By Martie Thompson
Samuel and Allison Moseley, married for 20 years, share a passion for the ocean and for service to others, particularly seniors. Living in Ponte Vedra Beach, they are delighted to be able to indulge both. The pair grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham before graduating from Flagler College – Tallahassee, he with a degree in physical therapy and she with a degree in English and a particular interest in sales and marketing. As newlyweds, they settled in Ochlockonee Bay, Fla., just east of Apalachicola. They had two children and then said they felt called to go into mission work. The Moseleys spent eight years living both domestically and internationally before life dealt them a double blow when both Samuel’s mother and Allison’s father were diagnosed with dementia. They came to the conclusion that the best thing would be to move to Florida with both sets of parents and take care of them.
Today, Samuel is a senior living lifestyle counselor at the newly built Discovery Senior Living and Allison is the director of sales at Sunrise Senior Living. Their son Eli is a sophomore at Florida Atlantic University and son Silas is just finishing his junior year at Ponte Vedra High School.
Q: How did you two meet?
Allison: We met at a bluegrass concert at a club. We were set up by a mutual friend and decided to meet at the concert.
Q: How did you come to live in Ponte Vedra Beach?
Samuel: We were based in Kansas City, Mo., when we were doing our mission work. In 2014, we learned that both my mom and Allison’s dad were experiencing cognitive decline that was eventually diagnosed as dementia. We decided to move south and take care of our parents and miraculously, in the summer of 2014 I was offered a job with a senior housing facility in Jacksonville. So, we all moved here.
Allison: As soon we found out we’d be moving to the area, we knew we had to live at the beach. We live and breathe the beach and have saltwater running through our veins. A friend of ours who lived in the area knew we were looking for a house to rent and so she found one in Ponte Vedra Beach and sent us a picture of it. We ended up renting it for six months and then found our fixer-upper house and we still live there now. I love living in Ponte Vedra Beach because I feel safe here and it’s so easy to be outdoors.
Q: After deciding to shift your previous backgrounds in customer service/hospitality to the senior living community, what do you do in your present jobs?
Samuel: As a senior lifestyle counselor, I guide and advise families and loved ones in senior living placements. What is best for them? Our parent company, Discovery Senior Living, is based in Bonita Springs, Fla., but this is our first facility in Jacksonville. We have been pre-leasing since mid-January and our first residents are moving in mid-May.
Allison: After staying home with the kids and homeschooling them before we moved to Florida, I wanted to make sure that our and our parents’ transition to Ponte Vedra Beach went well. Initially, my parents moved to a neighborhood and then ultimately we made the decision to move my dad to a senior community, so I have experience on that side and thought I could help others in the same situation. My current role with Sunrise Senior Living is as an advisor. As director of sales, I’m the first point of contact when a family member calls in during this very emotional time for the family. I’m also a Certified Dementia Educator.
Q: What advice would you give to adult children looking for a senior facility for aging parents?
Allison: The hardest thing for families to deal with at this time is the guilt of the perception of “turning a parent over” to senior housing. Most facilities today are not what we used to think of as “nursing homes”… they are comfortable and homey — and some are like resorts, with many things to do. Especially with the social aspect, many seniors’ lives become more vibrant living in senior housing.
Samuel: The benefits of living in a senior community often far outweigh the loneliness and stress of living alone.
Photo courtesy Allison Moseley
Samuel and Allison Moseley