(Published Nov. 14, 2007, 10:38 a.m.)
While life at Prairie Village, located on County Road U, Whitewater, is a far cry from homesteading 150 years ago, residents at Whitewater’s newest retirement community are enjoying the pioneer experience all the same. Prairie Village “pioneer” residents started moving into their homes earlier this year.
“It’s fun for all of us to be part of something that’s new,” said Heidi Stewart, marketing director at Prairie Village 909 N. Acorn Ridge, Whitewater, 472-9311. “Our pioneer residents are building a truly unique kind of community—a place where retirees can enjoy an active and independent lifestyle without worrying about mowing the lawn or shoveling the snow.”
“It’s a big plus,” say Ron and Nelda Bergsten, who joined the community in August of this year. “We’re enjoying the same lifestyle we had before moving but we get to avoid all the maintenance headaches.”
Pat and Bill Smith, who relocated to Prairie Village in March from a home in Ohio, shared similar feelings. “We wanted independence and freedom, so Prairie Village was perfect for us. Now we can follow all of our desires, and there’s nothing to restrict us.”
Both the Smiths and the Bergstens are part of a growing trend across the nation of seniors moving to maintenance-free and hassle-free living in patio and town home communities. A growing number of retirees are focused on enjoying an active retirement, but they’re not ready for an apartment or what many people perceive to be a typical retirement community. Patio home communities like Prairie Village are an ideal alternative, and they’re popping up all over the country.
As part of Fairhaven Senior Services, Prairie Village is backed by 45 years of service and commitment to area seniors.
“This is a new chapter in our history,” said Rev. David Yochum, Fairhaven executive director. “Prairie Village is the perfect option for active adults who want to enjoy a private home but still enjoy the conveniences and security uniquely available from a senior community like Fairhaven.”
Residents at Prairie Village can also purchase a range of supportive services from Fairhaven, like housekeeping, laundry or transportation.
For some residents at Prairie Village, security is paramount. According to Bill and Colleen Endisch, Prairie Village is about having a choice in their own future.
“We chose Prairie Village because it will provide us with the transitional care we may need in the later stages of our lives.”
“Seniors today want more choices than they’ve ever had before,” Stewart says. “That’s why each new home at Prairie Village is built around the resident’s choices.”
“We were most impressed by the number of options available to us,” said Bill and Colleen Endisch. “We had the opportunity to customize our entire home from door handles and floor coverings, to light fixtures and woodwork.” According to Bill, the entire planning and building process was excellent. “We’ve built new homes in the past, and I’ve never had such a positive experience.”
“We have been absolutely amazed at Prairie Village’s ability to finish each home to accommodate everyone’s different choices,” added Ron and Nelda Bergsten. “The finished products speak for themselves.”
Choices, however, extend far beyond just building a new home. For many residents, it’s about building an active and exciting retirement.
“We investigated many different retirement communities,” said Pat Smith. “Prairie Village and Fairhaven had a whole list of offerings, including health programs and activities that we wanted or needed.”
Prairie Village residents enjoy complete access to the wide range of services and amenities available at Fairhaven, from social and recreational programming to community amenities like the fitness center and library. The residents also enjoy priority access to Fairhaven’s assisted living program and the health and rehabilitation center.
Apart from Fairhaven services and offerings, Prairie Village residents also enjoy the many opportunities unique to Whitewater, like events and activities at the UW-Whitewater campus and the Young Auditorium.
With only four homes left in its first phase of development, Prairie Village is already launching Phase II.
“We have almost 20 reservations for our next phase, and we’ll start construction for 10 of those yet this fall,” Stewart said. “Right now is the best time to move to Prairie Village.”
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