Growing Old in High Style

By adopting the look and language of hospitality (at the Watermark, help getting dressed is called a “discreet service”), keeping residents busy with cultural and personal enrichment, and obscuring medical services, these members of the rock ‘n’ roll generation don’t feel they are in the old folks’ home. If not for the red pull cords in the showers and bedside, residents could fool themselves into thinking they were forever guests at a luxury resort.

Ms. Snyder, the Inspīr resident, said the decision to move from her Upper East Side apartment into assisted living was not an easy one. A former actress known professionally as Maggie Burke, she still remembers visiting her grandmother in a dreary nursing home with “a little cot bed and rather crude facilities,” and did not want the same for herself, she said. A tour of Inspīr, not far from her old apartment and favorite restaurants, changed her mind.

“I decided I would get good health care here and also live in a very luxurious setting,” said Ms. Snyder, who declined to give her age.

Ms. Snyder started a film club and she’s taking the memoir-writing class. “I’ve made some lovely friends,” she said. “There’s a very stimulating population.”

Back at the Watermark, Mr. Morin was enjoying the view from the rooftop lounge, where he reminisced, “I was sitting up here with a glass of wine and there’s a jazz band playing over here and I looked up at God in heaven and said, ‘I’m home.’”

Mr. Morin said his one-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with its kitchenette, marble shower and tasteful modern furniture reminds him of the finest hotels, “but better,” he said, because he’s a resident. The cost is largely covered by a long-term care policy he took out ages ago.

“I’m a lucky dog,” Mr. Morin added, pointing out how quickly the elevators there zoom up and down. “I went to four other homes before I came here, OK? This is paradise.”

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