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Less worry, more living

Former professional dance instructor finds ‘best’ lifestyle at Ann’s Choice

Created date

September 15th, 2016
The trailing philodendron on the shelf outside Deanna Dvorak’s door at Ann’s Choice conveys a welcoming greeting to visitors.

The trailing philodendron on the shelf outside Deanna Dvorak’s door at Ann’s Choice conveys a welcoming greeting to visitors.

Ann’s Choice is the best thing that ever happened to me,” says Deanna Dvorak. The 13-year member of Erickson Living’s retirement community in Bucks County, Pa., lives an enviable lifestyle free from the responsibilities of home ownership.

A former snowbird who also owned a place in the Poconos, Deanna moved from Bensalem, just nine miles away, when she no longer wanted to care for a house with two overflowing attics and seven flowerbeds. She also didn’t feel safe living alone.

After investigating several retirement communities, “Ann’s Choice had more of what I was looking for,” she says.

Peace of mind

For instance, because of its round-the-clock, quick-response security team and staffed entrance gate, Deanna could go to Florida or the Poconos for months at a time and never worry about her apartment home.

And she experienced the security team’s expertise firsthand. 

“On two occasions when I had been ill, my daughter called and awakened me,” Deanna says. “Because she didn’t like the way I sounded, she called the front desk. Security was at my door immediately. Just like that, they come if you have any trouble.”

Deanna’s doctor is an Ann’s Choice staff physician. The doctors practice in the on-site medical center, treat only Ann’s Choice residents, and deliver hands-on care. 

In fact, Deanna’s doctor called her personally one evening to say she was overdue for her ten-year colonoscopy exam. When Deanna has prescriptions, she gets them filled and delivered from the on-site pharmacy.

A full, happy life

A gregarious and generous woman, Deanna thrives at Ann’s Choice. 

A former professional dance instructor, she performs in campus talent shows and has displayed her hula and belly dancing talents on the Ann’s Choice stage.

She stays limber by working out at the campus fitness center. Deanna uses its state-of-the-art strength-training and aerobics machines at least three times a week. And she water-walks in the all-season campus swimming pool nearly every evening with a neighbor.

Mainly, she gives back. Deanna volunteers at the Treasure Chest, the campus resale shop whose proceeds benefit the resident care fund (details about the fund are in the Residence and Care Agreement).

With Helping Hands and Person to Person, she helps neighbors who feel under the weather or are recuperating from hospital stays by picking up their mail or bringing them meals from one of the campus restaurants. 

Deanna also pet sits, grocery shops for a neighbor, and chauffeurs another neighbor to similar errands. Deanna enjoys helping her neighbors even though they can opt to use the Ann’s Choice regularly scheduled shopping shuttle. 

On mornings when Deanna doesn’t really feel like getting out of bed, “Knowing that somebody is counting on me, needing me, even if only to feed their cat, I get up to do it,” she says.

She does, however, indulge herself with a twice monthly housekeeping service because the cost is so reasonable.

She has freedom “to be and do,” she says. “I can be as lazy or as active as I want. I can have guests. I can get up at 2 a.m. and turn on the TV to exercise without bothering anyone.” 

She has no complaints, especially at mealtime. “I didn’t have to plan it, shop for it, cook it, or serve it. And I won’t be cleaning up,” Deanna says.

Christmas is different. Then she prepares a traditional Christmas dinner for her family. Deanna’s Fairmont apartment home, an extra-large, two-bedroom style with an eat-in kitchen, has hosted 13 people for the feast. 

Last year, as she prepared to serve, her disposal backed up. One call to general services brought Ann’s Choice’s maintenance team within ten minutes. 

“They fixed it, no charge,” Deanna says. “I feel so well-taken care of here. My children love that I live at Ann’s Choice.”