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Gatesworth Stories —

Susan Wham
Live Well: The Gatesworth

For older adults and their families, it can be difficult to find a balance between maintaining independence and ensuring peace of mind. That was the exact struggle Susan Wham found herself facing with her family. She didn’t want to let retirement slow her down, and her son wanted to ensure she was well cared for. The family found their solution in The Gatesworth. The senior living community offers residents innovative services and amenities to ensure they remain active, happy and comfortable.

Originally from California, Wham attended San José State University and studied education. She worked as a teacher before meeting her future husband. The couple was married for 60 years, 30 of which Wham spent as a military wife. “It was a fabulous experience,” she says. “My family got to travel, and I was nominated for Military Spouse of the Year twice. When my husband retired, we settled in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and I decided I wanted to work again. I became a trust officer at a bank. Working was a lot of fun, but I chose to retire again once my grandchildren started arriving.”

Following the death of her husband, Wham’s son wanted her to move to St. Louis to be closer to him and his family. She agreed to look at senior living communities and toured three, including The Gateworth. At the time, she decided the move wasn’t right for her and opted to return to Mountain Home where she continued to live for a year and half. “My son called me and told me that it was time,” she explains. “My response was that the only place I could see myself living was The Gatesworth. It’s beautiful, but more importantly, it’s full of wonderful people—staff and residents alike.”

Nearly a year later, Wham could not be more thrilled with her decision. The Gatesworth keeps her engaged with a wide variety of activities and opportunities to explore St. Louis. She plays bridge, sings in the choir, enjoys group exercise classes and even picked up painting. “We are having an art show soon,” she adds. “I don’t have a car, but I also enjoy going on day trips. The staff ensures I can get to wherever I want to go. It’s so easy to stay busy at The Gatesworth with all of the options. I have a friend who is even going to start teaching a French class. If you can name it, it’s here for the taking.”

The sense of community that drew Wham to The Gatesworth continues to be a highlight of her life there. “I’ve asked a wide variety of people what makes The Gatesworth so special, and the answer is almost always the same: the people,” she says. “Everyone is so friendly and open, and after talking with them every day, I’ve heard so many interesting stories. Whenever I need help, someone is there. It truly is a delight to live here.”

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