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A lifestyle like no other

Maris Grove gives Delaware couple a valuable blend of freedom and security

Created date

March 28th, 2014
Five evenings a month, Dr. Tom Jenkins serenades his Maris Grove neighbors with tunes from his 200-song repertoire.
Five evenings a month, Dr. Tom Jenkins serenades h

When dentist Dr. Tom Jenkins and his wife Jane moved to Maris Grove from Wilmington, Del., in 2011, “We both got what we wanted,” he says.

At the Erickson Living community in Delaware County, Pa., he’s found a venue to express himself musically. Five evenings a month, Tom performs selections from his 200-song repertoire of jazz, pop, and rock tunes in the Brinton Clubhouse’s Blue Sky lounge. 

He’s gained peace of mind because he and Jane have switched their doctors to Maris Grove staff physicians; the doctors provide care solely to residents and have offices in the campus medical center. 

After Jane decided they should move from their very large four-level house to one-level living, she went online and was excited to discover Maris Grove so close to Wilmington.


Because she has Parkinson’s, she wanted an easier lifestyle for both her and Tom, plus the availability of on-site continuing care and rehabilitation should either one need it. 

She was equally happy to learn that Maris Grove’s four campus restaurants serve chef-prepared meals every evening; the amenity, included in each resident’s monthly service package, meant Tom could relax after work. 

At one time, Dr. Jenkins was Delaware’s only special-needs dentist, a specialty that treats patients with physical, developmental, and emotional difficulties. Now retired from his own practice, he runs a Delaware state dental clinic that treats patients with those same disabilities. 

That Maris Grove costs so much less than communities in Wilmington pleased them both. 

On their initial campus visit, the Jenkins realized they’d found their new home. “We loved the ambience,” says Tom. “We were hooked.”

The lifestyle they’d sought 

When the Jenkins moved, they gave up the chores associated with a large house, treed property, and swimming pool. They gained 87 beautifully landscaped acres maintained by Maris Grove’s grounds crew and an all-season swimming pool at the campus fitness and aquatics center. 

Jane, who’d been an avid flower gardener, now gardens vicariously each time Tom takes her to see what’s blooming in Maris Grove’s resident garden spaces.

The Jenkins’ spacious second bedroom comfortably accommodates frequent visits from their son Chris and his fiancée. And their impressive open kitchen lets Chris ply his chef-level skills while still remaining part of family conversations taking place in the sunroom or living room. 

Early on, the Jenkins benefited firsthand from Maris Grove’s continuing care neighborhood. 

“Our first year here, we both experienced physical problems and were nursed back to health at Maris Grove,” says Tom. They convalesced and received physical therapy from Maris Grove’s excellent therapy staff. 

Also, Tom says his revised work schedule at the dental clinic has given him the gift of time.

“I’m home with Jane by 3:30 every day, and I can perform [music] every week,” he says. “Last Christmas, I got a holiday card with 40 signatures of people who listen to me sing [at Maris Grove] on Friday nights.” 

That thoughtful gesture, which meant a lot to Tom, exemplifies the family-like closeness that thrives at Maris Grove.