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Full-service communities get high marks

Created date

May 31st, 2009

Maintenance-free lifestyle fits the bill

By Heather Leah Huddleston Ann and Jerry Byrnes lived in the same house in Queens, N.Y. for 45 years. ' ' They raised their three children there, entertained friends there, and celebrated holidays there. But after Mrs. Byrnes stopped working in December 2007, it was time for something new, something easier. When they visited Ann s Choice, in Bucks County, it was love at first sight. Where we want to be The move to Ann s Choice was better than they expected. We found it s less expensive to live at Ann s Choice than to maintain our old home in New York, Mr. Byrnes says. ' They don t have to worry about roofing, plumbing, or gas and electric problems anymore. Now if a lightbulb burns out, all we have to do is call someone, he says, referring to the community s 24-7 maintenance crew. As time went on, they saw that everything was taken care of. Before moving, they drove 25 miles to see their family doctor; now all the medical facilities are within a mile or two, and the staff will even transport them if need be. And if they choose, they can even switch their doctor to one of the community medical center s three on-site physicians. ' Then their doctors appointments would be right down the hall. Some of the greatest benefits for the couple have been the friendships they ve developed. If we were still in the house, we d be a little isolated, says Mrs. Byrnes. Every night we dine with eight people, and it s a great way to end the day, Mr. Byrnes adds. In addition to finding friends at dinner, Mr. Byrnes makes them at the Delaware Valley Historic Aircraft Association, where he volunteers. Mrs. Byrnes has always loved the area. Can you believe we re actually here? she says. This was a move for us; this is where we want to be. Everything we need Dora and Alfred Albano spent the majority of their lives in the small rural town of Bedford, N.Y., and it was Maris Grove s own rural location that attracted them to the community. Like the Byrnes, owning and maintaining a house wasn t fun for them anymore. And they knew they wanted to embrace community living. ' They just didn t know where they wanted to move. When they began receiving The Erickson Tribune, Mrs. Albano became interested in the people and lifestyles represented in the articles. After visiting other properties, she saw that Erickson had everything they needed. The Albanos had built the house in Bedford, where they raised their four children. This was my first move, Mr. Albano says, and I thought I d miss home. ' Though there s a slight yearning for the town, they ve never missed the house or regretted their decision to move to Maris Grove. The Albanos have both embraced community living and are enjoying things they never would have done had they stayed in Bedford. He is involved with the wood shop, the fishing club, and the Italian-American club, while she is involved with Project Linus and the genealogy club. She s excited to explore family history. If we want to go anywhere, we can just lock the door and go, Mr. Albano says, referring to the campus security, which assures their safety and comforts them and their children. We moved to a community of our choosing, Mrs. Albano says. Our children said that s the best gift we could have given them.