Paul Sichert had lived in Michigan for 40 years, but he decided it might finally be time to move close to his daughters in case he got sick or needed help. One of his daughters lives in Chicago, and the other in Evanston. So together they started researching and touring retirement communities.
As it turned out, Sichert's daughter in Evanston noticed a new retirement building under construction there, The Mather, a two-building project by Mather LifeWays, a non-profit organization that owns several retirement communities. The Mather is a continuing care retirement community with apartments for independent seniors. Assisted living and nursing care units are available for those who get sick or need help. "We decided The Mather would suit my long-term goals," says Sichert, a retired automotive executive. But, he adds, "It was a long process getting here."
It took Sichert 11 months to sell his house in Michigan. About 180 people looked at the house before it sold. After that, he rented an apartment in Michigan for six months. "Then it was time to go to Illinois," says Sichert.
Sichert moved to a one bedroom apartment on the fourth floor at The Mather in downtown Evanston. "It's a good fit for me," says Sichert, who has already made new friends at the building.
Sichert utilizes a lot of the amenities. "This is not the place to sit around and watch TV," he says. He enjoys exercise classes as well as field trips to local plays and events. Clubs are available for those with special interests. "There are hobbies for everyone," says Sichert.
It was an adjustment moving to a new place and new city, Sichert admits. He had to find new doctors, change his address, register his car in Illinois, and handle a hundred other little details. "There's a learning curve when you move to another state," he says. The transition has been eased by the fact that he still works part-time, following automotive trends for overseas clients. He's also "into the media," he says, monitoring radio and television reports about the automotive industry.
Sichert's apartment has a full kitchen. He sometimes eats his meals at one of the building's dining rooms. Other days he cooks for himself. "It depends on my schedule," he says.
Sichert sees his daughters and his four grandchildren as often as their schedules will allow. "That's wonderful," he says. But he's not waiting around either. "When I want to do something, I get in the car and go.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun