‘It’s really like family’

Why utilizing professional help makes all the difference

Created date

March 31st, 2020
Kay McNally sits comfortably in her home at Lantern Hill, with peace of mind that her needs are met.

Kay McNally sits comfortably in her home at Lantern Hill, with peace of mind that her needs are met.

Lantern Hill, nestled among the rolling hills of Mountain Avenue, across from the Bell Labs campus and just a short train ride from Manhattan, isn’t only a beautiful setting for retirement. Yes, it has beautiful, open-design apartment homes. Yes, it has five on-site, highly rated restaurants. Yes, it has an expert staff of some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. 

But, it also provides several essentials and amenities: maintenance-free living, activities, sense of community, on-site medical care and continuing care, and a convenient monthly service package. Those are the five most common reasons so many people choose Lantern Hill over other living options. 

1. Maintenance-free living

Lantern Hill removes the worry and maintenance associated with owning a house and replaces it with clubs, amenities, and social opportunities, empowering retirees to enjoy a vibrant retirement.

Kay McNally, a mother of seven, welcomes her new, simpler lifestyle. “I have turned on one of the burners,” she says. “I have used the oven. I don’t cook. It’s a choice. I cooked for seven for years. I eat my breakfast and lunch here. I go to supper with the girls. I didn’t know anyone at all when I moved in, but five of us moved in the same month and just happened to be very congenial. So, [when we’re dining], if anyone wants to join us they can so we get to meet people.” 

2. Never bored

With all that free time, community members can partake in as many of Lantern Hill’s 30 resident-run clubs and activities as they’d like. They can try the hiking club, travel club, art classes, music groups, and continuing education courses to name a few.

Dick Byrnes started a writers group, plays and performs with the hand chimes choir, exercises daily in the fitness center or swimming pool or by walking around campus, and serves on the Resident Advisory Council (RAC) and as a sales ambassador. 

“You can tell I like it here. It’s really like family. You just feel like you belong,” he says. “Some people don’t want to get involved, and that’s not a big deal. You just come here, and there are so many things to do. If you want to start an activity, you start it. For a guy like me, if you’re energetic and social, this is the place to live.”

3. Safe and secure

For Darlene Eckel, that same sense of community Dick loves for socialization translates into a sense a safety. She knows that her neighbors, the staff, and the security personnel truly care about her and her well-being.

“I like it here because I feel safe. If I hear a noise, I don’t have to worry if I put my alarm on,” Darlene says. “You’re never really alone. You can join things or not at your pleasure. I walk every morning and every night, and the front desk always knows when I’m out and when I come back. It makes you feel like somebody cares about you.”

4. One-level living

Darlene’s daughter, Lynn O’Neill, and her husband moved to Lantern Hill after witnessing the benefits of such a vibrant, maintenance-free continuing care community for her parents. And among all the pluses, one stood out: one-level living.

One-level homes provide greater accessibility, more flexible space, and more usable living space per square foot while reducing the risk of falling. 

“We felt it was important to get somewhere where there are no stairs, where we wouldn’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning, or shoveling snow,” Lynn says. 

5. Independent living through continuing care

With all those reasons in mind, everyone interviewed agrees that one of the best reasons to choose Lantern Hill is that they never have to move again. They have a home for life, where they can enjoy independent living as long as possible with the peace of mind in knowing that continuing care is available on site should their health needs ever change.