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Feeling welcome on day 1

Couple marries, starts new life at Ann’s Choice

Created date

April 16th, 2015
Herb and Elaine Craft’s second bedroom/office holds their computer desks. Herb helps Elaine enter registration data for the Ann’s Choice Lifelong Learning Program.
Herb and Elaine Craft’s second bedroom/office hold

 

The hot summer day in 2010 when Elaine and Herb Craft moved from Maple Glen, Pa., to Choice gave them a preview of what life at the Erickson Living retirement community in nearby Bucks County would be like.

As their movers carried in furniture and scores of boxes, the thermometer climbed higher and higher, and the day grew downright uncomfortable. 

Then who appeared but the Crafts’ new neighbors bearing tall glasses of iced tea for them and the movers both. 

“It was a positive and very pleasant experience,” says Herb. He and Elaine immediately felt welcome.

“Getting married that January and starting a fresh new life was incentive for us to move early,” she says. In fact, the newlyweds sold two houses and downsized within 30 days to move in June. 

New adventure

“Ann’s Choice was an entirely new and different kind of place,” says Elaine. “We considered it an adventure. We were looking to the future, [not feeling nostalgic] for a home we’d shared for 40 to 50 years.”

On a campus visit the year before, Herb came away impressed by beautiful grounds at Ann’s Choice and how well its staff maintained the buildings. He also thought that because it’s in the largest voting precinct in Bucks County, local politicians would pay attention to the concerns of older adults.

Elaine loved that Ann’s Choice was nearly as large as a small town; that meant more diversity and more activities. 

And she immediately felt comfortable with the ambience: “We wanted a neighborhood where we’d be with people like us, middle-class people who are active and engaged and want a good quality of life in a clean, attractive place.”

Early on, the Crafts volunteered as Ann’s Choice ambassadors. They mingle with visitors at the community’s sales events. “We were happy campers from day 1,” says Elaine, “so we thought we could help other people.”

Her goal is to help people see the advantages of moving earlier rather than later so they can fully enjoy everything Ann’s Choice offers. 

She also tells them not to wait for their one-and-only perfect floor plan. With 30 different apartment styles to choose from, but with an occupany level above 97%, staying flexible will allow them to move in more quickly.

After touring just one of the community’s 23 different two-bedroom apartment styles, the Crafts selected it. Their second bedroom is their combination office/den, and their patio provides a lovely courtyard view.  

Living the lifestyle

While they love their new home, the Crafts are often out taking advantage of everything the community has to offer. Elaine volunteers with the Ann’s Choice Lifelong Learning Academy, a resident-run program featuring lectures by local professors and other experts in the campus performing arts center. 

She also attends and facilitates at lectures. And she helps with the digital registration process. 

Herb belongs to the veterans club and a breakfast group called the ROMEOs (Retired Outstanding Men Enjoying Ourselves).

The Crafts get together with off-campus friends, travel to Florida, and take extended trips to Herb’s son and family in San Diego. 

They travel stress-free. They simply lock their door, sign out, and take the community’s excellent transportation service to and from the airport. Ann’s Choice allows them to live the adventurous life they’d hoped for.

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