Ruth and Randall Jobe moved to Friends Homes West on Valentine’s Day in 2020. Less than a month later, the pandemic caused the community to shut down much of the social activities and dining rooms. But that turned out to have a silver lining.
Although it was a hard time to move, the pause in activities gave Ruth and Randall time to get settled and relax after moving out of their eight-acre property in southeastern Guilford County. “It was hard to leave,” explains Ruth. “We spent 55 years there. And Randall did all the upkeep. But it had become too much to take care of.”
The Jobes selected Friends Homes because they wanted a community that was closer to where they had lived, where things were familiar and where they would be close to one of their three sons. “It was the right thing for us to do and we had the support of our children,” says Ruth.
However, the transition was a little difficult at first because of COVID-19 precautions. “We only went to the dining room for the first two or three weeks… then everything shut down. Although their meals were delivered and they say they were well taken care of, the restrictions “limited our ability to meet people and get connected with people who weren’t necessarily on our hall,” Ruth explains.
With the expansion well underway, the Jobes are now adjusting to changes being made to the dining areas and the reimagined wellness center. “I’m looking forward to water aerobics and the bistro,” says Ruth. “The campus will be beautiful when all the work is done.”
The couple also has friends at Friends Homes Guilford and are looking forward to being able to go back and forth with the new bridge connecting the two sides of campus.
As more activities have opened up at Friends Homes, the couple has enjoyed meeting new people, playing games with other couples and venturing out on a few of the day trips that the community has organized. Recently, they enjoyed a trip down the road to the Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC. Together they’ve taken in movies and other events on campus and are thoroughly enjoying the updated dining options.
Ruth, or “Boo” as her friends call her, particularly likes the fact that she doesn’t have to cook anymore. “I did plenty of that,” she says with a laugh.
“There’s a lot going on on campus — a lot to choose from,” she adds. “You can’t really do everything that’s available.”
For Randall, he’s enjoying being able to spend more time doing what he loves — fixing things. He ran a small business for 33 years going by the name of Mr. Fixit specializing in general home maintenance and remodeling.
Now he works on anything from small engines to Boo’s blender, which he is currently attempting to fix. “We have a shop here,” says Randall, referring to the woodshop at Friends Homes. “Also, we have a son who lives close by and he has a shop that I can play around in.” Randall recently got an old jigsaw working again there. “It does everything it used to do now… variable speed, an air jet and a light — it works,” he adds. “I’ve been told many things can’t be fixed… I have to take it apart and see if it can.”
Knowing what it requires to take care of home maintenance issues, Randall says, “it’s nice to get all the bills consolidated into one thing… and to not have to worry about the appliances or other needs. Everything is well taken care of here.”
“We also love to play games,” adds Ruth. “All we have to do is walk down the hall to have fellowship with other couples… but we can also be independent when we want to be.”
One other benefit that Friends Homes offers made a difference for Boo and Randall — knowing that the community had an assistance fund in place for residents who, through no fault of their own, ran out of financial resources. Even though they may never need it, the additional peace of mind made them feel confident that they were in the right place.