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Perfect home base

Maris Grove makes it easy to pursue…everything!

Created date

September 28th, 2015
Maris Grove residents
Maris Grove residents

Because it relieves them of homeowner hassles and cooking chores, , Erickson Living’s retirement community in Delaware County, Pa., appeals to people who have reached retirement age but are still gainfully employed or are leading active lives as volunteers.

Don Yost and Barbara and William Smith—he’s known as “Chick”—all moved to Maris Grove from Springfield, Pa., where for years they’ve volunteered on basic life support runs with the Springfield Ambulance Corps. 

Don is an emergency medical responder, and the Smiths are emergency medical technicians. They each work five shifts a week, with the Smiths putting in a total of 25 hours.

Full-service living

Maris Grove’s maintenance-free living; 24/7 security team; on-site restaurants; and amenities like a full-service medical center, bank, theater, and fitness and aquatics center make it easy to maintain their heavy schedules.

The amenities also make them feel pampered. “I don’t shovel snow, clean gutters, rake leaves, wash windows, or have to weed,” says Chick. “Maris Grove has done so much to end our worries and give us the time to enjoy life.”

Before their move, Chick had been the family cook. He’s happily given that up in favor of dining at Maris Grove’s three campus restaurants, its grill pub, or using its convenient Cardinal Express carryout. 

He and Barb usually subscribe to Maris Grove’s flexible dining plan of 30 meal credits apiece each month. During summers, they switch to the 20-meal option because they spend weekends at the shore.

The joy of giving back

Barb joined the Springfield Ambulance Corps 26 years ago, took E.M.T. training, and volunteered on a limited basis while working as an R.N. She switched to her current schedule when she retired from nursing. 

Seventeen years ago, when Chick retired from teaching, he signed on to give back to the community. He and Barb, who had both been widowed, met in the Corps, “and next thing I know, we’re married,” he jokes.

They learned about Maris Grove from Don, who had moved there with his wife Sylvia.

At the time, the Smiths were facing a dilemma. Their children had all moved out of state, and their four-bedroom house had become too big. They wanted a change but couldn’t decide what to do. 

First impressions

Then Don treated them to lunch and a tour of Maris Grove, including his favorite activity, the woodshop. The Smiths liked everything they saw. 

Chick was especially impressed with Maris Grove’s circuit of climate-controlled interior hallways and bridges that link every building and make the lifestyle weatherproof.

“We knew at some point we’d need a place like Maris Grove,” he says, “so we decided why not make just one move? Why not make friends, build memories here of good times, and get involved in [campus life] while we’re young enough to participate and enjoy it?”

They went immediately to the sales office, joined Maris Grove’s priority list, and requested the apartment style they live in today, an extra-spacious floor plan with a large laundry room. 

When they moved five years ago, Barb changed her doctor to one of Maris Grove’s staff physicians, who practice in the campus medical center and treat only Maris Grove residents.

That’s something the Yosts had done, too. Don says it’s the amenity they value most: “The medical center brought Sylvia back to being fully functional [in spite of her] muscle problem.” 

The campus medical team extends beyond the medical center’s physicians to include the ancillary health care professionals in Maris Grove’s therapy department and the personal trainers in its fitness center. 

“Sylvia couldn’t go up and down stairs too well at the house,” says Don. “Here she has no trouble at all.” 

Both Don’s and Sylvia’s parents lived at retirement communities, though some distance away from the Yosts. “But we knew they were well taken care of,” Don says. “We wanted to do the same thing for our kids, give them that same peace of mind.”

The Smiths agree. “Continuing care is here [on campus] if we need it,” says Chick. “So we’re also providing for our future. And the kids can prepare for theirs because they don’t have to worry about caring for us.”

Unbeatable value

Before the Yosts moved to Maris Grove, Don added up the five-year costs at their house and divided it into 60 equal monthly amounts. 

“It was more than our monthly service package cost here [at Maris Grove],” he says. That revelation helped the Yosts decide to move to Maris Grove.

Then they found another reason, research done by a friend who’d already moved to Maris Grove. 

“He did a spreadsheet comparing 21 retirement communities, and in every category—services, costs, deposit, personnel, activities, facilities, you name it—Maris Grove came out ahead, “ says Don. “From any standpoint, you can’t beat Maris Grove.”