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Vantage Point

Relocating to Senior Living?

Meet the Residents of Sunridge Village

By Marge Shoemaker

Many of my friends and I are reaching the age when we are considering relocating from our homes to a community for senior citizens. These communities operate under a variety of names, including assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing homes; others advertise independent living, 55+, and active seniors. Our conversations focus on what we want when the time comes. What should we expect? How do we know we’re making the right decision? My conversations over the years with Michale Kavan, Marketing Director for Sunridge Village Independent Living Retirement Community, have been very helpful. I am also fortunate to have recently interviewed three residents of Sunridge. Grace, Carol, and Diane have all moved to Sunridge in the past year or so.


Grace made the move when it became physically difficult for her to keep up with maintenance of her “nearly quarter-acre” property. “I loved our home and yard,” she reminisces, “but then I fell while pulling weeds.” She also notes that when they built the house more than 50 years ago, they didn’t consider future problems dealing with steps…“and there were LOTS of steps.” The neighborhood grew from a quiet suburb of Omaha to a thriving community, and expenses increased accordingly. “I decided to downsize and started looking at community living. When my daughter visited us at Sunridge, she knew it was perfect for me!”


After retirement, Carol and her husband decided to move to California, where they stayed for more than 20 years. They missed having family around and decided to move back to Omaha. “We considered a lot of options, and recalled how much my mother enjoyed living at Sunridge. We felt it would be a perfect fit for us too!” she says.


Diane and her husband lived on an acreage outside of Omaha. After he died, Diane realized that the large lot and assorted buildings were too much to take care of and decided to move. “I looked at a lot of places,” she recalls. “Some looked great on the outside but were missing something inside. Some required an expensive buy-in. Some just didn’t feel welcoming when I walked in.” Then she found Sunridge. “I knew I was home when I came in and found smiling faces!” she recalls.


These three ladies love so many things about living at Sunridge! They all value the freedom and independence of living in an apartment-centered community. Underground parking is convenient, as is the availability of a van and driver when they don’t want to drive themselves. Tasks like yard work, home maintenance, and housekeeping are taken care of, so there’s no need to find qualified help to do the work (or do it themselves). Best of all, when you don’t have to worry about maintenance, you can eliminate your to-do list and fill your time with other, more enjoyable things. 


I asked the ladies what advice they would give anyone thinking about leaving their current living conditions. Make lists, they advise. What regular expenses do you have at your current home? Include rent or house payment, food, utilities, property taxes, insurance, transportation, and any other fees that come with the property, such as HOA fees. 


Your next list should be of questions to ask the person who shows you each community you’re considering. Find out what is included in the monthly cost. Are you responsible for cleaning your living space and doing your laundry? What meals are included, and are there limitations on extra cooking? What amenities are available? Things like storage, exercise rooms, places to socialize with neighbors, and internet accessibility are among the extras to be considered. 


Security of the building and grounds is an important consideration. Is there a secured entry system? A check-in protocol for residents and guests? Are overnight guests allowed?

Have a family member accompany you on your visits—they may think of questions you haven’t asked. Take time to notice the current residents. Are they smiling? Do they greet you like a neighbor? Is the place clean and welcoming?


Sunridge Village has many advantages. Opened in 1998, it is owned by the Anzalone family. The management team is on site 24/7/365. This often includes Richard Anzalone, who is readily available when residents have questions, problems, or suggestions. The monthly rent, based on the size of the apartment, covers most amenities, including an emergency life-line pendant. Controlled access allows you and your guests to come and go with ease. 


Time for yourself, a spacious apartment, flexible dining options, underground parking, local ownership, friendly neighbors…who could ask for anything more? Sunridge Village Retirement Community is located at 13410 Blondo Street, in Omaha. For more information, call 402-496-0116 or visit Your new home awaits! 

Vantage Pt - L-R Carol Pester, Grace Baty,Diane Page.jpg

L-R: Carol Pester, Grace Baty, Diane Page 

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