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Casey’s Pond filling up after a year of service

Gamber Tegtmeyer takes part in an exercise class at Casey's Pond Senior Living in Steamboat Springs. Tegtmayer currently is in the independent living section of the senior living center.
John F. Russell

— Wednesday marks a year since the Casey’s Pond Senior Living center opened its doors to local seniors and those from across the country.

The facility includes independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing and rehabilitation and now is at about 75 percent capacity, with 113 of the 150 units in the facility occupied.

A surprise to Casey’s Pond staff is that about 80 percent of their residents are moving in from out of state, often because their adult children live in Steamboat.



“Steamboat is full of people between 45 and 65, and they’re moving their parents in,” said Kelly Ornberg, marketing and membership director for Casey’s Pond.

Ornberg said it’s difficult for people to care for an aging parent when they’re hundreds of miles away or farther.



“This is hard for families, and new,” Ornberg said.

Moving in to a facility like Casey’s Pond can be empowering for seniors when they realize they still can maintain a level of independence, Ornberg said.

“This is a place where people come to live — it’s a better life than toughing it out, isolated in your home,” she said. “People are realizing they can live independently here.”

Moving in parents from out of the area often makes sense for adult children, said Dan Shields, chief executive director of Casey’s Pond.

“As our parents age, we have to travel to take care of them or sometimes move,” he said. “Having your parents close by, it’s a relief for everybody. It’s a comfort for the parent and the adult child.”

Ornberg said the community started a new program in April to help with the transition for new residents from out of the area.

A nurse or caregiver now is able to travel to where a new resident is moving from and accompany them on their journey as part of the included cost of living at Casey’s Pond.

The “Hand-in-Hand” medical companion program will send a companion to anywhere in the U.S. to help with medical or non-medical relocation assistance, including help navigating the airport, assistance with walking, getting an airport wheelchair or just for company on the journey.

“Eighty percent are coming from out of state, and it’s really overwhelming for families,” Ornberg said.

Other support is provided to assist new residents in packing up their old homes, including moving or disposing of furnishings.

Once at the facility, residents enjoy a variety of activities from exercise classes including walking, tai chi and stretching groups to organized games and memory-boosting activities.

Transportation is available to a variety of set locations for residents, or transportation can be arranged in advance for seniors wanting to explore the town. Outings could include regular errands or social and cultural activities such as trips to shows, events or the Yampa River Botanic Park.

“Even though people are aging, they still enjoy the active lifestyle,” Ornberg said. “Steamboat is such an amenity-rich community.”

The first facility of its kind in Steamboat, Casey’s Pond has received positive feedback from locals, Shields said.

“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of community support,” Shields said. “People really had a desire to have something like this built.”

For more information about Casey’s Pond, visit http://www.caseyspond.org or call 970-879-8855.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


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