paper cut out of family in hands

By Peggy Qualls, Community Relations Manager —

Jane Hall is a new resident of Kendal at Granville. One of the primary reasons that she finally selected this Life Plan community is because her sister, Sara Chapman, has been living here since 2014, and she believes that family matters!

Born and raised near Charleston, West Virginia, Jane and Sara also have a younger sister who lives near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Mom was a teacher and Dad owned a small business selling storm windows before working for the state. Both parents were college educated, and the sisters were raised to value education.

Sara-and-Jane-captioned-400wSara earned a doctorate from Ohio University and went on to a career in academia, serving as President of Sage College in New York. Jane started college at Marshall University, but her education was interrupted when she married at 19 and went on to raise her three children. However, in later years Jane decided to complete her college degree at West Virginia University and Jane and her three children all were in college at the same time! Jane became a medical social worker in hospital settings in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Ohio.

The sisters have each lived independent lives, seldom in the same state, yet they have always remained close. Sara was able to retire at age 55 and moved with her good friend and professional colleague, Emily Hannah, to Cape Cod, where they lived happily for 18 years. About a decade ago, Jane moved to the Cape to live with Emily and Sara, which was a very positive experience. A few years ago, Jane relocated to Ohio to be near her children, including a daughter living in Dublin, Ohio, another daughter in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a son in Cincinnati.

Although Sara and Emily lived in a very nice place near Cape Cod, they started noticing that not only was the home maintenance taking a toll, but also that some of their older friends were waiting too long to deal with the challenges of aging. Sara and Emily decided that before one of them got sick, they should research various Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). Since Emily has no close family, and Sara has no children, they decided it would be nice to relocate near Sara’s nieces and nephew (Jane’s children), which helped to narrow their search.

When they visited Kendal at Granville, both Sara and Emily were impressed: Denison University offers a familiar town/gown dynamic, the Columbus airport is convenient for travels and much of Sara’s family lived in close proximity—plus the geography of central Ohio, with its rolling hills and abundant green space, felt familiar for the West Virginia native. Of course, these same factors (and the abundance of high-quality regional hospitals) resonated with Jane when it was her turn to downsize and move from her Lakewood home.

The sisters and Emily have lunch together most days, and they are beginning to spend more time together, whether in social settings or pursuing exercise/fitness goals. Jane is thinking about volunteering some time in the health center, and just enjoying the freedom of choices available here.

The advice both sisters offer is the same: “We never feel the negatives of being in the same place. So many other residents are envious of us and say they wish their sibling lived here. So don’t wait too long to make such a move; it’s great to be together again!”


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