55+ Part 1 – What is a 55+ Resort Style Community

Valencia Shores
Valencia Shores, FL

So  this essay is a long time in “the making”.  I’ve written and rewritten it many times over.

We retired at the beginning of 2016 but we actually started looking at 55+ “resort style” communities a year or two prior.  We looked in the greater Phoenix area (Sun City, Canto Mia), and The Villages(central Florida) and the Valencia groups in western Palm Beach county.  We ultimately purchased a resale unit in VALENCIA SHORES.  But let me share some of our thoughts, experiences, and observations. There are so many factors to think about, I hope these notes will help you in making a next stage of life decision.

So first there was “our grandparents condo”.  In the late 1960’s and through probably the early 1980’s our grandparents, many of whom started their lives in the US in tenement houses, purchased condos in places like Century Village and Kings Point.  These were apartments in three to five story buildings.  There were pools and a clubhouse and some activities.  Some had golf courses.  Shopping was often close by.

The next generation were the grown up free spirits of the Woodstock generation.  Most of them had pensions and/or early IRA accounts and did well with their investments in the 80’s.  Their 55+ complexes often had golf/country clubs and townhouse or attached homes

Now the end of the baby boomers are retiring.  They are spoiled.  This generation of “resort style”55+ features single family homes of 3 to 5 bedrooms (often bigger than the homes where they raised their families) with top of the line appliances and lots of activities to participate . 

The website https://www.55places.com/florida/ is a good starting point to compare facilities.

Update on how I’m living with Parkinson’s Disease

Categories: GSF New Parkinsons

We all know that Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease.  But my Movement Disorder Specialist says that if it starts slow, it usually stays at a slow rate of change and visa versa.  In other words the younger you develop this the longer you are going to have to live with it.   He also says you don’t die from Parkinson’s but rather you die with it. (Perhaps due to complications from Parkinson’s)

Actually much about how I’m doing is still as described in my April posts, so I won’t repeat.   I still am pleased that I’m doing well and can participate in some cooking and chores around the house.  I’m pretty sensitive to temperature changes so the heat spells doing do very well for me

My biggest frustration is that my best cognitive time going to and traveling between exercise classes.  By the afternoon it’s a lot harder to concentrate and be organized.   I still want to get out more in the afternoons to socialize.  Evenings can be hit or miss.  I don’t really like going out to dinner because it’s easier to not eat very much rather than take my chances of having difficulty swallowing.  I try to make sure I take my 9pm pills early or leave an event before my walking stride minimizes.

I’ve switched personal trainers in NY. Diane knows a lot more about Parkinson’s than Marcy (see next post).  We’re making a picture for each exercise and she’s very strict about body position.  That said, I’ve come to the conclusion that these exercises might make my muscles stronger but they aren’t really going to help me feel better in the long run.  I’m still going to be stiff in the mornings but I can help myself turn better with stronger arms.  (I assume).  And I guess I’m better at forcing my body straight.  One puzzling observation is that I often wake up and can move relatively easily and pain-free in the bed but when I stand I have both pain and stiffness (and lack of walking stride).

So I guess I’m looking as good as can be expected for having Parkinson’s about 15 years.   I’ve been able to meet people and not have to explain my appearance right away.  Many say “I never would have guessed.” But without taking medicine every three hours I don’t know how I would appear to strangers.  Also I’m often pain free mid-day for a few hours.  However if I walk too long or stand at the kitchen counter too long.  The pain starts up.  Looking back at  my notes, a twisting feeling when standing at the kitchen counter has been a complaint almost since the beginning.

A lot of people have more serious problems but many issues “go away”              Parkinson’s is my constant companion but I try not to let it stop me.   But as my friend, I hope the readers of this will be patient but not condescending with me.

Highlights of 2018

It’s hard to believe that Jan 2019 will be four years since we retired. We certainly seem to keep busy. As we approach the new year it is a good time to think about our lives, where we’ve been and where we are going.

In our case life is good at the moment, very good. Ron’s health is good and a change in medicine has resulted in me doing better, the best I’ve been in 5-6 years in many ways. The back/leg pain is significantly reduced and thanks to PT, I can get it to reduce when it acts up. I often get pain when I walk more than .5 to .75 miles. That said I walked 2-4 miles a day on our recent trip to Greece and only used my walking sticks occasionally. I hardly used them at all on our fall cruise to Canada.

Exercise takes up a large part of our schedule, but I hope to feel well enough to get into some afternoon games. I’ve been taking bridge lessons since January.

The highlights of our year are in the attached slide show. I hope you go through it, I’ve been enjoying taking pictures and then I’m learning ways to refine my techniques of general composition and matting, etc. See my website www.gsfriedman.com or if this is electronic, click this link. I now have a “wall” of southern tier waterfalls, etc. I’m also still scanning in old photos and dabbling in genealogy. I’m excited to have communicated with a grandchild of my Grandpa Scherr’s sister. Yes, I’ve gotten to know some of my extended Helman cousins more since Facebook (Melissa, Susan, Steven, Judy), this is the first previously unknown close relative that we’ve met.

Of course the major headlines of the year have been our 60th birthdays, the birth of Orli Lev Bailey, 9 days early, on her father’s birthday, February 2, and Jonathan and Jessica purchasing a house in Riverdale, Bronx. Last year I asked for 60 donations for my Parkinson’s Moving Day Fund Raiser. I had 42 donations but “we” raised $4200 for Parkinson’s Support so I can’t complain. Thanks all.

I’m not driving long distances, so I hope old friends will continue to come to visit me. And we continue to travel as we can. This past year included trips to Israel, Greece and Quebec City. Ron wants us to go to World Parkinson Congress in Japan next June so we might visit our west coast friends on either end of that trip. We are cruising from FLL to New Orleans in March.

Please keep in touch. Phone, email, facebook, text.


Gloria (and Ron) Friedman

Welcome to my new website

Categories: Family General GSF

Welcome to my website. As you might notice there are several themes. You will find my Journey with Parkinson’s disease and other information related to Parkinson’s. Also are pictures from many of our travels, mostly from the past 15 years. My favorites are separated out. Finally there is information on my and my husband’s family tree research. I plan to add a few blog entries on deciding about where to live when you retire.

Please be patient if pages don’t work, I’m still working on the site but wanted to get it live.

My Parkinson’s Medical History

Categories: GSF Parkinsons

I have had a movement disorder issue since mid-2004. It was ultimately diagnosed as Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s Disease is diagnosed by observation of symptoms and their reaction to dopamine. While most often thought of as tremors or jerky movement, in general it is a slowing of the body due to lack of dopamine and various medicines and other procedures are implemented to increase dopamine. Read More

Living Day by Day

Categories: General GSF Parkinsons

So it was almost four years ago that we lost our office building and retired.   I don’t know where the time goes.   We’ve in our third summer with the Rock Hill family retreat home and we’ve had three winters in Lake Worth.  Ilene and Keegan have been married for 10 years; Jonathan and Jessica are celebrating their second anniversary soon and they just purchased a home in the Bronx.  Nava is 3 years old and learning new things every day and Orli is 5 months old, born on her father’s birthday in February.

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Thoughts on turning 60

Categories: Family General GSF

    So this week is my birthday (February 21).  As is  “tradition”  on the Helman/Scherr sides of my family, I used to share it my Uncles Bob and Larry and now I share it with Larry’s great-granddaughter Greta who just turned three.  I really wanted to make a big deal about this birthday for several reasons but life is slowing me down.

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Orli’s Naming Ceremony

This is Ilene’s Speech from Orli’s Naming Ceremony 2/10/18

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Thank you all for coming to help us welcome Orli in to our lives and community.

Over the last week, we’ve been reflecting on how much this little life really wanted to be here in this world. From conception (which is a story, we’ll spare you) to birth (which was VERY fast…. some of you may have heard, we were only at the hospital 10 minutes before she was born), Orli clearly wanted to be here. In a world that seems even more volatile than usual- politically, financially, and environmentally…why would this little life want to be here so badly? Read More