Dearborn, Mich., February 3, 2020 – This winter, when Michigan natives Denise and Philip Palmer gaze out their apartment window at Beaumont Commons, Dearborn, there is comfort knowing they don’t have to worry about dealing with the snow and ice.
The Palmers, both in their 60s, recently moved to this senior living community from their home in Inkster. Both have mobility issues that made their house of more than 40 years no longer manageable.
“After I fell headfirst down our basement stairs in July 2018, my doctor brought up the idea of moving to a home on one level,” said Denise. While her husband was not as eager to move, the steep wheelchair ramp he used to get from home to car and back was especially treacherous during the winter months.
“To be fair, it was too hard for Denise to help push me up the ramp in the wheelchair. It caused her to fall three times last winter,” added Philip. “We didn’t want to go another winter.”
Their daughter Kate, who lives in Chicago, researched lifestyle options for the couple who also have two sons, Mark, also in Chicago, and Scott in Redford.
Knowing her parents’ strong ties to Dearborn, Kate recommended Beaumont’s senior living community, which is near the couple’s Beaumont doctors and Beaumont hospital.
The Palmer name is familiar to many longtime Dearborn residents. “Our family moved from Detroit to a house on Nona Street when I was 10 years old. My dad opened Palmer Office Supplies at Michigan and Mason. I worked in his business until he sold it in 1989,” said Philip, who then worked for an office products wholesaler until his retirement in 2008.
A graduate of Dearborn High School, Philip attended Eastern Michigan University where he graduated with a double major in history and political science and a minor in business. It’s also where he met his wife, who was raised in Jackson and majored in special education.
Denise enjoyed a 30-year teaching career at the Burger School for Students with Autism in Garden City. She said, “I taught students from ages 3 to 26, including 15 years of teaching preschool.”
The couple credits their children and friends with making the move much easier. As longtime members of Dearborn First United Methodist Church, they have many church friends who helped. Even family keepsakes were moved swiftly with care, including a cherished German wedding certificate from 1896 that belonged to Denise’s great grandmother.
“From the time the movers came to load everything up, it only took six hours until we were settled in our apartment,” added Denise. “The staff is very friendly and helpful.”
The couple especially enjoys having access to everything on one level, especially a washer and dryer in their apartment. Each wears a Life Alert button, and Denise used hers recently when she accidentally fell in the bathroom. She said, “That service is peace of mind for us and our kids.”
Both have enjoyed meeting new neighbors and residents who have mutual acquaintances and friends. In addition to attending special events on and off campus, Denise is already learning to play bridge and volunteering in the campus gift shop two mornings a week. Both joined a Scrabble group that gets together on Saturday afternoons.
Already anticipating spring, the couple looks forward to sitting on their apartment balcony and enjoying the view overlooking the Rouge River and a lush, tree-lined walking path—not covered by snow and ice.