Gulf Coast Village - Jerry Graziose, Cheryl Graziose, and Kathy Graziose

Seniors find new home in Cape Coral community

Seniors make the move to senior living for many reasons; for some, they want to downsize as they find a traditional family home to be too much to maintain on their own. Others move for socialization and to enjoy the perks of resort-style living, and others move for the asset protection and peace of mind that living in a life care community brings.

A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is a senior living option designed with all levels of care in mind. Depending on their needs, seniors can enter independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or memory support all on the same campus, which makes it a great option for seniors who want the assurance of having access to the full continuum of health care as their needs change. At Gulf Coast Village, the only CCRC in Cape Coral, residents can smoothly transition to a different care level if or when necessary.

Though their reasons for calling a senior living community their home may differ, similarities among senior living residents are common, from the reason they transitioned into senior living, to the enjoyment of the wide variety of activities that are provided.

Much of the process of moving into senior living is the time that goes into finding a community. Before moving to Gulf Coast Village in 2021, Jo Novak spent three years proactively searching for an independent living option, specifically a CCRC. Several of her neighbors had moved to Gulf Coast Village, and throughout her search, Gulf Coast Village was always in the back of her mind. After her husband passed away, she began to feel that maintaining a home on her own was overwhelming, and it was time to downsize, which led her to Gulf Coast Village.

Similarly to Novak, Kathy Graziose moved to the community in 2015 after her husband passed away. After becoming a widow, Graziose’s son and daughter-in-law would visit her each weekend from Port St. Lucie to help her with home maintenance. Eventually, it was time for Graziose to move to senior living, where home maintenance would be easier. Similarly to Novak, she had several friends at Gulf Coast Village, and she became comfortable with the community while visiting friends and playing bridge, which contributed to her – and her children’s – decision to move there.

Though some seniors navigate senior living independently, many have the input of their adult children throughout the process. Novak’s daughter, Linda, attended informational sessions with her mother to learn more about Gulf Coast Village before the big move, while Graziose’s son and daughter-in-law, Jerry and Cheryl, coordinated laundry and cleaning services through Gulf Coast Village to make her senior living experience stress-free. Since their parents moved to the community, they have continued to be involved in the community through donations and visits.

Peace of mind

The safety and happiness of our loved ones is so important, and senior living provides that to seniors and their families. While moving to senior living comes with its challenges, all things get better with time. Graziose struggled initially with moving, but now, she says, “My decision to move to Gulf Coast Village was the best decision that I’ve made in my life.” Her children agree.

“She’s safe, she’s secure and she’s happy,” said Jerry Graziose. “We rest assured that she is well cared for. We can go out of town and not be concerned, because we can be reached at any point in time.”

Novak’s daughter lives across the country and finds reassurance in knowing that her mother has a strong support system around her, including neighbors, friends and trained health care professionals.

“I know that I could reach out through text, call or email and get quick answers and updates on my mom,” said Linda Novak. “Susan Caruana at the front desk and Debra Clark always know how to reach me, and that’s comforting in the situation of being so far away.”

Staying busy

Socialization is important for everybody, but it’s particularly beneficial for seniors, who receive mental health benefits from it, including improved mood and cognitive function. A robust life enrichment calendar encourages senior living residents to get out, socialize and have a good time.

Graziose moved to Gulf Coast Village nearly a decade ago, but still leaves her apartment at least twice a day to participate in activities. Her activity rotation includes bridge, bingo, movie nights, and her personal favorite, Friday Night Happy Hour.

Novak, a social butterfly, loves to have a full itinerary, from playing Wii Bowling with her friends, to working a part-time position in Gulf Coast Village’s thrift store. She also attends off-campus concert trips and participates in cooking classes with the community’s chefs and other residents.

“I have a group of friends that I love to participate in activities with,” said Novak. “Since joining Gulf Coast Village, I’ve felt very welcomed by the other residents.”

From the high-quality attention provided to residents, to the bustling life enrichment calendar that guarantees a great time, senior living communities bring people of all backgrounds together.