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Highly recommended

Family physicians find happiness, excellent health care at Ann’s Choice

Created date

May 5th, 2017
Phyllis and Richard Buckwalter, retired doctors who live at Ann’s Choice, share a dance at a grandson’s wedding two years ago.

Phyllis and Richard Buckwalter, retired doctors who live at Ann’s Choice, share a dance at a grandson’s wedding two years ago.

Since 2008, when they joined the Ann’s Choice priority list, primary care physicians Phyllis and Richard Buckwalter knew they’d eventually move from their home in Horsham, Pa., to Erickson Living’s retirement community in Bucks County. 

For 56 years, their house had served as their home and the medical office where they practiced family medicine. They loved their profession and couldn’t imagine a more meaningful and fulfilling field. 

But after 56 years and the ever-increasing paperwork a medical practice required, Phyllis retired last August. With the aid of the couple’s four children, she started downsizing—a signal that the move to Ann’s Choice was near. 

When a spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom corner apartment home with a sunroom and a bay window became available, they reserved it. 

Priority list members have first choice and right of refusal on their desired apartment style based on the date they joined. Because the Buckwalters joined eight years ago, by 2016 their date had moved them high on the list. 

As priority list members, the couple could have received a complimentary home visit and a customized furniture layout for their new home from Colleen Rosica, Ann’s Choice’s personal moving consultant. 

Instead, Richard drew up a to-scale furniture layout scale himself. Doing so helped make the apartment seem as much like home to him as the house he and Phyllis had shared.

The Buckwalters moved last November, and Richard retired this January. 

“We think we’ve made a good transition,” he says. “We think we’re in a good place at the right time.”

Ann’s Choice, always the goal

The Buckwalters had been frequent visitors at Ann’s Choice because several of their good friends lived there. “We got a very good feeling about it,” says Phyllis. “It was a very upbeat community, and all our friends love it. So we never bothered to look anyplace else.”

They liked the ambience, the staff, and the cuisine in the five campus restaurants.

The maintenance team, in particular, impressed Phyllis. After the couple selected their new home, she noticed a potential problem with the stove and mentioned it to the general services department. 

“Maintenance came and replaced the range before we even moved in,” she says. “Everything here is done quickly, and you get the attention [your concerns deserve].” 

Through the years, friends and former patients who have lived at Ann’s Choice relayed equally glowing reviews about the care they received at the on-site medical center and its full-time physicians. Phyllis and Richard plan to use an Ann’s Choice staff physician as their primary care doctor. 

The medical staff, which provides care only to Ann’s Choice residents, includes physicians and other medical professionals.

Enjoying Ann’s Choice firsthand

The Buckwalters are now experiencing Ann’s Choice for themselves. They especially enjoy dining with community members they haven’t met before. “That’s how we get to know people,” says Phyllis. “The longtimers give us ideas about what they enjoy here.” 

The campus aquatics center has enticed Richard to take up swimming again. He’s also drawn to activities such as the short-story club and the Ann’s Choice Lifelong Learning Academy.

Phyllis, who left her home gym behind, says she’ll definitely use the campus fitness center’s state-of-the-art equipment. 

In nice weather, she’ll ramble the walking trails in Warminster Community Park, located adjacent to Ann’s Choice. She imagines that visiting grandkids would enjoy going there too. 

Even before the Buckwalters took up residence, they recommended Ann’s Choice to patients they thought would benefit from living there. “I always mentioned it as a great place because people always seemed happy there,” Phyllis says.

Its size—103 acres and 2,100 community members—lets Ann’s Choice offer extensive activities and eclectic events to appeal to its diverse population. 

Three clubhouses anchor its three neighborhoods, and each of those neighborhoods consists of five residence buildings. So even though the community seems large, members easily find their own comfortable niche. 

Richard says that living at an apartment community where you see people all the time provides myriad social experiences, while moving to a little cottage somewhere can make you somewhat isolated.   

He adds that socialization, which becomes more important as people get older, benefits them both emotionally and psychologically. 

“I knew we’d eventually come here and be happy,” says Richard. “But I’m actually happier than I thought I’d be. This was definitely the right decision.”