Residents Barbara Gallagher and Patricia Dowd are Enjoying Peace of Mind Living at The Fountains

Retirement community living offers a sense of security and peace of mind that homeowners just don’t have.

“We loved the house we were in, we absolutely loved it, didn’t want to leave it but we were on our own in that house. At any minute the air-conditioning could go out or the furnace could break….” – Barbara Gallagher, resident of The Fountains at Washington House

You can learn a lot from someone who has been in your shoes. Their honest insight can help you navigate your way to the place that’s right for you, regardless of which community you choose. (All quotes contained in this post are excerpts from an interview conducted with Barbara Gallagher and Patricia Dowd on Friday, August 12th, 2016. To read the full, un-edited transcript, please click here.)

Barbara grew up in Chicago, majored in chemistry and worked at the American Chemical Society. Pat came to Washington from Worcester, Massachusetts and worked as a freelance court reporter. After sharing a house in Arlington for 40 years, these roommates moved to The Fountains, where they have made good friends and keep busier than ever. While Barbara volunteers as a reading teacher for young students, Pat has joined the Skytones choral group, a knitting group and has been reorganizing the library located on their floor. Still active in the “outside” community, the friends attend water aerobics classes and volunteer at their church, only five minutes away.

Don’t let aging myths deter you from doing what’s right. For example, you don’t have to feel old and decrepit to move to a retirement community. Even if you’re active and working full time, you can still benefit from a carefree rental lifestyle with services galore. Regardless of how many birthdays you’ve celebrated, you’ll always find yourself in the best of company at the right retirement community. “When we first started looking it was like, ‘Are we old enough yet to do this? Are we pushing ourselves?’ But when we came here, a lot, not a lot but a number of the people who were here are actually younger than we are. We’re both 79 going on 80.” – Patricia Dowd, resident of The Fountains at Washington House

Tired of dealing with home maintenance and winter storms, Pat and Barbara started investigating retirement communities. Their search parameters included affordability and proximity to their Arlington friends and church. After visiting nearly every community in northern Virginia, they moved to The Fountains in September 2015. They found it had the largest apartments and no hefty buy in requirement. “This was our decision. It’s something we wanted to do. Nobody told us, ‘You know you’ve got to get rid of the house, you can’t be there anymore….’ We made the decision and we’re here because we want to be here. And we love our apartment and we love the people we’ve met here.” – Barbara Gallagher

“We go to every single venue, any musical events that they have upstairs in the Sky Room and we have just met some wonderful people. We participate in so many activities. There’s a Great Decisions program that meets once a month and discusses world issues. The people there and the backgrounds, I mean, I’m just so impressed by some of the people here: military people, government people, teachers. There’s a book group that we participate in. There’s a current events discussion group every other week. I’m very impressed by the quality of people here.” – Barbara Gallagher


Meet Barbara and Patricia in person over a cup of coffee in the Cherry Blossom Café or a drink in our dining room. Just call 1-703-291-0188 to set up a time. Bring your questions and get honest answers straight from the source.

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