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Maintenance-free since summer

Former Lakewood couple enjoys Lantern Hill’s lifestyle, close proximity to family

Created date

October 14th, 2016
Shirley and Mel George moved to Lantern Hill in New Providence, N.J., from a 55-plus community in Lakewood in July. They are two of Lantern Hill’s pioneer residents.

Shirley and Mel George moved to Lantern Hill in New Providence, N.J., from a 55-plus community in Lakewood in July. They are two of Lantern Hill’s pioneer residents.

Oboe player Shirley George and her husband Mel realized the benefits of joining an Erickson Living priority list when they decided to change their status from Seabrook to Lantern Hill

“We had already given thought to moving to a continuing care retirement community and had joined the priority list at Seabrook a number of years ago,” says Shirley. “When we saw there was a new [community] being built in New Providence close to our daughters, we decided to visit. We decided right away that it would be perfect for us.” 

No apartment homes were available at the time, but because they had joined the priority list three years ago at Lantern Hill’s sister community, Seabrook in Tinton Falls, their seniority allowed them to reserve their ideal home as soon as one became available—without a long wait.

They’ve been enjoying the maintenance-free Lantern Hill lifestyle since late July. 

Great decision confirmed

Shirley and Mel enjoy going to the opera, the theater, and musical events. Ever since reserving their apartment home, they’ve looked forward to meeting others with shared interests and taking trips provided by Lantern Hill’s transportation services. 

Shirley also played in the intergenerational Toms River Community Orchestra. When she discovered New Providence has one too, she knew they had made a great decision.

More importantly, they have peace of mind knowing that 90% of their entrance fee will return to them or their heirs (full details are in Lantern Hill’s Residence and Care Agreement). An on-site medical center and future continuing care neighborhood will provide every level of health care they could need. 

“Now, we will enjoy independent living. But if in future years we need additional care, it will be available. The reassurance that this is a place that provides help was very important to us and a big reason for us to move,” Shirley says. 

Their daughters feel confident their parents have made a smart move, too. 

“We have wonderful children, and they are very excited we’re making this move at this time,” says Shirley. “They are very impressed with the quality of the community and excited we’ll be considerably closer to go out to dinner.” 

Moving from a 55-plus community in Lakewood, they’ll be an hour closer to one of their daughters and just 25 minutes from the other. “We have a close family and really enjoy spending time together,” Shirley says. 

When they don’t go out to eat with their family, they will be able to enjoy dinner at Lantern Hill without having to cook or clean up. Their fixed monthly service package includes all utilities, a choice meal plan, weekly housekeeping, under-building parking, and secure Wi-Fi, along with access to all community amenities like the fitness center and indoor aquatics center. 

Mel says the monthly service package, along with the 90% refundable entrance fee, makes Lantern Hill a smart financial decision. “The monthly service fee is reasonable,” he says.

Organized, easy move

Shirley and Mel chose a spacious, two-bedroom, two-bath apartment home with a den, living room, dining room, and kitchen. 

“We chose it because it’s a large apartment, and we like having a bit of space,” says Shirley.

With help from Personal Moving Consultant Jennifer Kohan and senior move management company KC Designs, they successfully downsized from a two-story house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

As part of Erickson Realty and Moving Services’ complimentary coordination of realty and moving needs, Kohan visited the Georges in their Lakewood home prior to their move to help them determine what furniture would fit in their new apartment home, and where. 

She brought a magnetic, to-scale floor plan of their Hathaway apartment home to place miniature furniture exactly where it would go in the Georges’ new Lantern Hill apartment. 

“She helped to determine what we have now that will be used [at Lantern Hill] and what needs to be given to Habitat for Humanity,” Mel said prior to their move. “She was very helpful.”

Kohan also hosts moving workshops for priority list members and those who have reserved apartment homes. It was at one of those moving events that Shirley and Mel met their real estate agent, moving company, and a representative from KC Designs. 

On moving day, KC Designs packed the Georges’ belongings then unpacked and put everything in its place at their new home. “At the advice of Lantern Hill, we have this organized to be an easy move for us,” Shirley says.

Because they used an Erickson Living-preferred real estate agent and moving company, the Georges qualified for a reimbursement of up to $2,000 of their moving expenses from Lantern Hill. 

“In general, it has been a very positive experience—the quality of the community with the knowledgeable and very helpful staff,” says Shirley. “We are very happy and excited about becoming part of Lantern Hill.”