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Staying Active and Connected at Ann's Choice

February 6, 2020

Vibrant retirement lifestyle helps residents stay healthy and happy.

Imagine waking up with an endless array of things to do, right outside your door: Exercise classes, club meetings, dinner with friends, followed by a lecture or concert. Perhaps you'd like to sing in a chorus, build a model train layout, sculpt clay, or produce a TV show. There is something for everyone, even those who prefer just to relax and enjoy the engaging atmosphere on campus. 

All of that, and more, is possible for those interested at Ann's Choice, a distinctive Erickson Living developed and managed senior living community in Bucks County, PA. Besides being fun, the robust social life and abundant activities enhance residents' emotional well-being and cognitive function; they may even help stave off certain age-related illnesses.

Studies Prove the Point

The National Institute on Aging cites research that shows "a strong correlation between social interaction and health and well-being among older adults."

That's why so many seniors are opting to live in communities like Ann's Choice, where they can stay active and connected. All the amenities – gym, pool, theater, restaurants, game rooms, art studio, TV studio, and clubs – are under one roof, so it's easy to engage with peers. Outings to cultural events are always on the schedule. With so much to do on and off campus, residents can pursue long-time hobbies and discover exciting new interests.

Director of Resident Life Christa Segal says, "There are so many opportunities to meet people and socialize on campus.  With more than 180 resident-run clubs, classes, and activities, you'll never run out of fun things to do."

The Downside of Aging in Place

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 11 million seniors live alone, usually in their family home. Many view "aging in place" as a badge of independence, but living alone can be isolating.

Then, there's the time and expense of home maintenance. Unfortunately, houses age right along with their occupants; deferring maintenance can erode a home's value and your nest egg.

Ann's Choice Sales Director Deborah Olcese notes, "For all of these reasons, it's so important to understand your living options as you age. We understand that moving can be emotional, but I encourage prospective residents to consider how much more active, engaged, and healthy they can be at Ann's Choice. Don't let anything keep you from living your best life."

She adds, "Residents create fast friendships on campus and a real sense of community. The connection to others and to where you live makes a huge difference in your overall quality of life."

"It Was Time for a Different Life"

Ellen Matter took the keys to her two-bedroom apartment home in April 2019. She gave herself exactly one week to unpack her boxes so she could get busy living. "Once I make a decision, I'm all in," she says.

Interested in everything and open to trying new things, the former special education teacher picked Ann's Choice because it offered so many activities. She took water aerobics, tried pottery, and joined the history, bridge, and short story clubs. She became a resident ambassador, welcoming potential residents at community at events. "I felt at home instantly and wanted to get involved," she says. "Everyone was so welcoming, any doubts I had were erased."

Ellen acknowledges that leaving the single-family home she had shared with her late husband, Howard, wasn't easy. "I loved our 55+ community and all my friends. After he died, I waited three years, but it was time to embrace a different life. That house was our home," she says. "This beautiful apartment is my home."

She adds, "We always said if something isn't working, try something new. It's not good to eat alone, to be stuck indoors in bad weather, to have to drag the trash can down a slippery driveway. Now, I don't worry about anything. It's so freeing to let all that go."

While Ellen is in excellent health, she has several food allergies that can cause a severe reaction. "When I was researching my living options, I discussed my situation with the chefs. They have accommodated me at every meal," she notes. "Plus, if I had any unexpected adverse reaction, security would be at my door in a minute. It makes me feel safe."

An avid quilter, Ellen uses one of her bedrooms as a creative studio for sewing and embroidery. She teaches crafts on and off campus, volunteers at nearby historic sites, and occasionally performs a monologue, in costume, on prairie women, a topic that fascinates her.

"I'm all over the place," she says with a smile, "and I'm never bored. I always say that my blood type is B-positive for a reason – it's my personality to embrace life and enjoy everything. My daughter says I'm happier since I moved here, and I think she's right."

Ellen recalls, "My former neighbors thought I was crazy to move. Now, many of them are joining me. They see how much there is to do and how much fun I'm having."

"I teach, volunteer, take classes, exercise, and have met the most interesting, kind people. Being active and engaged keeps you young, and Ann's Choice is the place to do it. Moving here was the best decision I could have made."

Ann's Choice is a not-for-profit organization, developed and managed by Erickson Living®. The community is governed by its own board of directors affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community.

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About Ann's Choice: Ann's Choice, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 103-acre campus in Warminster, Pennsylvania. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,900 residents and 1,000 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Ann's Choice can be found at

Photo:  Ann's Choice resident Ellen Matter (pink shirt) enjoys dining with friends at the Fireside Restaurant on campus. Photo credit: Harry Beam

Story written by Dorrie Anshel