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Ann's Choice Resident Fosters Peace of Mind for Neighbors

Jill Dutton
February 6, 2024
Ann's Choice resident

When Lois Pisacane moved to Ann's Choice, an Erickson Senior Living community in Bucks County, Pa., she brought her passion for well-being with her. 

"Well-being is an elusive concept in some ways, yet it encompasses just about everything in our lives," explains Lois. "When I moved here, I asked myself, 'How do I bring that into a manageable focus that can be articulated in a variety of ways?'"

The answer ended up being Preparing for Someday: Thinking and Planning Ahead, a guidebook that will help peers, neighbors, and friends navigate crucial conversations with family members. 

"Thinking about the future can be mentally taxing," says Lois. "Breaking that conversation barrier is a terrific way to reduce everyone's anxiety."

Years of experience 

Lois' experience in the medical field led her to adopt a holistic approach to wellness. 

"When I was practicing as an OB-GYN, I noticed that women's health issues were not studied like men's health issues--cardiovascular disease in particular," she recalls. "As a result, I became interested in clinical research."

During her time in clinical research, she studied the epidemiology of aging and worked extensively in the field of osteoporosis and fracture outcomes. 

"Well-being doesn't mean the same thing for everyone, and that's to be expected," says Lois, noting that her time in different areas of health care impacted her view of how physical and mental health are tied together. "Regardless, it's incredibly important."

Where it started

When she moved to Ann's Choice six years ago, Lois was pleasantly surprised to find that her neighbors were just as invested in overall well-being. 

"After settling into my apartment home, I was elected as a member of the Resident Advisory Council [RAC] to represent health and wellness," she recalls. "During my work with the RAC, I met with health and wellness representatives from other Erickson Senior Living communities via Zoom. We covered a lot of topics in those discussions."

One of those topics happened to be end-of-life planning. 

"A representative from another community had developed a list of important documents that every resident should assemble and have readily available for their heirs or executors," explains Lois. "It turned out to be a list of 20 documents."

Knowing that her neighbors would appreciate having a similar resource, Lois started brainstorming. 

"Our discussion made me wonder, 'What are the nuts and bolts of what needs to happen? What do family members need to do?' Things like changing a car insurance plan and dealing with Social Security came up. The list kept going," she says. "All that evolved into the guidebook."

All in one

Although Lois came up with the concept, it took a village--or community, rather--to bring the guidebook to fruition.   

"By that time, I had also volunteered to spearhead the community's Well-Being Committee," she says. "They're the reason the guidebook exists! All the residents bring a wide range of expertise and life experience."

The Well-Being Committee, formed in 2022, brought plenty of ideas to the table about what should be included in the guidebook. 

"The first chapter, Essential Conversations, addresses conversations that each of us should have with our family members--so that they're clear about what our preferences are, where important papers are located, and so forth," Lois explains. 

She continues, "It then leads to chapters that cover a variety of topics such as estate planning, wills and trusts, assisted living, and taxes."

The guidebook can be completed like a workbook, as checklists and step-by-step tasks are also included. 

"It's an impressive guide to such a sensitive topic," says Trisha Malabuyo, resident life director at Ann's Choice. "Although it was a group project, Lois really took the learnings from her career and ran with them."

'A rewarding process'

"We're about to publish the book so residents and family members can benefit from the committee's work," adds Malabuyo. "It's been such a rewarding process for everyone involved."

Recently, Erickson Senior Living made a $500 million investment in its existing communities to support the amenities and initiatives that enhance residents' health and well-being. At Ann's Choice, a portion of this investment is being used to print the guidebooks. 

"This was the perfect project to receive some funding," she says. "Residents are experiencing less stress and gaining peace of mind, knowing that their future is planned out."

The guidebook has been a hit, to say the least.

"Now, the guidebook is no longer unique to Ann's Choice, but I'm glad," says Lois. "A team at Maris Grove [an Erickson Senior Living community in the Brandywine Valley of Pennsylvania] printed a similar book, and other Erickson communities have adopted the list of the important documents. I'm happy to see that other residents are embracing their well-being and planning for the future."

To learn more about affordable, independent senior living at Ann's Choice, request your free brochure to get the scoop on amenities, floor plans, and so much more.