BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — With wide doorways, handicapped-accessible ramps and smart technology, Mike and Lila O’Loughlin’s future home is far more accommodating for aging in place than their Toledo home.
“We took care of my parents for 12 years in our home. It was hard,” Lila said, noting that their one-story house wasn’t set up for a wheelchair.
Standing in the field on Fieldstone Drive on April 29, the O’Loughlins watched as an excavator scooped out dirt from the site of eight new Water’s Edge Villas being added to Browning Masonic Community.
Situated on 450 acres near the Maumee River and Neowash Road in Waterville, Browning has slowly been expanding the past few years, with 14 new villas sprouting up around a pond. The eight new villas under construction include amenities that make aging in place even easier, said executive director Tara Lloyd.
“The homes have smart technology that helps residents live independently,” Lloyd said, noting that an easy-to-use tablet helps residents track medications, order food for delivery, adjust the lights or ask for a staff member to visit.
While living independently is attractive, so is being part of a community that includes a restaurant, fitness center, transportation to shopping, woodshop, library, golf membership to White Pines Golf Club and daily social activities, said Molly Good, community relations and sales manager.
“This is a community that gets to know each other well,” said Marlene DeKeyser, a Monclova Township resident who is ready to downsize from her 3,750-square-foot house.
Marlene heard about Browning from her son’s in-laws, who recently moved in and quickly made friends. With her husband, Jim, in a nursing facility, Marlene said she began looking for a smaller place – and one with access to a memory care unit.
“I had my home decorated just the way I wanted it, but it’s a lot to keep up,” she said. Now, Marlene is looking forward to moving by Thanksgiving into a home that she’s been able to customize with options – even though she’s not buying.
The first tenants of the villas get to select the amenities, Lloyd explained, including kitchen cabinets and countertops and an optional third bedroom. The monthly rent can be lowered with an entrance fee. With utilities, monthly housekeeping, snow removal, landscaping maintenance and other amenities included – plus no taxes – Mike said he found the flat monthly cost reasonable.
“We get to help someone build and customize their dream home while adding them to our Browning Masonic Community family,” Lloyd said. “We’ve been part of the Waterville community for 40 years and we are proud to offer personalized housing and tailored amenities within a vibrant community that celebrates independence and wellness for all individuals we serve.”
The community is open to those 55 and better, not just those who are affiliated with the Masonic Fraternity.
For information, visit www.ohiomasonichome.org or call (419) 878-4055.