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Mon, Jun 1 10:18am · Thank You to Our Staff! in Charter House

We’d like to acknowledge our Charter House interdisciplinary teams in our care areas for their dedication to our residents.

Not only do you provide for our residents’ health needs, but you’re also a listening ear and a companion. You recognize our residents as the individuals they are – with unique personalities, experiences, and preferences. You go above and beyond to ensure they feel special and feel cared for. You comfort them during times of stress and grief and share in their laughter during times of joy. You provide person-centered care adding love and purpose to their days. Thank you for your selflessness and for choosing your profession; serving and caring for others. You make a true difference in the lives of our residents, and we are so grateful!

Do you have any health care workers you’d like to thank?  If so, comment below!

edited37634     editedSTRC 12     editedPablo

STRC 2      nurses week honor

PT     STRC 9     edited38261

Dec 30, 2019 · When is the Right Time to Move? in Charter House

Hi @fiesty76
Thank you for your comment and I'm glad to hear you found the article helpful! Yes, that sentence seems to strike a lot of people as it did you. It can be daunting to plan for the future while downsizing and thinking about moving. It is much easier to push it to the side and say “I’ll think about it when the time comes.” But if and when that time eventually comes, it’s much better to have a plan in place.

Dec 18, 2019 · When is the Right Time to Move? in Charter House

If you’re considering a senior living community for your future, you may ask yourself “when is the right time to move?”  The following questions and responses may be helpful in aiding you in your decision. Planning now can help ensure a smooth transition!


EDITED - Lore gardening

“We don’t need senior living yet. We can still take care of ourselves, our home, and we like to travel.  We are not ready.”

  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), such as Charter House, are usually set up for folks to join before they “need it.” CCRC’s provide a continuum of care for resi
    dents from independent living to assisted living and skilled care. You can continue to travel and enjoy the same activities while having the benefit of knowing your new home will be taken care of while you’re away. This transition can be complex and few people are ever 100% ready to move at this stage of life.  Be proactive and make the decision now to avoid a crisis situation when someone else has to make the decision for you.

“We enjoy our outdoor space at home, our garden, our workshop, etc…”

  • Great!  You can continue to enjoy these hobbies and amenities at many senior livings, such as Charter House. Charter House offers a greenhouse, woodworking shop, and extensive patio space.  But the difference at Charter House is that you’re not responsible for maintaining those areas, replacing tools if they’re worn or broken, or paying for snow removal and yard maintenance.

 “I’m too young.”

  • Our Charter House residents who moved in when they were “too young” have said they were thankful they did not wait. One thing is guaranteed, moving will not get easier; if moving may be difficult for you now, consider how much more difficult it may be if you wait a few years! Plus, moving now rather than later will give you more time to enjoy maintenance-free living, to build new friendships, and to live your life to its fullest by taking advantage of everything a senior living community can offer.

“I have so much stuff and I need to downsize first.”

  • You’re not alone! If you haven’t started, it’s best to start now. Our residents often give items to family, donate them, or have a local company coordinate an auction. Don’t let your belongings hold you back from making such an important decision about your future. It can be helpful to use a floor plan of your future home so you know which furniture you can bring and which furniture you want to get rid of.

“I need to sell my home first.”

  • Again, you’re not alone! Many folks use the equity in their homes to pay their CCRC entrance fee. Are you ready to sell? Have you downsized? Have you contacted a realtor? If you need direction, the senior living you plan to move to should be able to point you in the right direction.

“We have children who are able to help us if we need it.”

  • That’s great that you have children willing to help you if needed, but wouldn’t it be better if they didn’t have to? Maybe they’re raising their own families and busy with their careers. If you make the decision to move now, you will be in control of your own future. Your children will not have to worry about what to do. They will know that whatever the future brings, you’re living in a community that provides the security of offering a full continuum of service and care. What a gift that would be to your children! Plus, when they come to visit you, you can focus on enjoying your time together, rather than on completing a list of tasks and chores.


Take the time to plan for your future. A senior living community may not be the choice for everyone, but if it’s an option you’re considering, plan early as the community in which you wish to move may have a waiting list.

If you’re nearing retirement age, have any of these thoughts crossed your mind?

Nov 7, 2019 · Right-Size Your Home in Charter House

Hi Emily,
It sounds like you and your family have quite the journey ahead of you! I am glad to hear you're looking for a new location in which you can continue your gardening. Many folks feel downsizing equates to no longer participating in their hobbies. But it sounds like you plan to continue your creative outlet, just on a smaller scale. We wish you the best of luck and hope you can continue to find support on Mayo Connect throughout your transition.

Nov 1, 2019 · Planning Ahead for Your Future in Charter House

Time for Action


Many older adults wait too long to incorporate resources into their lives that will help them remain independent. Planning ahead is essential to considering the options available to you if your health or circumstances change. You will have more control when you make time to carefully explore your options and do your research. You will take a lot of pressure off your family if you plan ahead and seek out the resources you need to remain healthy, active, and safe.

Expert Insight

“By acknowledging the need for additional support, you will likely be able to continue to live more independently for a longer period of time. If you wait until you are in a crisis, you may have less control and much more limited options. Pay attention to emerging resources you can take advantage of to maintain your independence. New technologies such as smart phone apps are creating options to address the challenges ranging from medication management to transportation. Be open to incorporating these new resources into your life.” – Sarah J. Crane, M.D., Geriatrician and Internist in Community Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic and member of the Board of Directors at Charter House – Mayo Clinic Retirement Community in Rochester, Minnesota.

Take Action Now

  • Create a life plan. Develop a personalized plan so you can maintain control over your life as you age. Find resources offering you flexibility as your needs change. Don’t wait until you are in the middle of a crisis. For some, this may mean joining the waiting list for a senior community in anticipation of a future move. For others, this may mean establishing in-home care resources for assistance with daily needs.
  • Document your wishes. Review Mayo Clinic Advance Health Care Planning and familiarize yourself with documents such as a POLST, advanced directive, and living will. You can consult with an attorney who is specialized in elder law. Provide your health care provider and health care agents (if applicable) with a copy of your finalized documents. Keep these documents accessible and updated.
  • Engage community resources. Contact 2-1-1. This three-digit number connects you to a free and confidential referral service through United Way to find community services, resources, and volunteer opportunities.

Click here for more information from Mayo Clinic on future health care planning.

Do you have any insight you’ve uncovered while preparing for your own future?

Oct 16, 2019 · Right-Size Your Home in Charter House

I really like how you stated items "can become locked up with our very identity." That is powerful and certainly helps to explain why downsizing can be such an emotional process.

Sep 15, 2019 · Parkside Art Gallery in Charter House

Join us in our Parkside Gallery for the art exhibit opening of local artists Ann M. Riggott, Y. Catherine Park, and H. Peter Park! The exhibit East Meets West will feature a mixture of traditional realism, asian brush painting, and calligraphy. Enjoy this free event located at Charter House – Mayo Clinic Retirement Living with wine, hors d’oeuvres, a gallery talk, and music provide by e-Cello Trio.

Sep 15, 2019 · Right-Size Your Home in Charter House

Right-size Your Home

The Difficulty of Downsizing.

Do you cringe whenever you hear the word “downsize?”  If so, you’re not alone!  We often hear from our incoming Charter House residents that the downsizing process was the most difficult aspect of moving.

We have an emotional connection to our belongings for several reasons.  Maybe we have family heirlooms that have been handed down from generation to generation.  Or maybe we have items that remind us of special life events such as the birth of a child.  Some of us have prized collections that took years to accumulate.  Our treasures can feel as if they hold a lifetime of sentiment and it can be emotionally challenging to part with them.

We downsize for various reasons.  Are you moving into a home with half the space as your current home?  Maybe you’re moving into a senior community.  Or maybe you’ve just determined that you have too much “stuff” and no longer want to feel burdened.  Whatever the reason, start early and have a strategy.  You don’t have to wait until you’re moving into a senior community to downsize and purge items you no longer need or use!

In this post, we’ll provide you with personal experiences from our current and incoming Charter House residents.  You’ll also find a list of tips and strategies we’ve created that you may find helpful in your own “right-sizing” journey.

Downsizing Experience. Words From Our Residents.

“While downsizing, we asked ourselves for each item ‘do we need this,’ or ‘can we live without this?’ This was a great strategy for us because we realized how many things we would no longer need after living at Charter House.  This included tools, cleaning supplies, fitness equipment, and our large dining table.” – Amita H.

“Some people have lived in a house their entire lives and are surrounded by family antiques and have a difficult time separating. I think it can be hard on those who have workshops, offices, and craft rooms.  When they move from their homes, they feel a loss of personal space.” – Norma S.

“When leaving my home of 30 years, I started by giving my kids what they wanted.  Then I hired an auctioneer to sell my valuable items.  The rest I gave away to my church. In the end, our children will get rid of what we don’t, so this makes it easier for them.” – William J.

“I had difficulty parting from my coin collection and antique collection.  I have always been interested in these and have spent the better part of my life collecting them.  I was able to sell a portion of my collections, but the rest didn’t sell.  Even though my collections were meaningful to me, it didn’t mean they were meaningful to others.” – Ron T.

“I think we put off downsizing because we don’t want to face it, but it won’t get easier as we age.  It was time consuming, but I now feel a sense of freedom that I’m no longer tied down by my stuff!” – Rebecca C.

“It was a difficult realization that my children either didn’t want, didn’t need, or couldn’t take items I had always planned on gifting to them.  My daughter’s house is already fully-furnished and my son lives in a small apartment in Chicago and doesn’t have room for anything else.  Though my kids didn’t take many items, they took small mementos which made me very happy.” – Shirley A.

Tips and Strategies.

  • Start Early
    Take the time you need to go through your items mindfully rather than scrambling to go through them at the last minute before your move.
  • Know the dimensions of your new space
    This is an excellent way not only to determine how much you can bring, but to pre-arrange your furniture.  This will come in useful on move-in day.
  • Determine Your Items’ Actual Usage – Bring Only the Essentials
    Ask yourself these key questions for each item you plan to bring: What value will it add to my household? Will it make my life easier? Will I have a place for it? Will I want to keep it for a very long time? How difficult will it be to get rid of?
  • Categorize
    After you’ve answered these key questions, categorize items into keep, sell, donate, or recycle/toss.  You can sell items through a neighborhood app or social media.  You can bring items to consignment shops and antique stores.  If you have a large-scale downsize consider having an estate sale or an auction.
  • Enlist the Help of Others
    Whether it is from family, friends, or neighbors, it can be helpful to have someone put items in the categories above after you’ve gone through them.
  • Get Digital
    You can eliminate several items by going digital. Instead of requiring space for hundreds of books, consider using an e-reader.  If you have photo albums, you can scan your hard copy photos so you have them in digital format. You can keep your music on your computer rather than hard copy CD’s that require storing.

Read this post by Dr. Melanie Chandler for additional tips!

Have you ever downsized?  If so, what worked what didn’t?  What advice would you give to others?