Senior Living: Among friends at Mount Vernon Towers

Friends from the past encouraged Peck Garland to buy a two-bedroom condo in Mount Vernon Towers, a senior community in Sandy Springs.

Garland, 90, lived in Atlanta until 1979, when she and her husband, John Barnard Garland, moved to Cape Coral, Fla. Several months after his death in July 2011, she decided to move back to Atlanta. Garland, who used to work as a dress designer, chatted about why Mount Vernon Towers, which also has an assisted living facility, was the obvious choice for her.

Q: What prompted you to move back to Atlanta and buy in Mount Vernon Towers?

A: I lived here all my life until I went to Cape Coral. Also I have three children still here. I asked my son to have a birthday party for my 90th birthday (in Atlanta). My son found several old friends from Peachtree Presbyterian Church who live here. I liked this neighborhood, and I had my friends here. It’s a comfort to know there are people around you.

Q: Do you still have a home in Florida?

A: I sold my house (a four-bedroom, three-bath home) in two weeks. I had a lot that was on the end of a canal. That’s a prized location, and that’s why.

Q: Was it a tough decision to move?

A: It was not tough at all. I was at a place where I just knew I needed to do something. I had been through three years of Alzheimer’s with my husband. I knew I needed to do something for my mental attitude.

Q: How do you socialize at Mount Vernon?

A: Mostly we go to meals together. (Meal plans are offered in the dining room, which serves three meals a day, seven days a week.) You don’t have to cook. That’s a big thing (her condo does have a kitchen). You can have guests if you want, as many as you want. We have different things people are interested in. I’m in the chorus right now. We’re going to have a Christmas program. We have singalongs now and then, and I’m involved in that.

One thing that they do is once a month they have a floor luncheon. The whole floor gets together and has lunch so they can get acquainted. Between those times, we have a little nook up in the hall where we meet and bring hors d’oeuvres and sit and talk for a while.

Q: One of the amenities at Mount Vernon is that in-house medical personnel will respond if there is an emergency, but how do you call them for assistance?

A: We have ringers (call buttons) in the rooms so if we have a problem, we can summon somebody.

Q: Since you were downsizing, what large possessions did you bring with you to Mount Vernon Towers?

A: I brought what I really wanted — my dining room furniture and most of my living room furniture, including my grand piano. My daughter-in-law has a sister who is a decorator. She came and placed all the furniture in the house plan for me with the direct dimensions. That was a big help for me so I knew what I could bring. This is a roomy place.

Q: How did you get rid of other items?

A: Some of the things I gave to the Kiwanis; some to the Goodwill and whoever would come get them.

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