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Mother, daughter decide to retire in same Austin senior living community

"You can tell their bond is irreplaceable, and it continues to grow each day in retirement," said Janet Burnett, life enrichment coordinator at Buckner Villas.

AUSTIN, Texas — Children helping their parents find senior living communities is a common occurrence, but it's not often you hear one of those children decides to move in too.

In Mary and Donna Whitworth's case, their mother-daughter bond was too strong to break. They both call the Buckner Villas, a faith-based senior living community in North Austin, home.

Now closer than ever, the duo frequently traveled together before retirement. And when they both wound up in Austin, 95-year-old Mary and 71-year-old Donna found themselves volunteering, running errands and going to church together. They soon decided the next best step would be to move in together at a senior living community.

They've been living at the Bucker Villas for more than three years. They said they always knew living in the same community was a possibility and think they were brought back together for a reason.

“My mother sets such a fantastic example of a godly woman and is someone who people enjoy being around, including me,” said Donna. “I saw how she treated others and learned from that. The special bond I have with my mother never left, and I am thankful we have this time together in retirement. When we were looking for our new home, I knew we wanted a continuum of care community, and Buckner Villas provides that for us. We have loved our time here and plan to engage with more community programming together in the future.”

Donna was born in West Texas, but she soon moved to Houston, where she grew up with her parents and brother. She earned a nursing degree at Baylor University and attended graduate school at Texas A&M. After graduation, she took a nursing job in Austin, which she kept for 30 years. Upon retirement, she stayed in Austin and began volunteering and gardening.

Mary lived in Houston for more than 50 years and moved to Austin to be closer to her kids when her husband became ill. When he passed, she lived on her own for several years before she and Donna took up residence at Buckner Villas.

Now, the duo said everything has come full circle.

“Living with my daughter in this chapter of our lives has proved to be very enjoyable and fulfilling. We always got along well, so we knew living together years later wouldn’t be a problem,” said Mary. “Donna is the most gracious and fun person to be around. She is a very intelligent and strong woman. I have been very proud of her for her entire life, and I cherish the time we spend together. I always joked that I would never live with my children again, but look at us now. I send her to her room sometimes and she sends me to mine, but we are making the most out of the time we have together. It’s nice to live at a community that accommodates our unique living situation. We have both made many friends here and look forward to enjoying more years to come.” 

The faith-based nonprofit community is located on a 25-acres campus on Tom Adams Drive. The continuing care community offers a variety of living options and can accommodate all needs. They offer services such as assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care.

“It is inspiring to see the family connections come together at the senior living community,” said Janet Burnett, life enrichment coordinator at Buckner Villas. “You can tell their bond is irreplaceable, and it continues to grow each day in retirement. We love seeing them together and hearing stories about their lives. We are happy they call Buckner Villas home, and we are excited to see the new memories they make here.” 

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