Aging Gratefully [in Senior Living] with Martha and Stan Weiman – Editorial
by Simone Ellin, Associate Editor of Jmore
Jmore recently spoke with six local Jewish seniors to receive insights, in their own words, on how best to enjoy one’s twilight years.
‘It Takes a Really Strong Person’
Martha Meier Weiman, 87, was born in the German city of Bocholt and attended Forest Park High School. Today, she lives with her husband, Stan, at the Edenwald senior living community in Towson. They have three daughters, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“We’ve lived here a little over two years. I think one of the misconceptions people have when they leave their homes and move to independent living is they’re giving up their autonomy. And I have found the opposite is true. You’re gaining autonomy. It’s very nice knowing I don’t have to deal with [inclement] weather and deal with meals, unless I choose to. I can cook if I want. Most people don’t, but I still do from time to time. But it’s very nice to know that when I cook, it’s because I want to and not because I have to.
“We still subscribe to Everyman Theatre and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. We’ve only just started going out again [because of the pandemic]. But that’s the other plus. We have a car but I don’t want to drive downtown [Towson], park my car in a parking lot and walk. And here, we have the option of signing up for their bus right at the front door and they pick us up.
“When people tell me they’re not ready yet [for senior living], I always give them my advice which is, ‘If you’re even thinking about it a little bit, do it before you have to. Do it when you’re still at a place when you can make choices and have options.’ I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s not.
“When we first moved in, I knew some people but not a huge amount. Since then, a lot of people that I know have moved in.
“We’ve met a lot of new people here, as well as gotten friendly with a lot of them. We’ve also made a concerted effort to be friendly with people who are not Jewish. We’ve made friends with some people who moved here from out of state. There are a few women who came here to be near their children [and] knew nothing about Baltimore.
“Our Jewish population has grown exponentially. As a matter of fact, we had to have our Passover seder on two nights because there were just too many people to accommodate.
“I think it takes a really strong person to come here, particularly those who are widows and alone. But I can think of two people who moved here and just embraced it. And they’ve made a lot of friends and they’re wonderful. I admire them.
“I think that if anything, COVID has really sharpened my belief that we did exactly the right thing at the right time because thinking about being trapped in my house would have been difficult. We were very lucky to be here. …
“I guess I must be a very positive person because every couple of weeks, I get a call from someone in marketing who asks me if I would meet with someone who’s considering moving here!”
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