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  • Cynthia Henry

This couple downsized their house and upsized their lives

Five years ago, Jack and Nancy Neal left San Antonio in search of an active senior living community.

They had a list of requirements:

No yard work.

No home maintenance.

No property taxes.

Somewhere closer to their two sons and their families in Dallas-Fort Worth.

What they found was so much more, according to the couple, who are both in their 80s. They finally found their golden years at Overture Ridgmar.

There are 100 units at the community, which sits adjacent to Westworth Village in Fort Worth. The relatively large apartments with well-equipped kitchens offer essentially maintenance-free living. But there is something even more appealing about Overture Ridgmar, said the couple. The people.

“During our first 60 years, we made many great friends all over the world,” said Jack.

“However, over the past five years, we have made many truly special friends -- friends for too many reasons to count. Certainly some of our closestand best friends ever.”

The Neals say that members of the senior living community are like family. They take each other to doctor’s appointments and look out for one another. They shop together and go out to eat together.

“The proximity of Overture Ridgmar to external resources (shopping, restaurants, entertainment venues) did not factor into our decision to move here,” said Jack, “but our location has been a huge unexpected and positive benefit, making our move to here even better.”

The couple says the management team works diligently and proactively to do what it can to enhance their living experience, to provide both resources and physical support to make their lives even better.

In addition to regular social events at the community, there are always residents looking to start a card game, beading and painting classes and special entertainment is often brought in for events.

If you’re wondering about the fitness area, the Neals say it offers modern equipment. But they most often walk the long hallways to stay in shape, catching up with neighbors as they go. Sometimes surprising them with gifts.

“Every time I’m in the kitchen to cook chili and spaghetti sauce, I make enough to pass around to quite a few residents,” said Nancy.

“Our residents love her cooking,” added Shannon Praytor, who is on the community management team. “Jack enjoys making door name plaques for all new residents. Almost every door at Overture Ridgmar has a name plaque.”

In fact, the community has a craft room and woodworking area, as well as a library and a pool. The underground parking and additional storage space are also a major plus, according to the Neals.

As a military family and as civilians, the Neals moved 30 times over a period of 60 years, so it says something they’ve been at Overture Ridgmar for five years. Of course, part of that time included the COVID-19 lockdown.

“There was staff turnover and there were strict medical/health considerations at play, for obvious reasons, understandably disrupting what had been our ‘normal life,’ said Jack. “But we are now well on our way to returning to a ‘new and stable normal.’”

Like many, you may be wondering what “the new normal” looks like. One thing is for certain. It includes a lot of fun, friends and a maintenance-free lifestyle for those at Overture Ridgmar.

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