Tribune Print Share Text

Best value, best decision

Couple finds happiness, peace of mind at the Erickson Living community

Created date

April 16th, 2015
Ann’s Choice residents Diana and Ed Pearl transform a relaxing evening into a time of enjoyment and laughter as she listens to books on tape and he shares humorous passages from his hardback title.
Ann’s Choice residents Diana and Ed Pearl transfor

For all kinds of reasons, at Choice, Ed Pearl leads a stress-free life. “The other day I filled a prescription, mailed a letter, and went to the bank—and I never left the building,” he says. 

EricksonLiving’s retirement community in Bucks County, Pa., also provides Ed with one-level living, five different restaurants, a 24/7 security team, and grounds and maintenance crews that handle all those pesky homeowner chores.

But mainly, says Ed, “I’m happy here because Diana is happy.”

What makes his wife happy are the many friends she’s made at Ann’s Choice, the wealth of activities she’s involved in, and that she can go wherever she wants without relying on someone to take her. 

Diana has macular degeneration, which is what prompted the Pearls to move from their home of 13 years at the 55-plus community of Flowers Mill. 

Escaping isolation

“I could no longer drive,” Diana says, “and if something happened to Eddie, I’d be locked in where I couldn’t go anywhere [on my own.] I’d have been isolated. Here I can take the shuttle to go shopping at local stores. I’m a very good shopper.”

She also rides the shuttle on Saturday mornings when she volunteers with the sing-along program at Rose Gardens, the on-campus rehabilitation and continuing care neighborhood at Ann’s Choice. 

Diana walks to her appointments at the campus medical center and to her activities in the three clubhouses. She’s at the on-site aquatics center three days a week; works out at the fitness center; and belongs to the Torah, Yiddish, and low-vision groups. 

“I love it here,” she says. “Everyone is friendly, there’s so much to do, and Ann’s Choice makes it possible for me to be active.”

This January, with Ed acting as the stay-at-home travel agent, she and three of her neighbors took a cruise to the Bahamas.

When he has the time, Ed likes to stay home with a good book; he’s a voracious reader. But he does use the campus fitness center, he belongs to the Veterans club, and he volunteers at campus events. “I’m free to do what I want here,” he says. 

Ed also skis, and he works two days a week as a shuttle driver for a local car dealership. He knows that Diana will be just fine while he’s out; the Pearls’ doctors are steps away, and the security team responds immediately. 

An easy choice to make

“Ann’s Choice offers the best overall value of any communities we visited,” Ed says. 

Because he and Diana so enjoy its lifestyle, they volunteer as Ann’s Choice ambassadors, residents who answer questions from sales luncheon guests about life at Ann’s Choice. 

“The time to move is while you’re still healthy,” says Ed. “That’s especially true for couples. They should find the environment they like, move, and acclimate to it. Then if something happens, they’ve established a network. People look out for each other here.”

Diana, whose sunny demeanor and frequent laugh light up a room when she enters it, has discovered an additional benefit: “A Flowers Mill friend told me I look younger than I’ve ever looked,” she says. “This was the best move we could have made.”