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Branching out

Maris Grove is one family's family tree

Created date

July 23rd, 2013

For the Potter family, Maris Grove, Erickson Living s community in Delaware County, Pa., has become a family tradition. Bob and Ann Potter started things rolling when they researched area retirement communities as the first step to ensuring their future. Bob recorded the pluses and minuses of each community. The couple had no immediate plans to move from nearby Springfield, but when Maris Grove received the most pluses on Bob s list, they joined its priority list. Joining the list established their place in line for an available apartment home of their choice based on their priority list date. A few months later came the surprise: their son Lee was retiring from his job in Maryland and had decided to move back home. Lee s decision accelerated his parents move. They sold him their house and settled into maintenance-free, one-level living at Maris Grove. Then another surprise. Within two months, Lee started working at Maris Grove. And four months later in 2008, his sister Denise Young started working there, too. A registered nurse, Denise manages the community s home support program. Lee works as the community s security coordinator.

Extended family circle

Jeanne Young, Denise s mother-in-law who lived in Media, joined Maris Grove s priority list about the same time as the Potters. She wanted to ensure she d have on-site medical care should she ever need it. Jeanne didn t want to burden her children. She also wanted to live among neighbors as active and engaged in life as she. Jeanne heard wonderful reports about Maris Grove from the Potters and other friends who lived there. And in 2010, when my youngest grandchild entered junior high and my house started needing repairs, I was free to move, she says. Jeanne is a poster girl for Maris Grove s active lifestyle. Besides bocce, Wii bowling, table shuffleboard, and sessions at the campus fitness center, she plays bridge and canasta, belongs to the Blanket Circle, is an ambassador with Maris Grove s scholars fund for its student restaurant staff, and goes tripping with the community s travel group. As if that s not enough, she also volunteers back at her church. I am so busy, she says. Before Maris Grove, I mainly did my housework, cared for my grandkids, and volunteered at church. Cooking, well, there s no time. So Jeanne is on Maris Grove s flexible 30-meal monthly dining plan. When she s on campus, she dines in a campus restaurant with neighbors who are just like sisters. She can t imagine living anywhere else.

Support and assistance

Bob Potter would second Jeanne s feelings. Because he s had some health problems, he most values Maris Grove s on-site, full-service medical center, pharmacy, and support services. Our doctors are here, our dentist is here, and our specialists also have office hours here, Bob says. We don t have to go outside. We just go downstairs. Since the Potters took up residence, Ann has developed memory issues. To ensure her ongoing safety in their apartment and provide Bob the opportunity to attend the campus computer club and engineering group, the Potters have become home support clients. Knowing Denise is involved in her mother s care is doubly reassuring to Bob. The Potters fourth-floor apartment home provides views of treetops above and the manned, security gatehouse below. That gatehouse view is special: At 6:50 a.m., as Bob sips his morning coffee and Denise drives onto campus, they wave to one another. And because Lee s security office is across the hall from the campus convenience store where Bob gets his daily paper, father and son see one another often. Family values and Maris Grove values, they re one and the same. As a Maris Grove employee, says Denise, I say I moved from an extended family of nine to Maris Grove s family of 1,400.