Wise Move

Living Alone, but Not Lonely

A new resident at Plymouth Village, Frank Wiswell enjoys baking treats for others in the community.

When Frank Wiswell’s wife passed away, he knew he should begin preparing for his future health care needs.

Wiswell, 84, had been Dorothy’s primary caretaker as she faced the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Who will take care of me when the time comes?” he wondered. “I knew I didn’t want that responsibility falling on my children. I want to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. And, I want to be social. I am a very social person.”

Wiswell found the answer while attending a bereavement support group at his Redlands, Calif., church.

“Several people there recommended Plymouth Village, so I decided to check it out,” he says. “I liked what I saw and decided to move.”

Wiswell loves the outgoing people and beautiful grounds, but he especially appreciates the continuing care model of the Redlands community.

“I won’t have to move if my health care needs change,” he says. “That’s important to me.”

For now, he is taking advantage of every opportunity the community offers. A cook while serving in the Navy, Wiswell keeps his skills sharp by preparing treats for team members and neighbors at the 37-acre campus.

“I love to bake,” he says. “And I can’t eat it all, so I have to give it away.”

His zucchini bread is a community favorite, but nothing gets turned away. “They love it all!” he says.

For most of Wiswell’s career as a superintendent at Foote Chemical in Silver Peak, Nev., he and Dorothy lived in relative isolation — the nearest grocery store was 105 miles away. Frank promised her it wouldn’t always be that way. So when he retired in 1984, they moved to more populated areas and eventually settled in Banning, Calif., where they loved to host dinner parties for their neighbors.

“She’d plan the guest list, and I’d do the cooking,” Wiswell recalls. “We had a lot of fun.”

Today, he enjoys socializing with other residents of Plymouth Village and maintains a vigorous exercise regimen that includes a three-mile walk every day.

“More if the weather is good!” he says.

“I’ve had an interesting life, and I consider myself a pretty happy person. One of the best decisions I ever made was the move to Plymouth Village. I tell everyone I meet that this is a great place to be.”

About ABHOW

Founded in 1949, ABHOW is widely known for its pioneering leadership in senior housing and health care. The company serves more than 5,000 residents in 43 retirement communities in California, Arizona, Nevada and Washington.

To learn more about ABHOW visit www.abhow.com.                                                                                         

This article appears in the October 2012 issue of ABHOW Words.