WOODBURY, Minn. — The thought of getting older isn't usually top of mind. But life has a way of flying by, and before we know it, our age forces us to give it our full attention.
Joe Kielbasa knows that all too well.
"[We're] getting a little up there in age. Maintaining a 150-year-old farmhouse for the two of us, my wife and I, was getting to be a little too much," said Kielbasa.
Joe Kielbasa and his family have lived in a historic farmhouse in Woodbury for 30 years.
"It's got a lot of memories in it," said Kielbasa.
Four children and 16 grandchildren worth of memories.
"Those memories you carry with you. The space is important. But those memories you can take with you wherever you go," he said.
Kielbasa and his family will be taking those memories with them sooner than they thought as they downsize to something smaller.
It's something thousands of seniors are deciding to do as age urges them to make life's journey simpler.
"One of the things that really appeals to us is getting to know new friends that we can share that aging process with."
Fortunately for the Kielbasa family, they can do that, by moving just a stone's throw away. Right in their backyard, a new community was built, making it easier for seniors 55 and older to live independently and safely.
It's called Prelude Village.
Deborah Rose with Prelude Homes and Services says there will soon be 19 single-family homes or attached townhomes that are perfect for seniors looking for a different kind of independence
"We take care of all of the things that would otherwise burden a homeowner," she said. "Whether it’s snow removal, yard maintenance, furnace filters, light bulbs, softener salt."
Four tenants have already moved in.
Homes feature one-level living, walk-in tubs, raised dishwashers, or as Kielbasa calls it, age-in-place living.
"We're gonna make this our last move, Lord willing," he said.
While it's different than what they're used to, these are necessary changes.
"Once we get everything situated where we want it and get re-established in new routines it’s gonna be wonderful, it really is."
The farmhouse that the Kielbasa family moved out of is being transformed into the community clubhouse at Prelude Village. So, it will still be a part of their story as long as they live there.
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