Walking the walk, talking the talk
Ann’s Choice ambassadors share their lives with newcomersBy Jacqueline Kimball
For Dave and Nancy Lee Breece, life at Ann’s Choice, Erickson Living’s full-service community in Bucks County, Pa., was the ideal choice.
Decades ago, when home maintenance became a grind and started to interfere with his golf game, Dave sold their house in Trenton, N.J., and moved the family to a condo in Yardley, Pa.
The Breeces discovered they loved the freedom of living in less space unencumbered by lots of “stuff.” It became their preferred way of life.
And when they moved to Ann’s Choice and their beautiful Jackson-style home—a two-bedroom, two-bath floor plan with a great room, patio, and sunlit kitchen—they didn’t need to downsize.
‘Wonderful’ and ‘less expensive’
“Our home at Ann’s Choice is almost as big as the condo we moved from,” says Nancy Lee. “Financially, it’s less expensive.”
Nancy Lee is a dedicated volunteer at Ann’s Choice, in Yardley, and in Trenton. And she and Dave volunteer together as ambassadors at Ann’s Choice sales luncheons. They greet attendees and answer questions about living there.
“Meeting new people and sharing our enthusiasm for this wonderful place is what we look forward to,” says Nancy Lee.
“I tell people it’s the best move we’ve made at this time of our lives,” says Dave. He knows firsthand that prospective neighbors want to talk with current residents.
Thinking ahead to scheduled knee surgery and its required rehabilitation, the Breeces toured the continuing care neighborhood on campus before finalizing their decision to move. They talked with staff, therapists, and patients.
“I decided I couldn’t do my rehab at a better place,” Dave says. And he was right. After ten days of rehabilitation, “I came out with flying colors.”
He’s as delighted as Nancy Lee about their lovely home at Ann’s Choice. It meets three of his main criteria. First and most importantly, it’s maintenance-free, giving him plenty of time to golf with the Ann’s Choice leagues.
Second, its floor plan is superior to that of the condo in Yardley. “The condo’s two bedrooms shared a common wall,” Dave says. That meant that TV watchers in one bedroom could easily annoy anyone trying to sleep in the other bedroom.
The Jackson floor plan places the bedrooms on opposite ends of the great room.
Finally, Dave likes that their patio, which he wanted, faces east, which lets him avoid sitting in the afternoon sun.
A woman’s perspective
Ambassador Rita Latini moved to Ann’s Choice in 2009 shortly after she was widowed.
Her house in northeast Philadelphia was old, large, and featured extensive grounds, and her husband had been its maintenance man and gardener.
“The house was too big for me to take care of by myself,” Rita says. “Ann’s Choice was the perfect answer. It’s made my life so much better.”
She now lives in a light-filled one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath apartment home—a Hamilton floor plan that features windows in every room. It’s spacious enough to host large family gatherings, like her annual New Year’s Day pork and sauerkraut feast.
Although she could host guests in the beautifully appointed restaurants at Ann’s Choice, Rita’s New Year’s meal is a family tradition, and her home is spacious and accommodating.
During her moving process, she became good friends with Ann’s Choice sales staff, especially Database Coordinator Maria Seva and Events Coordinator Sharon McGrody. “They’re all so nice and they’ve been so helpful,” Rita says.
McGrody, who coordinates the ambassador program, soon encouraged Rita to become an ambassador. “I like people, so I knew I could do this,” Rita says.
McGrody says that Rita makes an excellent ambassador, and, indeed, the proof is in the pudding.
“Six friends that I talked to about coming here have moved in,” Rita says. “They made the decision after seeing how happy I am. There’s always something to do here and people are very friendly, but they really respect your privacy,” she adds. “Neighbors don’t show up at your door; they call first.”
After living in an old house, Rita truly appreciates the maintenance-free lifestyle. And she cites a perfect example of what that means:
When Rita’s hallway neighbor woke up in a cold bedroom the Sunday before New Year’s, the woman called General Services. Maintenance staff arrived within 15 minutes, and in less than an hour, Rita’s neighbor had a new heater and a warm apartment home, all at no charge.
Besides the benefits that maintenance-free living provides, Rita says the community’s top-notch professional security department guarantees priceless and additional peace of mind.
“Feeling safe, being among friends, and not having to worry about the dishwasher breaking are all good things about Ann’s Choice,” she says.
‘Everything’s set up for positive feelings’
When Ann’s Choice resident ambassador Dave Breece chats with people who attend the community’s sales luncheons, he comes well-equipped to answer their questions.
People most often ask him how long he’s lived at Ann’s Choice and how he likes it. After five years as a community member, he knows exactly what he likes. Number one, he says, is Erickson Living’s business plan.
A person can’t help but enjoy living at Ann’s Choice, Dave says, because, “Everything’s set up for positive feelings.” From the student servers in campus restaurants to staff members at every level, “They know how to talk to residents; they’re very, very nice; and they can’t do enough for you.”
On a practical level, he applauds the community’s refundable entrance deposit*. “It’s a safety net for your, heirs,” he says.
And he approves of how easy it is to meet new people and make new friends. Many friendships start over an evening meal in one of the community’s four restaurants. “If you come down to dinner by yourself, you can be seated with others,” says Dave.
Opportunities to socialize abound across the campus. “There are more than 150 clubs,” he says. You can’t help but make friends when you join a group, attend a lecture, or make use of the community’s fitness and aquatics center.
*As per the Residence and Care Agreement.