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Maintenance-friendly floor plan a perfect fit

Computer nook makes this large one-bedroom a researcher’s dream

Created date

May 21st, 2013

If you ve ever purchased Domino Sugar, in the yellow-and-white box, you re just a few degrees from George W. Elder. George, who lives at Cedar Crest, an Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J., is no sugar merchant. But his ancestor was. The George W. Elder, a steamship named for George s shirttail relative, has been his interest for the past 25 years. I have just about finished that [project], George says. Now he devotes more of his time to researching other relatives on and to converting vinyl records to electronic files on his computer.

Waste not, want not

George conducts research from the comfort of his large, one-bedroom Ellicott-style apartment home, overlooking the rolling landscape of Mountainside Park and Pequannock Township. He has nestled his computer nook in his living room, where he can look to the outside from his fifth-floor window. Oversized oriental rugs that he brought from his New York City apartment give the home a cozy, classy feel. In fact, he chose the Ellicott floor plan because his oriental rugs one spanning 21 feet fit perfectly. A minimalist, George would rather devote his time to researching his ancestry than cleaning house. With just one bedroom, an open living and dining area, and a convenient kitchen, George has everything he needs and no wasted time or effort. He has plenty of dining options Cedar Crest has four on-site restaurants but he usually dines in, utilizing his full-sized kitchen. I have a son who stops by, and we do a lot of cooking together, George says. Two of his three sons live nearby. Together, they research their ancestor Pvt. Joseph Elder, who fought in the Revolutionary War. They created a website detailing their findings: George says he finds his apartment home and computer nook quite suitable for continuing his interests. But when he s not working on a project, you can find him playing duplicate bridge or strolling around campus.

Second leg of retirement

George calls his life at Cedar Crest the second leg of his retirement a double entendre, as he was able to have knee replacement surgery, and he rehabbed right on campus. Cedar Crest s on-site continuing care neighborhood and its outpatient rehabilitation and wellness center offer a convenient setting for cases like George s. He now walks without a cane. In fact, he says, Walking is my main activity. George walks daily throughout the community, where glass-enclosed walkways connect every building. He walks indoors in cold or rainy weather and strolls the landscaped grounds when the weather permits. As he s still gaining his strength since his surgery, George says he s glad he doesn t have to take any stairs, unlike if he were in a house or still living in his New York City apartment. George spent the first leg of his retirement there but decided he had outgrown the city. It was time that I stop living alone in an apartment in New York City. Living alone [at Cedar Crest] is completely different because you have friends and neighbors who look out for you, he says. Here, he says, I realize that with the companionship and support, I am much better off.