Younger Denver couple redefines the norm and discovers new growth through downsizing

The Couthens in their living room

Posted: June 26, 2023

Moving now into renovated Magnolia Vistas at Holly Creek opened new possibilities

Wes and Jeri Couthen moved into Holly Creek in their mid-sixties while they are in good health. Some said they made the transition too soon, but the Couthens felt their decision gave them a host of opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have had to find the perfect place. The couple started looking at communities after circumstances got Jeri thinking about how she would rather move to a community with Wes than make that transition possibly on her own later in life. Talking with residents at Holly Creek Life Plan community quickly confirmed their decision not to wait.

“Moving now allowed us to make the choices and get exactly what we wanted, not just what was available,” Jeri Couthen shared, sitting across the table in her brand new, beautifully renovated home at Holly Creek Life Plan Community.

“We heard repeatedly from current residents that they ‘could have come a little sooner,’” Wes explained. “Moving to Holly Creek is a great opportunity for us to see how retirees ahead of us in years are living their best lives. We wouldn’t be able to learn from them if we’d waited.”

The Couthens chose Holly Creek from among its competitors for its newly renovated apartment homes and its unique sense of community. The Couthen’s home is one of Holly Creek’s first recently renovated Magnolia floor plans. The couple’s Magnolia Vistas apartment is modern and spacious, something Wes — the taller of the two — particularly appreciates. The home easily fits their giant, single-piece oak table in the dining room with plenty of space to spare. It features separate rooms for Jeri’s sewing and art projects and for Wes’s office, in addition to their living room, full kitchen and master bedroom/bathroom.

IMG 4289
Old, pre-renovation kitchen
Magnolia Reno Kitchen
The Couthens’ renovated Magnolia kitchen
Attachment 1
The Couthens’ renovated Magnolia dining room

The space reflects the Couthens’ classic minimalist living style — nothing cluttered, but a beautiful display of meaningful and functional items, most of which they were able to bring and situate in their new home. Nonetheless, the couple still had to do a significant amount of downsizing before their move. Both were very grateful for the help of their family and friends. They are also glad they had the opportunity to do this process when they could still be an active part of deciding which pieces to keep and which to “kiss goodbye and let them bless somebody else.”

They had already decided that they wouldn’t buy an external storage container, so both Wes and Jeri made major concessions to pare down to what they could fit into their new home and the two onsite storage closets. Wes gave up an old record collection and Jeri parted with various keepsakes from their trips overseas.

“In the end, they are just things,” Jeri pointed out. “You have to remember that.”

Ultimately, downsizing was very worth the gain. After six weeks in their new apartment, the couple couldn’t be happier with their smaller footprint, because in many senses it was actually an upgrade. “As we were told by another resident, ‘You have to realize that the apartment is primarily your bedroom. The rest of the community is your home,’” Wes explained. “You have your own pool, dining, library and exercise facilities.”

Plus, it is a home filled with an incredible community — a major factor for the Couthens in choosing Holly Creek. “There are many, beautifully designed retirement options available,” Jeri shared, “but this one felt like home. We just kept coming back to all the things we liked about Holly Creek, where we saw real community and ourselves fitting in.”

It didn’t take long for their neighbors to welcome the Couthens, who began receiving requests to join others for dinner the day they arrived.

“We’ve had dinner with a new couple almost twice a week since we’ve been here. People are incredibly intentional, and our neighbors have a tremendous amount of experience and talent and a wealth of information,” Jeri said.

These new connections are helping the Couthens plug into various opportunities around the community. Jeri’s handiwork is going to be part of the community’s fiber art display in June because “someone reached out and followed up with a hand-written note.” Both are also enjoying the many local trails and exploratory walks.

In short, they couldn’t be happier to have made the move when and where they did. In Wes’s own words, “People forget that change causes growth. We’re always growing, and this transition is helping us continue to grow.”

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Holly Creek Active Senior Living Community is owned and managed by Christian Living Communities and is a full service life plan community. We offer active Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care as well as Skilled Nursing, and Rehabilitation. Holly Creek Active Senior Living Community is located in Centennial, Colorado and services the areas in and around Greenwood Village, Englewood, Columbine, Cherry Hills Village, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Heritage Hills, Meridian, Dove Valley, Stonegate, Parker, Aurora, Lakewood, and South Denver. We also are an ideal senior community for those in the zip codes 80122, 80120, 80121, 80111, 80130, 80126, 80129, 80112, and 80124.

A Neighborhood of Christian Living Communities

Holly Creek Retirement Community adheres to all regulations as written in the Americans with Disabilities Act and The Fair Housing Act and accordingly prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, familial status, disability (whether it be mental or physical), or sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation).