At The Carillon, hotel-like amenities and a joyous atmosphere feel like home.

Jonathan Castner

Gloria Casson, a resident at The Carillon.

While a move into senior living is always a major transition, “it’s better if you can make the decision for yourself,” said Patti Fields, a resident of The Carillon, the hotel-style independent and assisted living community just a few steps from the University of Colorado Boulder. “From my observations at the independent senior community where I used to live, those who struggle the most with the transition are those who have the move done to them, where they are plunked down in a place they don’t know. For me, I didn’t want to put pressure on my son, and I wanted to pick the place and pick the timing. I wanted to have a say.”

Gloria Casson, also a resident at The Carillon, agreed, saying, “Once I took the grand tour (of The Carillon), I had no hesitation at all.” Though her sons encouraged the move, ultimately, Casson recalled, “I knew what I wanted.” She and Fields both desired a vibrant, cheerful community with intentional social engagement, comfortable apartments and amenities such as The Carillon’s chef-led restaurant, saltwater pool, fitness center, spa and housekeeping services.”

Today, Fields and Casson live within minutes of their respective grandchildren and feel “lucky to be at The Carillon,” Fields said. Fields’ stepped gradually into community senior living. After her husband became ill, she was forced to check him into a facility that could provide skilled nursing care, and at first Fields drove an hour both ways to visit him daily. Soon, though, she sold their home and moved into the facility’s independent housing, where she stayed for a year after her husband’s death. “We lived in Texas for 50 years, and while we had no extended family in the area, we had deep roots in the community – friends of 40, 50 years, and you can’t replace that,” she said. Eventually, following a brief stint in the hospital and the isolation of the COVID pandemic, Fields decided “the time had come,” she said. “I didn’t want to put that burden on my son, who was running back and forth from Colorado to Texas.” She realized, “As you get older, it’s harder to move in every way. And as you age, you’re going to have challenges, and the best person to advocate, or to provide oversight, is your family.” Her son led her through several Carillon floor plans via Facetime, and she relocated in February. “The management is very supportive,” she said.

The Carillon’s friendly staff similarly clinched the deal for Casson, who joked, “I think they must give everyone a personality test before they hire them – everyone is delightful, down to the electrician. It makes it a joy to live here.” Casson moved to The Carillon in January. “My husband and I had retired to Cape Cod, which I had fallen in love with ever since he first brought me there, and it took about two years for him to convince me to move to Colorado,” she said. She lived in Estes Park for about six years but said, “Now I love that I’m five minutes from my grandkids.” She’s eager to take up knitting again with the The Carillon’s Nifty Needlers club and to pop into the Sippin’ Sisters’ wine-and-snacks gatherings.

Of course, the shift into senior living usually requires downsizing, a process that, for some, can be stressful or emotionally fraught, noted Carillon community sales manager Bryan Sanchez. “Within 24 hours of when a person signs a lease, our welcoming committee reaches out,” he explained. New residents meet with the manager of each department, including the chef, activity coordinator and fitness director. “It’s part of who we are to make everyone feel welcome,” he said.

To streamline Casson’s transition, Sanchez recommended Heritage Handlers, a downsizing moving company based in Louisville and founded by Adriane Hirsch. “Adriane was fantastic, and her team did an incredible job of setting up my apartment at The Carillon,” Casson said. Casson and her sons shared their hopes for the move with Hirsch, then gratefully left the details to Heritage Handlers. Hirsch helped Casson sort through what items to save for her new apartment, what to pass to family or donate and what to shred or recycle. “I kept things that were meaningful, such as this long-legged bronze heron on alabaster,” Casson said. The heron reminds her of happy days on Cape Cod with her late husband.

“We make a downsizing move easy, efficient and effortless for seniors and their families,” Hirsch said. As with Casson, Hirsch assists clients with everything from floor planning, sorting, selling and donating items, estate sales, packing and the actual move and set up, depending on what a family requests. Yet her specialty is “being an advocate for my client,” she said. “We start with a free initial consultation because it’s important to me to get to know the clients and their priorities – what they want in a home, what they need.” At the Carillon, she said, “we can often fit in more than clients expect. We do what it takes to make the move graceful.”

For example, when Hirsch and her team arranged Casson’s Carillon home, they “mirrored how her previous place was set up by observing what was essential to her and bringing in those personal touches,” Hirsch said.

Nonetheless, the joy and beauty of The Carillon far extends from the comfort of a well-appointed room. The community is known for its hotel-like ambiance and robust activity schedule. “Our programming stands out as being diverse and intellectually stimulating,” Sanchez said. Clubs are as varied as the bookworm reading club, crafting and art clubs and game clubs. Fitness classes cater to all abilities, and the spa and saltwater pool are community favorites. Field trips to hiking trails, museums and sporting events consistently draw a good-sized group from the community of nearly 150 residents.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say there’s always something to do and always someone interesting to have a conversation with,” Sanchez said.

For Fields and Casson, that feels like home.

To tour or learn more about The Carillon at Boulder Creek, email Sanchez at or call 720.565.6844.

The Carillon at Boulder Creek
2525 Taft Drive, Boulder  |  720.565.6844

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Sarah Huber
2022-07-03 04:54:22
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