Left to Right: Nikki Buckelew, Rex Lawrence - Spanish Cove resident, Carolyn Merritt - Spanish Cove resident, Jill Huff - Spanish Cove, Julie Davis - Concordia, Harriette Boatright - Concordia resident, Chris Buckelew.

There is no guidebook or manual covering all the complexities associated with getting older. The self-help section of every bookstore boasts several topics ranging from helping aging parents and financing retirement, to health and wellness advice or dealing with those ever returning boomerang kids, but there is no one-size-fits-all model for aging successfully.
It is with this in mind that Nikki and Chris Buckelew and their real estate team’s mature moves division launched the “Senior Living Truth Series” back in 2016. The series includes a monthly educational program made up of seminars and expert panels dealing with topics important to mature homeowners.
“Because our team specializes in helping people who have lived in the same home for many years, we field questions daily on a range of topics. It’s important to be aligned with highly competent professionals we can recommend,” says Nikki Buckelew. “We introduce seminar attendees to these professionals through our expert panels.”
Seminar attendees are often either looking ahead to prepare for their own post-retirement lifestyle or are caring for an aging relative or friend. They are seeking answers to questions like what types of 55+ housing options are available, where to get support, how to pay for long-term care needs, ways to simplify and de-clutter, and more.
“Our attendees are smart people and when they have the resources they need, they feel more capable of making decisions. We all feel that way and that’s why we developed the series,” adds Buckelew.
Those attracted to the seminars appreciate the professional and organized fashion in which the seminars are delivered.
“The seminars are well-organized and well presented,” said Frank Andrews, a retired corporate trainer.
Frank and Carol are familiar faces at the truth series events and began attending after seeing an article in the paper.
“It’s about learning that you have to plan early and about understanding what you need and what you don’t,” added Carol. Jennifer Forrester, Community Relations Director with Oklahoma Hospice Care, a regular sponsor of the event, said the series has a way of helping people deal with the hard questions a lot of people tend to avoid.
“Nikki is the only Realtor I know who has a background in both counseling and gerontology, and as the moderator she has a way of taking hard topics and making them lighter and easier to talk about,” Forrester said. “She just says it like it is and doesn’t apologize for it.”
The Buckelews and their specialized team have made it their personal and professional mission to educate and guide consumers about best practices related to post-retirement living.
“People are doing the best they can and credible information is hard to find. Our attendees tell us they appreciate meeting local people with whom they can have a personal conversation without feeling pressured or rushed,” says Chris Buckelew.
James and Joan DonDero began attending the seminars a year ago.
“We attend frequently and chose to meet with the Buckelews personally to talk about downsizing in the future. It was just what they said – no pressure and no sales pitch,” said James.
The seminars serve to empower, equip, and educate by providing information to help people think about what their next steps might be and the timing to begin taking them.
“Going to the seminars helped us realize we had some things to think through,” added Joan.
The next event is titled “The Truth About Successfully Aging in Place” on July 13th from 10:00am – 11:30am and from 2pm – 3:30pm. The morning event has reached capacity and reservations are being accepted for the afternoon event.
“We know that people prefer to remain in their own homes and neighborhoods for as long as possible. The challenge is many have not prepared and need information on best practices for ‘staying put’,” Buckelew said.
The August event is titled “The Truth About De-cluttering Your Home.” With morning and afternoon sessions starting at 10am and 2pm.
Events are held at the MAPS3 Senior Health & Wellness Center located at 11501 N Rockwell in Oklahoma City. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Admission is free for those 55 or older and their guests. Professionals pay $25. Go to www.seniorlivingtruthseries.com or call 405-563-7501 to register.