For older adults and their families, it can be difficult to find a balance between maintaining independence and ensuring loved ones are safe. That was the exact struggle Erladean Mattingly found herself facing with her children. While she and her husband enjoyed retirement in Florida, her children in Missouri worried about the distance. The family found their solution in The Gatesworth. The senior living community offers residents innovative services and luxury amenities to ensure they remain active, happy and comfortable.
Mattingly grew up in Oklahoma before her family moved to southwest Missouri. After finishing high school, she moved to St. Louis to work for Procter & Gamble. It was there that she met her future husband, T.V. Mattingly. In the early 1990s, the pair both retired and began splitting their time between Missouri and Florida, eventually opting to move to the latter fulltime. “We loved our life in Florida,” she says. “My husband and I both enjoy golf so we lived on a course, and I managed three teams while we were there.”
While Mattingly and her husband enjoyed living in Florida, their family had concerns about the distance. After 12 years, they started asking the couple to return to St. Louis. “We came up to visit our children and started looking at independent living communities at their request,” she says. “We visited some, but we weren’t really impressed. Our oldest son is a doctor, and he had heard great things about The Gatesworth from his patients. We made an appointment and fell in love with the community. We’ve been at The Gatesworth for a year, and our family and friends are delighted. Now, our furthest relative is in Jefferson City.”
The Gatesworth immediately impressed Mattingly. Before they moved in, the senior living community was already working to make her feel at home, even swapping out their future apartment’s white appliances for stainless steel at her request. “The service is outstanding, and there is no other community that can match The Gatesworth’s amenities,” she says. “We love the positive attitude of the staff. We’ve never seen anyone grumpy, and if there’s an issue, it’s taken care of right away.”
That welcoming attitude extends to the other residents at The Gatesworth. Mattingly notes that it’s been very easy for her and her husband to make friends. “After dinner, we often just enjoy the companionship of our neighbors,” she says. “Everyone is so welcoming to newcomers.” The couple also has been able to meet new people through the community’s extensive activities and events. They’ve taken advantage of the exercise programming as well as live music and other entertainment offerings.
Mattingly has especially enjoyed getting to flex her creative muscles through art classes. She even exhibited two paintings in The Gatesworth’s Art Show and Reception. “The pictures in the show were actually my first and second efforts of painting anything,” she explains. “There are wonderful instructors here, and I look forward to going to class every week. I’ve told my husband not to make any appointments on Monday or Wednesday afternoons—that’s my art time!”