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Retirement living, Maris Grove-style

Retired nurse gives Erickson Living community two thumbs up

Created date

March 22nd, 2018
Maris Grove’s Redwood Commons Clubhouse entices neighbors like Ellen Capotosto (right) and Adele Ross to relax and converse with one another.

Redwood Commons Clubhouse entices neighbors to relax and converse with one another.

Ellen Capotosto knows from experience that people should move sooner rather than later to Maris Grove, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Delaware County, Pa.

During her nursing career, Ellen had many patients who stayed in their homes until their health care situations became unmanageable and they were no longer enjoying life.

She has also served as caregiver for her parents, not only during the time they lived in their house in Wilmington, Del., but also now that they’re in a Wilmington-area nursing home.

In contrast, she knew friends and former patients who had moved to Maris Grove while they were healthy and active. Those people are engaged in life and eagerly taking advantage of everything Maris Grove has to offer.

Several years ago, when Ellen and her husband Al were dating, he asked what she thought of Maris Grove. She said, “I’m all for it. When you’re ready to move, I’m ready to move.”

In good hands

They did so last June when Maris Grove opened Redwood Commons, its third neighborhood.

Maris Grove’s on-site medical center and its rehabilitation and continuing care neighborhood impress this former nurse. The medical center is staffed by full-time physicians who see only Maris Grove community members.

Although Ellen now has time to drive to her former doctors in Paoli, Pa., where she worked, and West Chester, where she lived, she prefers the convenience of seeing the campus physicians.

“I went to meetings, met the staff doctors, and asked Erickson Advantage® staff for recommended specialists in their network,” she says. “I trust that I’m in good hands for all of this.”

Erickson Advantage is a health insurance plan with a Medicare contract that’s available exclusively to residents of Erickson Living retirement communities.

Fewer responsibilities

The Capotostos moved to Maris Grove from a 3,000-square-foot house in the 55-plus community of Hershey’s Mill in West Chester.

“It’s less work and more fun to live here,” Ellen says. “There’s something about moving into a fresh, new apartment home among new neighbors all eager to make friends.”

The couple’s one-bedroom Ellicott floor plan lets them live the way they want to live now, more simply (you can see a blue print of the Ellicott floor plan in the special section that wraps the Tribune this month). By downsizing, they’ve unburdened themselves of excess belongings, and because life at Maris Grove is maintenance-free, they’ve shed homeowner chores.

Maris Grove has also lightened Ellen’s caregiver role. She lives closer to her parents now, and she needn’t hurry home to cook dinner after she visits because Maris Grove’s monthly service package includes the couple’s choice of 20 or 30 meal credits each month at any of the five campus restaurants.

Ellen can come home and relax, and she and Al are free to accept dinner invitations from their neighbors.

The couple dines at restaurants in all three clubhouses because they enjoy making new friends. That attitude is contagious; the Capotostos have received dinner invitations just walking down the hall.

“There’s a camaraderie of being together,” says Ellen. “We’re amazed that people are so warm and comfy. The fact that they’re here for us and we for them has opened our world.”

Should something happen, Ellen knows the Maris Grove family would rally around them. Likewise, she knows neighbors would respect their privacy.

Ellen had long thought that retirement living, Maris Grove-style, was the best move people could make.

“This is a new beginning,” she says. “It’s fun, and I highly recommend it. There’s so much to do and see and know about here. Don’t wait. Allow yourself the gift of Maris Grove.”