Jo Ann Schauber was an accountant during her working days which led to her being all business pretty much all the time.
“I was an accountant, I was inside four walls all day long,” Schauber, 82, said of her working days. “We didn’t do a lot of socializing and parties and such.”
Take a look at her now.
About to enter her third year living at Aston Gardens At Pelican Pointe, Schauber is a wonderful hybrid of a force of nature and a social butterfly.
She calls bingo for other residents, she volunteers to help run events, participates in lounge games every afternoon, and starts off her day by fixing all the plantation shutters in the dining room so they are all evenly open and facing the same direction.
Perhaps even more importantly, she serves as an ambassador for new residents, giving them a taste of her sunny disposition as they make the transition to their new living arrangement.
“As an ambassador, I tell them right from the start: Keep an open mind, try some new things, be open to meeting other people,” Schauber, who lives with her 84-year-old husband Adam, said. “People here want to be your best friend. There’s so much here to offer someone. You’re short-changing yourself if you don’t take advantage of what all they can offer.”
The Schaubers got to see first-hand what Aston Gardens had to offer immediately after commencing their move in 2013. Adam had recently suffered a stroke, which could have made the move difficult, not to mention the frequent trips to doctors and therapists that would come with his rehabilitation.
“The team helped us move in as he went through physical therapy, and they provided us assistance as he needed to be out and more active,” Schauber said. “The medical director on site was critical for us; we were able to get the care we needed on-site rather than driving across town for it.”
Growing up a little east of Cleveland, Ohio, Schauber worked with numbers while Adam dealt more with altimeters and control towers as a pilot for the United States Air Force.
They had already moved to Florida well before coming to Aston Gardens, living in homes, but in 2013 at ages 82 and 80, decided it was time to downsize to a retirement community.
“We started to look around at three locations and found that some of these required a high investment to buy even a studio-sized apartment,” Schauber recalls. “At Aston Gardens, we got a nice, large two-bedroom apartment with a garage that was affordably priced to where we didn’t even have to dip into our savings.”
Once they were in, Schauber went to work on her ideas on what to do with the place.
Schauber said the move was a trial, but after about three months, they began feeling like they were at home.
“We got the place furnished and your life starts settling down, and a peace comes over you” she says. “You feel secure, you feel that every day is going to be a good day.”
Schauber is a big fan of the special events that the staff of Aston Garden plans meticulously, including last fall’s Halloween party that included a Patsy Cline impersonator, and an Italian night complete with Old World drinks and hors d’ouerves.
Schauber not only enjoys the events, she’s played hostess a time or two. She took on the hostess role for a St. Patrick’s Day event as well as one on Valentine’s Day.
“They’ve allowed me to do a lot of things because of my capabilities, I’m physically active, and I exercise,” Schauber said. “When you get older and you’re more relaxed, you realize you’re capable of things you never thought of. I love my age.”