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Camaraderie and community

Riderwood has both and more, say former Heritage Harbour residents

Created date

January 29th, 2015
couple sitting on a chair

Todd and Dorothy Wendler lived at Heritage Harbour, a 55-plus community in Annapolis, Md., for 25 years, but two years ago they decided to move to

The Wendlers enjoyed the recreational activities at Heritage Harbour, but Todd says Riderwood offered plenty of amenities—plus one other thing they couldn’t get at Heritage Harbor.

“I wanted to get away from the stress and worry about the house,” Todd says. “In the winter, I would worry about the heat pump going out or a tree falling on the house during a storm.”

Hassle-free home

While Heritage Harbour is designed for people age 55 and older, residents live in stand-alone houses, which means the burden of maintenance falls on the owners. 

At Riderwood, residents live in spacious one- and two-bedroom apartment homes with their own kitchens, but all maintenance is included in their monthly service package. That means things like lawn care, snow removal, plumbing issues, and even changing lightbulbs are handled by Riderwood’s professional staff, leaving residents with free time to enjoy their retirement. 

“At Heritage Harbour, you own your own house, so you take care of your yard, and you shovel the snow,” Todd says. “I had to do it all, even cut the grass, and I wanted to get out from under that. Now that I am here [at Riderwood], when it snows, I say, ‘Let it snow.’” 

A close-knit community

Todd says there is a sense of camaraderie and community at Riderwood that he didn’t notice as much at Heritage Harbour. A few of his and Dorothy’s neighbors from Heritage Harbour also moved to Riderwood, so there were a few familiar faces, but Todd says meeting new people at Riderwood is no problem at all.

“It was really easy to get to know people because everybody is so nice,” Todd says. 

“Everybody says hello when you walk down the hall—we didn’t have that at Heritage Harbour.”

One of the easiest ways to get to know your neighbors at Riderwood is simply by going to dinner. The community has several full-service restaurants.  

Dorothy still enjoys cooking, so the Wendlers sometimes dine in their apartment home, but they also enjoy frequent dinners with friends at Riderwood’s restaurants. Todd says there is always an abundance of entrée choices among the various restaurants.

“The food here is really good. We usually go to three of the four restaurants during the week,” Todd says. “We look at the menus and pick out what we want to eat that night, and then we go to that restaurant.”

All of the amenities, none of the burdens

Of course, like Heritage Harbour, Riderwood has all kinds of amenities for residents to enjoy. There’s a heated indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi, state-of-the-art fitness center staffed with personal trainers, a library, a salon, and a convenience store. But unlike Heritage Harbour, Riderwood’s buildings are connected by climate-controlled walkways so residents can enjoy these amenities without regard to the weather. 

The community’s well-appointed clubhouses serve as gathering spots for resident-run club meetings, special events, and parties. The Wendlers make a point of staying physically fit. They both enjoy swimming in Riderwood’s pool, and Todd plays tennis, bocce ball, and belongs to a putting group that meets weekly during the summer.

“We like to stay active,” he says.

When the Wendlers do want to relax, they can retreat to their handsome second-floor apartment home. They chose a Hastings-style home, which features two bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, and their favorite feature, a balcony with a view of Riderwood’s manicured grounds.

“We are extremely happy here,” Todd says. “[We want] to be relaxed and not have too many worries, and we have that here.”

Todd says he and Dorothy did look at some other local retirement communities before choosing Riderwood, but he says it was immediately clear that Riderwood was the right place for them. 

“When we first came on the grounds, they were so nice and neat. We were really impressed with the outside,” Todd says. “And then we came inside, and it looks and smells so nice, and the people were great. They have a good team in that sales department.”