned from that. Move when the time is right. Don’t wait.”

Take it from the Burnses: They didn't wait and are living independently, experiencing life at its full potential.