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Starting over

Positive reviews about Riderwood quickly confirmed by Florida couple

Created date

September 24th, 2013

When you step inside Teddi and Bert Kaplan s Riderwood home, with its sleek and modern leather furniture and its eclectic artwork and photography, you feel like you ve entered a chic Manhattan loft. After just a few minutes of conversation, it s easy to see that the Kaplans stylish home is indeed an intensely personal reflection of who they are as individuals and as a couple.

Talented couple sets up sophisticated home

In one corner of the Kaplans living room stands a stunning grand piano. The piano belongs to Teddi, a talented musician who has been playing piano since she was a young girl living in Panama. Teddi was born in Vienna, Austria, but her family fled the Nazi regime in 1938 and took refuge in a Jewish community in Panama before settling in New York a decade later. You can t help but notice the gallery-worthy photography hung on several of the Kaplans apartment home walls. The striking shots were captured by Bert, an avid photographer who has sold some of his work. The Kaplans Hawthorne-style apartment home features a second bedroom, which the couple has converted into an office to house their expansive collection of books. Both Teddi and Bert are retired social workers. They both had private therapy practices in New York, where they spent their early married years and raised their children. In addition to their practices, Teddi and Bert both taught at Adelphi University in Long Island. Bert taught human behavior, and Teddi specialized in working with victims of domestic violence and adolescent girls. About 20 years ago, the Kaplans retired and moved to Boynton Beach, Fla. Most recently, they were living in a senior community in Florida, where they had many close friends and were involved in a number of activities. Teddi says they started looking into continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) because they had friends who became ill and needed their children to come to Florida to care for them a situation the Kaplans didn t want to create for their own children. We thought, If we re starting over, let s start over at a place where we can get the services we hope we never need, Bert says.

A cut above the rest

Once they decided they wanted to move to a CCRC, Bert says he and Teddi considered a number of communities before selecting Riderwood. He says they wanted to live somewhere with a large resident population, lots of on-site amenities, and plenty of leisure activities. With more than 2,600 residents; 250 resident-run clubs and committees; and a host of conveniences like a bank, salon and day spa, convenience store, fitness center, and five full-service restaurants, Riderwood fit the bill of what the Kaplans wanted in their next home. What set Riderwood apart from other communities for the Kaplans was the community s reputation. We started telling our friends in Florida that we were looking at Riderwood, and they knew people who lived here and liked it, Bert says. The Kaplans moved to Riderwood in April, and the positive reviews they had heard about the community were quickly confirmed. The staff is very pleasant, and the residents have been very welcoming, Teddi says. They are highly educated and very well spoken. Everyone has been really supportive, Bert adds. That helps us feel like we made a good choice.

Active living made easy

Now that they have settled into their new home, the Kaplans are as active and engaged as they always have been and living at Riderwood makes staying involved in the things they enjoy easy. Teddi has joined the piano club and makes a point to frequently visit the fitness center to walk on a treadmill and use the weight machines. In Florida, Teddi had been very active in running a performing arts program that featured very popular music, dance, and drama performance groups. She plans to lend her expertise in booking highly sought-after performers to Riderwood s entertaining committee. Bert has a knack for computers and technology. In Florida, he ran a small business setting up and repairing computers. At Riderwood, Bert has volunteered to run the projector on movie nights and also plans to join the community s computer club. Teddi and Bert are also enjoying getting to know their new neighbors. In addition to meeting people through clubs, residents also can become acquainted over dinner at one of the community s restaurants, where the staff will seat singles and couples at tables with other people, giving new residents a chance to meet their neighbors every night in a relaxed and informal environment. The Kaplans have a full kitchen in their apartment home, and Teddi says she still enjoys cooking and baking, but dinner with new friends at one of the restaurants is a great stress-free option on some nights. She s definitely getting used to going down to the dining room, Bert says.