Testimonial – David Jenkins

Resident David Jenkins shares how he discovered John Knox Village in the Ft. Lauderdale area of Florida

Every John Knox Village resident has a unique story to share – how he, she or they (a couple) first discovered our premier Continuing Care Retirement. Part of the stories always reflect on the reason(s) why the individual or couple decided JKV was the ideal fit for their retirement destination.

David Jenkins, one of our villa residents, has told his personal JKV story a number of times to potential residents who are researching their options.

“During the three years since I moved to JKV, numerous friends have asked why I made this choice, sometimes with puzzlement since I seemed to be in good health,” David said. “Questions based on a false concept of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) as a ‘nursing home’ certainly merit a clarifying response.”

In the 1960’s, David became familiar with the “nursing home” concept while serving his pastoral ministry duties. He observed residents who were sedated and/or in restraints, which led him to vow never to end up in such an environment.

In the intervening years, his love for boats and sailing eventually led to ownership of a 43-foot sailing cutter. He had purchased the boat in 1987 and four years later was able to take advantage of an early retirement incentive from the State University in Albany, in New York, where he was employed for 21 years.

“I had harbored a dream of living off a sailboat some day. A few winters in Albany helped me refined the dream by adding ‘some place where it is always warm,’” David said. He spent the next 11 years living off his boat in the Windward Islands, where he assisted in the Anglican Church in St. Vincent, the Grenadines, Grenada and Trinidad.

David said, “After the 11 years of living on-board, sailing around and enjoying the islands and their residents, potential medical issues were identified.” Since Medicare funding assistance is not available outside the U.S., and because the medical facilities and services on the islands are often inadequate, he began to think it was time to move back to the States.

“This idea was reinforced as I realized that boat maintenance was becoming more chore than fun,” he said. The warm climate and presence of several friends led David to settling in a 14-floor, ocean view co-op.

It was the first time he had lived in a high-rise building, and despite its attractive view, David yearned for the ease of living at ground-level, where he could again enjoy gardening, which he had done for many years before his sailing adventures.

“After eight years, this yearning, coupled with other factors, motivated me to consider another move,” he said. “Exploring my options, in the face of the collapsing real estate ‘bubble,’ I was encouraged by friends, including some at JKV, to look seriously at Continuing Care Retirement Communities.”

“I was single, and all my family lives 1,500 to 2,000 miles away, so the prospect of a community where my future needs could be satisfied seemed particularly attractive,” he added. David also thought back to the 1960’s and his vow to not end up in an impersonal commercial nursing home. Therefore, it did not take long for him to realize that a CCRC was the obvious and sensible choice.

Upon researching Gardens West, The Village’s assisted living facility, as well as the “resident-centered” approach to skilled nursing care in our Health Center, David realized JKV’s services were unlike his earlier perceptions of nursing homes.

The option of having a ground-level villa, JKV’s Foundation and the close proximity to David’s friends were appealing. “I learned that I could garden in my yard as much as I desired,” he said. “Also, because I enjoy cooking, entertaining over dinner and dining out, the 15-meal dining plan was attractive compared to other locations.” Another benefit over the co-op is being able to have a pet, so Pumpkin joined his family.

Pricing his co-op as if the real estate bubble had never occurred, David was able to sell his home within a month. “I traded a great ocean view for a garden view, gained ground-level living and purchased incomparable long-term care insurance all at the same time,” he said.

Since moving to John Knox Village in May of 2009, David has remained active. He maintains a network of associations in the larger community. He also paints, gardens, practices almost daily on his digital organ, regularly works out in our Fitness Center, volunteers and sings in the Villagers Men’s Chorus.

“More importantly, I rest easy knowing that quality care will be available should that become medically necessary in my future,” he said. “No wonder I feel that in JKV, I have solidly landed on my feet.”

For more information about John Knox Village, please contact our Marketing Department at (954) 783-4040 or visit us online at (johnknoxvillage.com).