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Double the pleasure

Riderwood’s combo apartments invite you to spread out

Created date

June 25th, 2013

If you think moving to a retirement community means you have to sacrifice on space, you should see Pat and Jim Hamsher s home at Riderwood, in Silver Spring, Md. Their coveted combo-style apartment home features two bedrooms plus a den, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, a large open living and dining room, and a patio. Riderwood creates the spacious combo units by combining two smaller apartment homes, which gives those who select them the freedom to customize the layout even if that means knocking down walls. For example, what was once a kitchen in another apartment is now the Hamsher s elegant walk-in closet with built-in shelving. Their large master bedroom suite was originally the living room of another unit. In total, the Hamshers have about 1,800 square feet where they can spread out and enjoy their worry-free retirement.

No regrets

All of that space has come in very handy because Pat and Jim have three young grandchildren who live nearby and visit frequently. Their grandchildren, who are now four, five, and seven years old, are the main reason the Hamshers decided to relocate to Riderwood from Pennsylvania in 2006. I used to take care of them when they were little babies, Pat says. I did not want to lose the opportunity to take care of my grandchildren because that window [of time] was short, and I would have lived with regret if I didn t do it. When their grandchildren were young, Pat and Jim babysat them on a regular basis. They dedicated one of the bedrooms in their Riderwood home to the children, which provided space for the kids to nap and to store their many toys. As toddlers, the kids loved a motorized toy car that they used to cruise around the hallways that connect Riderwood s residence buildings to its clubhouses and restaurants. They would come to Riderwood, and we would parade them all over, Pat says. That is how most of the community knew me.

Circle of friends

Now the kids are a bit older and in school, so Pat and Jim babysit less often. But the Hamshers are enjoying their retirement and their life at Riderwood as much as ever. They have formed a close-knit circle of friends, many of whom live on the same floor as the Hamshers and who moved in around the same time. Pat says she and her neighbors are always there to support one another or lend a helping hand. Pat likens it to a friendly neighborhood. And just like any lively neighborhood, Pat and her neighbors host a block party a few times a year on Sunday afternoons. They gather in a nearby common area to catch up over potluck-style refreshments. People really help each other here, Pat says. It s a kind, loving, and generous community.

Ten out of ten

While she has a modern kitchen of her own, Pat doesn t have to use it if she s not in the mood to cook. Instead, she and Jim have dinner most nights at one of Riderwood s five on-site restaurants. If we were still living at our house in Harrisburg, I would be going to the grocery store and cooking and cleaning every night and I would hate it, Pat says. The quality of my life here is a ten compared to what would have been a three or a four in Harrisburg. Pat says one of her favorite parts about dinner is getting to know other residents and learning about the illustrious former careers many of them had. Since living at Riderwood, Pat says she has met a furniture maker who designed pieces for the White House, a 90-year-old female attorney who entered the field at a time when very few women practiced law, and a physicist who oversaw the transportation of the first moon rocks the United States brought back from space. When you sit down and people start telling you what they did for a living, I am shocked by what they have been able to accomplish, Pat says. Some of these people have actually touched history.