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‘Immediately feels like home’

Couple takes advantage of one-level, maintenance-free living

Created date

September 15th, 2014
When Ann and Tony Santore are on the run, they pick up their dinners from Maris Grove employee Maria Baglione at the Cardinal Express carryout location.
When Ann and Tony Santore are on the run, they pic

Throughout their married life, Grove residents Ann and Tony Santore have looked ahead to anticipate what the future might bring. 

When their last child married, they moved from their house of 28 years in Brookhaven, Pa., to a condominium, then to an active adult community, and then just down the road to Maris Grove.  

They took up residence at Erickson Living’s retirement community in Delaware County this past January, ahead of winter’s worst weather.

So much to love

The community appealed to them because of its on-site medical center, its 24/7 security team of emergency medical technicians that boasts an under-two-minutes response time, and its 90% refundable entrance deposit.

It also offers the privacy of their own apartment home, the congeniality of wonderful neighbors, and the freedom to be as involved or as private as they like on campus.

“We had visited a number of places in the area,” says Tony, “but there’s something about Maris Grove. It permeates the campus.”

“It immediately feels like home,” says Ann. “It seems as if we’ve lived here for years, which is amazing.”

The Santores both take advantage of the on-site fitness center. Ann is considering additional fitness classes, and Tony is exploring educational activities. 

This spring, they took part in a unique opportunity to mentor young people, which is their passion. Along with other residents, they participated in a living history panel at Garnet Valley High School, where they shared memories of World War II with an American history class. 

“The kids asked great questions,” says Tony. Instead of relaying facts, “We tried to convey our feelings.” 

They told what it was like growing up in an Italian-American neighborhood in South Philadelphia, hearing that Pearl Harbor had been attacked, fearfully taking cover during air raid drills, and seeing neighbors come home wounded. 

The Santores don’t limit their mentoring to off-campus venues. They make a point of interacting with the students who work in Maris Grove’s three restaurants and its Grove Pub & Bistro. 

“Our style is to reach out and get to know them on a first-name basis,” Tony says. “And we’ll support [their academic goals] by donating to Maris Grove’s student scholarship fund.”

Good-bye to chores inside and out

The Santores’ two-bedroom, one-bath apartment home at Maris Grove affords them ample room with ease of care. It equals the space they actually used in their previous large, multi-level house. 

Now they enjoy maintenance-free, one-level living. Tony no longer power-washes, and Ann no longer cooks. 

While their home boasts an eat-in kitchen, she’s hung up her apron. When the Santores want to eat in, they pick up their meals at Cardinal Express. Launched earlier this year, it offers the same menu as Cardinal Clubhouse’s Blue Sky Restaurant. 

Residents’ orders are filled at the counter in real time so hot food stays hot and cold food stays cold. The carryout option represents another convenience that makes the Santores happy they chose Maris Grove.

“We love it here,” says Ann.