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Free at last

Parkville community has retirees spending less time on house chores, more time doing what they love

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December 13th, 2016
This summer, Bob and Beverly Annen chose worry-free living when they moved to Oak Crest.

This summer, Bob and Beverly Annen chose worry-free living when they moved to Oak Crest.

With each mound of snow Beverly Annen shoveled at her Perry Hall, Md., townhome last winter, she grew more and more confident she was ready for a change. A longtime resident of Baltimore County, Beverly watched as Oak Crest was built 20 years ago. She and her husband Bob were ready to call the Erickson Living community home.  

“The house was too big for just the two of us,” says Beverly. “There were rooms that we hardly ever used.  Bob was tired of the lawn, and yard work and repairs were a real pain in the neck. The housework always felt like it was never done. I thought, ‘There has to be an alternative for us.’”

Beverly and Bob considered every option, from sticking it out in their townhouse to downsizing to a condo. They decided Oak Crest made the most sense. 

“If we moved into a condo, we would eventually have to move again, so we thought, ‘Why not just cut out the middle move,’” says Beverly. “Time goes fast. You don’t know how long you will remain healthy, and downsizing is tough. We are in our sixties. I can’t imagine waiting until we were in our late seventies or eighties to get started.”

Discovering the best years

According to Oak Crest Sales Counselor Melisa Batac, concerns about downsizing and the idea of being “too young” to move are common. But she says don’t let those doubts keep you from discovering what could easily be some of the best years of your life.  

“It’s natural to be nervous when it comes to any major life change,” says Batac. “It’s a common misconception that when you move to a community like Oak Crest you lose your independence. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Oak Crest frees you from the house that’s holding you back and robbing you of living your best life.”

Since moving to Oak Crest in June, Beverly and Bob have been making the most of their new-found free time. 

“When you own a home, there’s always a running to-do list in your brain,” says Beverly. “Now I don’t have to do that stuff anymore. Not having to worry about all those things gives us time to do other things. Bob still works three days a week. I’m taking college classes here at Oak Crest through CCBC [Community College of Baltimore County]. We use the fitness center and go to concerts. It’s been wonderful!” 

‘I’ve never been happier’

Like Beverly and Bob, peace of mind for the future factored into Regina Doyle’s decision to move to Oak Crest, but living life to the fullest in the moment was also important. 

As much as Regina loved her house, she didn’t love the constant upkeep and maintenance it required. So this May she decided to take control of her future, leave behind the headaches of home ownership, and start living worry-free. 

“I was tired of taking care of everything—mowing the grass and doing the yard work,” says Regina. “I thought, ‘Why am I going through all this?’ I wanted to live somewhere where that kind of stuff would be taken care of, and I could spend my time with friends and enjoy myself. Now I don’t have to worry about anything. I’m finally looking forward to watching the snow fall this winter so I can sit back and let someone else do the shoveling.”

Oak Crest’s continuing care and rehabilitation neighborhood also factored into Regina’s decision to move to the community. 

“I wanted to be somewhere I could be safe and worry-free for the rest of my life,” says Regina. “I knew that if, in the future, I could no longer live independently, both assisted living and nursing care are right here on campus.” 

Regina’s sunny outlook on life has allowed her to jump into Oak Crest’s vibrant lifestyle with both feet. 

“I love it here,” says Regina. “There’s a lot going on and so many things to get involved in. I use the fitness center. I belong to a yoga group. I’m in a ballroom dancing group. It’s wonderful. I’ve never been happier.” 

For those on the fence about moving to a community like Oak Crest, Regina offers this advice: 

“If you wait too long to make your mind up, who knows what could happen a month or a year from now. We just don’t know what the future holds. Move while you are still healthy and can enjoy everything Oak Crest has to offer. If I had known how great it was going to be, I probably would have moved even sooner than I did.” 

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