A wide variety of seniors gather in a white table cloth dining room. Most are sitting and chatting while eating lunch together. One woman is in the process of sitting down.

Seniors have more living choices than ever, but the hype can be confusing. To find the home that best meets your needs, start by learning about differences among continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). What you don’t know may surprise you. 

Three types to choose from

One of the permanent train layouts in the Liberty Clubhouse stairwell. The background was painted by artists within the community.

There’s something magical about trains that time and high-speed travel can’t erase. 

Jack Edgar plays a favorite piece on a piano in one of the clubhouse living rooms at Ann’s Choice.

Name a classical music venue—Carnegie Hall, Curtis Institute, Spoleto Festival—Jack Edgar sang there. Name a famous conductor—Ormandy, Muti, Mehta—Jack recorded with him. Name a Philly sports team—Eagles, Phillies, 76ers—and Jack sang or conducted the National Anthem at their games.  

Gloria Donahue of Nana’s Cookery and grandson-videographer Tom Miller share a hug in her kitchen at Ann’s Choice, where her YouTube show is recorded.

Don’t call me a YouTube star,” says Gloria Donahue with a hearty laugh. “Call me Nana. Everyone does, and I love it!”

Harry Beam captured this lone robin on a snowy day at Ann’s Choice.

Walk anywhere on the Ann’s Choice campus, and you’re likely to see Harry Beam taking pictures. His iPhone is always ready to capture flowers in bloom, residents at play, or a special event. 

Dave and Terry Dunkelberger smile, standing in front of a beautifully landscaped busy with pink flowers.

When Dave and Terry Dunkelberger moved to Ann’s Choice two years ago, they wanted to get to know their new neighbors in inventive, new ways. “We could ask about careers, kids, and former lives,” says Terry, “but we wanted to get beyond the typical small talk.”

Trudi Hertfelder and daughter Heidi toured Grimsey Island near the Arctic Circle on a recent trip to Iceland. Living maintenance-free at Ann’s Choice frees up her schedule, allowing her to focus on the important things, like fun with the family.

“Go, and do it as long as you can.” That’s the advice Ann’s Choice resident and travel enthusiast Trudi Hertfelder gives when people ask about her frequent trips. 

Ann's Choice community member Harry Beam took these photos of the newly remodeled Banners Café.

Ann’s Choice community members often compare the Signature Dining program to eating on a cruise. The five on-site restaurants give them a choice of casual grab-and-go meals, hearty pub fare, and delicious multicourse dinners.

Kristina Cliff-Evans and her husband Ken Evans smile in their Ann's Choice apartment.

Kristina Cliff-Evans and her husband Ken Evans spent 28 years in a large, 95-year-old house in Northwest Philadelphia, Pa., with a full basement and two-car garage. According to Kristina, “There were lots of places to stick stuff, and we stuck stuff in all of them.”