Tribune Print Share Text

Families call Philly home

Created date

April 30th, 2009

Area offers lifestyle choices for all ages

By Heather Leah Huddleston The Philadelphia area s rich culture, history, educational opportunities, and lifestyle choices for all ages makes it a prime place to grow, work, live, and play. Dorie Berman and Joy Wyatt both chose to move back to the Philadelphia area not only to be closer to their loving families, but also because they found the right lifestyle choices for them at the Erickson communities of Ann s Choice, in Bucks County, and Maris Grove, in Delaware County. Now they are living vibrant, active lives; spending time with family; and enjoying their retirements to the fullest. Here for each other Dorie Berman moved from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Ann s Choice in November 2008 to be closer to her two daughters and son. Her daughters, Alice and Helen Berman, live 10 minutes and 30 minutes away from their mother, while her son, Dick, lives in Washington, D.C. "We have a small family, but we re very close," Dorie says. She lived away from her children for 40 years, and though they saw each other over holidays and birthdays, the miles separated them more than they wanted. Both daughters went to school at University of Pennsylvania and decided to stay in the state after graduation. It felt like they were coming home, says Alice. She, an independent architect, and Helen, a project manager, had no problems putting down strong roots that connected them to Philadelphia, a place they both called home because of the "rich culture and diversity," Helen says. Dorie was very active in her community in Cincinnati, playing tennis, golfing, and swimming regularly. She was especially involved with her volunteer work so it took her a few years to decide to move to Ann s Choice. "I wanted to be closer to my family, so I decided to come to them," she says. The biggest factor for Dorie and her daughters was to find the right place to live, a place where she felt comfortable. Once she came to Ann s Choice, Dorie knew she had found her new home. There are many benefits of being closer to family. They go out to dinners and local events together, like the Philadelphia Flower Show in March. Dorie is also able to take her two grandchildren ice skating and swimming. Those sweet day-to-day moments are ones she wasn t able to experience with so many miles between them. Dorie says simply, "We re here for each other." Symbol of validation After her mother and husband passed away, Joy Wyatt yearned to be near her family and knew it would rejuvenate her spirit. She lived in North Carolina, and moving close to her daughter, Carla Payne, who lives in Delaware County, Pa., also put her halfway between her sons one in North Carolina and one in Canada. With her daughter s help, Wyatt set out to visit several retirement communities in the area. Maris Grove, an Erickson community just seven miles from her daughter, was the first and last campus they visited; Joy knew instantly that she was home. "I love it here," Joy says. "I have my privacy, but I m not alone." Both Carla and Carla s children appreciate having their mother and grandmother close. Joy takes her grandchildren to the indoor swimming pool at Maris Grove, and Carla and Joy both frequent the on-campus pub and bistro. "My mom s the happiest I ve seen her in a long time," Carla says. "This place has brought her back to life."