August 18, 2023

Barb Riley “Behind the Door” – The Best Things Aren’t Things 

Category: Senior Living

Author: Charlie Johnson 

As Barb Riley, resident of Arrow’s newest community, The Summit at Chenal Valley Senior Living in Little Rock, AR, was going through the downsizing process in preparation for her move, she was often reminded of the saying on the plaque on her wall – “The best things in life aren’t things.”  

Dispersing a lifetime of accumulated “things” can be one of the most difficult parts of moving into a senior living community. Barb hired a professional who specializes in downsizing to assist her. “This was my first time to downsize in 24 years, going from a three bedroom with lots of closet space and a garage,” she said. They were able to identify multiple locations to donate her excess items, including one that helps the homeless and another that helps young people coming out of foster care. Barb commented, “I could never have done this by myself.” 

Barb is thrilled to be one of the first residents to move into The Summit. She says she started considering independent living as an option more than two years ago. It was around the same time she fell in a freak accident requiring a reverse shoulder replacement. “That got my attention,” she recalls. Although her immediate family lives within driving distance, Barb knows, “Everyone has their own lives.” 

She lived only a quarter mile from The Summit build location and wondered what it was, until she saw an article in the paper. Barb stopped by the information center, talked to Erin, and within a few months had given a deposit. She remembers, “I thought, I need to do this.” Barb had also had another fall followed by physical therapy. 

“They were terrific,” said Barb about the Team. “They had so much enthusiasm, they were great. And Ruthie, I’d like to adopt her.” Barb said she knew it was going to be a great place, just after touring the model apartment. The deciding factors were a restaurant versus a cafeteria line and the swimming pool. The fact that it was in her neighborhood and was a new community also came into play.  

Barb says the one thing she believes she’ll love most about her new home at The Summit is the sense of community. “I do better with more people contact. That’s what I’m really looking forward to. I’m ready for more people.” 

Having just gone through this experience, Barb’s advice to other older adults considering a move into a senior living community is to look at where you are, what you enjoy, and what do you want to do. What will it take to make you happy? And look around, do you really need all this stuff?  

The Summit Senior Living in Little Rock, AR offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near St. Vincent’s Infirmiry with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Chenal Country Club, The Promenade Outlets, Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, and Big Damn Bridge.

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