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When seniors consider making the move to an assisted living facility, most would agree that experiencing the sights and sounds of what will be their new home is a necessary first step. But 88-year old Howard, a former West Coast resident, came to Emerald Castle in Greenfield in June of 2011 location unseen, putting his trust in lifelong friends from southeast Wisconsin to choose a place for him.

“I have no relatives other than distant ones,” says Howard. “Most of my friends live within Milwaukee area, and they knew I was planning to come to Wisconsin.

“I told them I would like to move closer, so they found Castle Senior Living and escorted me by plane from California. When I arrived, they had a group of people waiting here and hosted a ‘Welcome Home’ party for me.”

Howard says he knew instantly that Emerald Castle was a good fit for him and that there are many benefits to the living space.

“I have a lot of privacy. They leave me alone as much as I like,” he chuckled.

Howard says there are times when he participates in social activities and joins other residents in the common areas, especially to watch old movies. But he appreciates the freedom to retreat to his room and his quiet surroundings.

“Everyone is personable here, but after we share a meal, we break away from the table and each go our own way. I think others are just like me. We enjoy our independence.”

Howard says some of his neighbors have come and gone the past eight years since he moved in, but he’s maintained a strong connection with the Castle staff.

“The caretakers are nice to me, and always cheerful and upbeat. Deb, our house manager, and Iris, a certified caregiver, were here when I first arrived. You get very good personal care. The staff are warm and receptive.

“If I have a question, I’ll ask Iris and she’ll do research if she doesn’t know the answer and present it to me once she finds out about it. I like her for that. If I want to know about something, she does the homework for me.”

When the weather is warm and sunny, you’ll find Howard outside in the Emerald courtyard, with most of the house joining him there. He is fond of the dining service, especially the spaghetti. And Howard has no qualms about moving from the West Coast to the Midwest. He really doesn’t miss the change of weather. When it’s cold, he simply stays inside.

“I was in a couple of different places before coming here and those facilities were not as nice as Emerald Castle. Even before they brought me here, I had a feeling that this would be right for me. I’ve liked it from the very start. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

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