The Verandah front entrance

The Verandah is located at 5851 Gray Market Drive in Lake Charles.

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Moves are never easy. It’s especially difficult to leave a place that’s been home for years, even when the advantages far outweigh the desire to stay put.

“Our residents tell us they have friends planning to move here ‘when something happens,’” said Ginger Patton.

Patton encourages seniors who are 55 and older, and the people who love them, to think about independent living before ‘something happens.’

“You’ll want to tour independent living communities and ask questions while you’re healthy and can make your own decisions,” Patton said. “If you sustain an injury or illness and have to move quickly, it becomes far more difficult to conduct your research.”

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Katrina Dunn, The Verandah’s executive director, calls herself “the team’s newest member.”

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These photos show the interior of one of The Verandah’s independent living apartments.

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Verandah’s Independent Living frees residents from the responsibilities of cooking and maintaining the home and yard. They’re free to enjoy life and take advantage of the many social activities offered at The Verandah — or stay put and enjoy their own company. Schedule a tour and research independent living communities before “something happens.” Don’t forget to ask about amenities.

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These photos show the interior of one of The Verandah’s independent living apartments.

“Always ask about amenities when you’re doing your research,” advised Katrina Dunn.

She’s a stickler for details and The Verandah’s executive director, or as she likes to put it, the team’s newest member.

“Creating a team that’s headed in the same direction, working on the same goal and from the same mission statement is key,” the Texas native said. “Ours is a mission with purpose that impacts quality of life. For me this is more than a job. In every profession, you’re going to have good days and bad days, and even on the hardest day here, I would never want to be doing anything else.”

The Verandah is managed by Sunshine Retirement Living, which has several locations throughout the United States. Dunn was previously at the New Orleans property. The Verandah is Sunshine’s first Continuing Care Retirement Community, the flagship.

“The Verandah is the only retirement community of its kind in Southwest Louisiana,” Dunn said. “Moves are never easy. I know because I just made one. But independent, assisted and memory care on one campus is definitely an advantage,” Dunn said.

Independent Living Amenities

Verandah residents enjoy roomy floor plans and beautiful landscaping. Staff is on site to make home repairs, mow the lawn and service appliances.

Residents can cook in their apartments. However, most choose to enjoy delicious chef prepared meals in the restaurant style dining room served by professional wait staff.

“Think of it like this,” Patton said, “no cooking, no mess to clean up and it’s like eating out with friends without having to drive to a restaurant.”

Patton also mentions less tangible benefits of The Verandah lifestyle.

“Residents not only make new friends, they often reconnect with former neighbors, classmates or acquaintances who live here.”

A move to The Verandah has even restored relationships between parent and child and sometimes between siblings.

“I’ve seen sons and daughters work so very hard to care for mom or dad, take them to appointments, do the shopping and cook, clean, make sure medicines are picked up. It’s admirable, but it can put a strain on relationships between parent and adult child and between adult child and spouse and children.

At The Verandah, the son or daughter becomes the son or daughter again, instead of the stressed caregiver.

“I think The Verandah’s independent living allows our residents to continue to be, or even become, their best selves, free from wondering who to call to fix the running toilet or increasingly concerned about neighborhood safety and security. We offer a full calendar of social events and recreational activities and invite seniors to be as private or as social as they want to be.”

Residents tell Patton they do have one regret about their move to The Verandah. They wish they had done it sooner. Find out why. Set up your tour now. Contact Ginger Patton today at (337) 478-9150.

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