Gramercy couple look forward to an active, maintenance-free lifestyle in St. James Place | Sponsored: Place St. James

This fall is proving to be a time of transition for Charles and Joyce Hymel.

The couple, both 80, made it through Hurricane Ida at their Gramercy home with the storm’s eye passing almost directly overhead.

“It was horrible. It was so scary,” Joyce Hymel said as she continued the cleaning process one recent morning. “We are very fortunate that our house is still intact. It is a strong house that has weathered the storm, and for that I am very grateful. But we were there through it all.”

Since the storm, the Hymels have occasionally spent the night at St. James Place in Baton Rouge, where Joyce’s sister, Audrey Walker, has resided since 2018. These visits have allowed the couple to become more familiar with the St. James. Place the community and the staff. Before the storm, the Hymels were already planning to move to St. James Place, but the hurricane confirmed to them that they were making the right decision.

Joyce Hymel said the couple decided about a year ago that they wanted to move into an independent living community. But the thought of leaving Gramercy and the house they had lived in for 53 years proved daunting, especially for Charles, who was reluctant to leave his longtime community. He is active in his neighborhood and has many friends in Gramercy, which has made him reluctant to leave.

However, Joyce continued to work to convince Charles that an independent living community would be best for them, especially as taking care of their home became more and more difficult due to their age.

“Looking back, I wish we had done it sooner,” Joyce said. “We knew we had to do something. We’re 84 and 87 and we knew we couldn’t maintain our house like we used to. But we have a lot of great memories here. I hate leaving Gramercy and our wonderful neighbors. and friends, but we can’t wait to relocate. ”

The transition will be made easier by the fact that the Hymels will live in the same community as Walker, who moved in after her husband passed away. Walker said living in St. James Place allowed her to make new friends and keep busy with activities like tai chi and painting. Now that his sister and brother-in-law will be his neighbors, Walker can’t wait to share these activities with them.

“There are a lot of things to keep your mind active and yourself active, and I think that’s a big help, especially as you get older,” Walker said.

Charles Hymel said that although he struggled with initial resistance to the idea of ​​moving, his wife’s efforts to convince him and the warm environment of St. James Place gave him confidence that he had a lot. to hope. He felt even more at ease after their pleasant experience at St. James Place after Hurricane Ida.

“We met some nice people there who were very welcoming,” Charles said. “We stayed for a few days and I kind of decided that was where we needed to be. Since we had to face the storm, I wish we had done it sooner. that I say people: do it as soon as possible. ”

Joyce added that the couple were happy to connect with other residents of St. James Place who are also from Gramercy.

“We felt at home from the start, especially once we got to know them,” she said. “I think we’ll take advantage of it.”

Meanwhile, Audrey is counting the days until her family moves in.

“I think we have a lot to look forward to,” she said. “It really gave me a boost and I think they’re ready.”

St. James Place offers independent living, assisted living, nursing and memory services. A personalized life plan is available for independent living residents that guarantees lifelong residence and care at a predictable cost.

St. James Place is located at 333 Lee Drive in Baton Rouge. For more information visit www.stjamesplace.org or call 225-215-4510.


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