Employee David Connon loves that his mom lives where he works
Job hunting after 25 years as a Pennsylvania state trooper, in 2009 David Connon applied for a security position at Maris Grove, Erickson Living's premiere retirement community in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
"After a few months," he says, "I realized I'd fallen in love with the place. I liked the people I worked with, and I loved the residents. I came here for a job, and I found a life."
The security supervisor, David, like other members of the security team, is trained in emergency response. "I feel like I'm making my friends lives better and safer just by being here," he says.
As a trooper, David mainly dealt with people at their worst. He deals now with people he knows and cares about. Being there to help should they need it gives his work meaning.
Until recently David's mother, Ann Connon, had no interest in Maris Grove. "I was going to stay in my house forever," she says. Ann expected to easily care for her little ranch-style house and yard in Newark, Delaware. But by 2017, managing that by herself became overwhelming. Her children and neighbors weren't always available to help, and David, who lives in West Chester, worried he'd be 45 minutes away should an emergency occur.
As Christmas neared Ann wanted her family to spend it at her house., but she lacked the interest or energy to clean and decorate and do Christmas baking. Because David wanted his mother to live a carefree life, he arranged for her to visit the campus and tour some apartment homes.
"I came with some of my children, and I saw an apartment I liked," says Ann. "That apartment made a difference."
The apartment style Ann toured and now lives in is a one-bedroom, one ½-bath floor plan with a den. "I realized Maris Grove was a better place for me," she says, "because the apartment would be manageable." She was also pleased she could bring her dog to Maris Grove.
With Ann's children doing the downsizing, by early November Ann was settled at Maris Grove, safe and warm for the coming winter.
"I love it that I don't have to do anything," she says.
Her evening meals are cooked-to-order in Maris Grove restaurants. The general services team is a phone call away should she have appliance problems, and the grounds crew handles yard work from planting through snow shoveling.
She's made scores of new friends, including a dog-owning hallway neighbor with whom she walks her dog. Ann is also reading nonstop to catch up on books she lacked time for as a homeowner. On days David works at Maris Grove's entrance gate, Ann walks her dog there to visit him.
"It means the world to me that my mother is here," he says." They talk every day, but David and his eight siblings no longer worry about or constantly check on their mom.
"More and more employees have family members living on campus," said Maris Grove Executive Director Maureen Heckler. "It's wonderful to see families coming together at work."
While David's actions initially brought Ann to Maris Grove, her daughter Nan, who lives in King of Prussia also recommended it. A visiting nurse, Nan doesn't come to Maris Grove, but she talks with colleagues who do. She told her mother, "Mom if you get a chance to go to Maris Grove, go. It's the best place you could be."
David says it's also the best place to work. To explore available career opportunities at Maris Grove or other Erickson Living communities, browse the company's Website, jobs.ericksonliving.com.
About Maris Grove: Maris Grove, one of 19 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 87-acre campus in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. The community is located in Delaware County and is home to more than 1,600 residents. Additional information about Maris Grove can be found at MarisGrove.com.
Photo by Mary Ann Starkey - Community member Ann Connon loves living at Maris Grove. Ann's son, Maris Grove Security Supervisor David Connon, loves working there.
Written by Jacqueline Kimball