Brigitte and Chester Umlauf find the close proximity of their cottage-home at Diakon Senior Living – Hagerstown/The Robinwood Campus to family members and a variety of convenient services to be comforting.

Active older adults drawn to cottage-home living

Hagerstown, Md. Wednesday June 25, 2014

Brigitte Umlauf likes the fact that she can plant flowers, but doesn’t need to worry about mowing grass or shoveling snow. Bob House appreciates the chance to use his building skills to make a throwing game for neighbors instead of the types of projects on which he worked while operating a home-improvement business.

Both moved, with their spouses, into cottage-homes on the Robinwood Campus of Diakon Senior Living – Hagerstown within the past year. And both have found that this type of senior living accommodation suits them and their families perfectly.

“We should have done this a long time ago ...."
Brigitte and her husband, Chester, like the fact that they are not far from their two sons. The proximity of doctors’ offices and the Meritus Medical Center across the street from the Robinwood campus is reassuring, they say, and the opportunity to be involved in activities and events at Diakon Senior Living is a plus.

“We had looked at the cottages before, but were not quite ready to leave our home in Thurmont,” says Brigitte. “This time, everything fell into place. We’ve been here now through all four seasons and everything is working so well.”

Bob and Judy House stand in the recreational area on the Robinwood Campus of Diakon Senior Living – Hagerstown. They say they are enjoying life at Robinwood so much they should have moved “a long time ago.”

Bob and Judy House stand in the recreational area on the Robinwood Campus of Diakon Senior Living – Hagerstown. They say they are enjoying life at Robinwood so much they should have moved “a long time ago.”

Judy House says the Robinwood campus is the only place she and her husband, Bob, looked at. They have been so pleased with their cottage-home that Judy’s brother and sister-in-law decided to make the move also. The Houses' home is one of a number of new cottage-homes built by Diakon over the last six months.

“Our grandchildren and other family members come to visit and we have a lot of room, which we like,” Judy says. “We are still very active and we’re making new friends.”

“We should have done this a long time ago,” adds Bob, who is giving the custom-built cornhole game he built to Robinwood for use in the campus' recreational area, which includes a putting green and Bocce court.

The Houses say they made the move because they didn’t want their children to have to deal with such a transition later. Erin Younker, manager of marketing and sales at Diakon Senior Living – Hagerstown, says she encounters similar situations often: Older adults looking at homes for themselves rather than having family members do it for them.

“People are planning ahead and some cottage-homes end up being pre-sold,” she says. “For example, four of our seven newest cottages are filled. We have land for future development and want to build more. Demand for cottages is growing.”

Younker believes the spacious layout of the cottages is a draw, as are the garages, which many senior communities do not offer. Extra touches such as granite countertops, high ceilings and walk-in showers are appealing as well, she says. Active older adults also appreciate the campus' fitness center, heated indoor pool, and activities at the Towne Center.

“This is a very active and vibrant community,” Younker says. “As people move in, new neighbors quickly become friends.”

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