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Dave and Valerie Marr prepare to spring forward

Making room for new experiences at Lantern Hill

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March 22nd, 2016
Valerie and Dave Marr

Valerie and Dave Marr will move into their new home at Lantern Hill in New Providence, N.J., when the community opens late this spring.

Dave and Valerie Marr won’t just change their clocks this spring. They will change their entire living situation.

In late spring, they will move from their split-level, three-bedroom house to a two-bedroom Hathaway-model apartment home at Lantern Hill, the Erickson Living community opening in New Providence, N.J.

The art of slimming down

Much like author Marie Kondo advises in her New York Times best-selling guide The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Marrs have been clearing out clutter for months in preparation for their move. 

At the recommendation of Personal Moving Consultant Jenn Kohan, they started by tackling the attic and basement. After doing a floor and furniture plan of their new apartment with Kohan, they realized that nearly everything in their current home will fit in their new home except what’s in the attic and basement. 

Several months later, “The attic and basement are not empty, but they are better than they were, and we are much closer to being ready to move,” Dave says.

By starting early, they have been able to create a detailed packing and moving plan. 

For example, they planned the space in their new storage room so that they knew they would have room for one bin of Christmas decorations. “During the holidays this year, we slimmed down knowing that we would only have one tub going back up in the attic.”

They have also slimmed down on paper documents by converting to electronic files. “Ones and zeros take up very little space on a computer. We’ve gotten rid of a huge amount of paper, but we’ve kept the information that was on the paper,” Dave says.

But rightsizing isn’t just about getting rid of stuff, it’s about making room for new experiences. And the Marrs are ready. 

“We’re making the move while we’re still young enough to cope with the uproar of moving and can enjoy the activities and amenities in the new community,” Dave says. 

Those activities include various interest groups, like a woodshop, and amenities like the fitness and aquatics center. 

By shedding home maintenance responsibilities, they’ll have time to do all the things they never had time for before. Life at Lantern Hill includes weekly housekeeping, a declining balance dining plan for use in all restaurants and the marketplace, and 24/7 home and yard maintenance.

Health care a top priority

One amenity that weighed heavily on the Marrs’ decision to move to Lantern Hill was its expert medical care available on campus. While they like the activities, amenities, one consolidated monthly bill, active lifestyle, one-level living, and location, “Even more important, though, we wanted to be close to good medical care and good hospitals.”

Summit Medical Group (SMG), the area’s premier health provider, will lease the medical center space in Lantern Hill’s Union Square building, which houses all amenities as well as 83 apartment homes. SMG will also act as medical director for continuing care at Lantern Hill, which will include oversight of the medical care patients receive during their short- or long-term stay in continuing care.

SMG’s Berkeley Heights campus is located just half a mile from Lantern Hill. “We will provide transportation to our residents for visits to specialists and for lab tests,” says Lantern Hill Executive Director Patricia Swan. “Summit Medical Group is the premier medical practice up here, so it’s very convenient for many of our residents who already use Summit as their provider,” including Dave and Valerie.

On campus, staff physicians and advanced practice nurses (A.P.N.s) will keep scheduled hours to see both Lantern Hill residents as well as residents from the surrounding community.

At its core, the Lantern Hill medical center will encourage both Medicare annual wellness visits, conducted by an A.P.N., and physician assessments of functional and/or cognitive concerns.

On-site providers will be board-certified specialists in fields such as geriatrics, palliative care, internal medicine, and family medicine. Other specialists, such as ophthalmologists, entomologists, and urologists, will continue to take appointments in their established community offices where their specialized equipment and staff are based.

Lantern Hill’s agreement with Summit Medical Group to manage its on-site medical center was “perfect for us,” says Dave. “Lantern Hill satisfies all of the things we were worried about, and the medical situation was most important.”

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