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Why move to Cedar Crest now?

September 8, 2020

Cedar Crest offers safety, amenities during pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic wears on, we're all adjusting to our new reality. Our way of life has been disrupted, and everyone is coping with unprecedented challenges. During this unique time, residents at Cedar Crest, an Erickson Living-managed community in Pequannock Township, N.J., are reassured by the measures the community has taken to ensure their safety.

As part of the Erickson Living enterprise, Cedar Crest draws on the company's nearly 40-year history of managing communities through crises, including recessions and natural disasters.

Residents have peace of mind that precautions are in place to protect their health, including screening all visitors at the community's secure entrance, disinfecting high-touch areas, wearing masks, and practicing physical distancing.

"Based on the exceptional work of Cedar Crest's dedicated team of professionals, along with the support of residents, we have managed the challenges of COVID-19 very well," says Todd DeLaney, executive director of Cedar Crest. "For those looking for a safe environment to live and a community where essential services like security and medical care are right at your fingertips, there is no better time to call Cedar Crest home."

For staff at Cedar Crest, the goal is not only to help community members stay safe but also to thrive in these challenging times. Residents were able to stay entertained and connected during New Jersey's stay-at-home order through the community's dedicated in-house television station, which produced a wide range of specialized programming, from virtual fitness classes, happy hours, and worship services to online discussion groups and virtual sing-alongs.

The timing was right

When Joe and Pat Spatola began to consider downsizing from their home of 45 years in Yonkers, N.Y., they were attracted to Cedar Crest for the security and independence it provides.

"I was thinking, 'My wife and I really don't want to put the burden of caring for us in our later years on our three grown children,'" Joe explains.

Joe's cousin, Bob Liggio, already lived at Cedar Crest with his wife Eleanor, so the Spatolas were familiar with the community. Pat has mobility issues, so they were interested in a living arrangement in which everything they need is on site, which Cedar Crest has more than delivered on.

The Spatolas moved into Cedar Crest on March 23, just two days after New Jersey's statewide stay-at-home order was issued. In retrospect, Joe feels that they made the move just in the nick of time.

"If we had stayed on our own, with this pandemic and not being able to move around, I'm not sure what we'd do," he says. "All of a sudden, it would be hard for us to take care of ourselves."

At Cedar Crest, Joe and Pat don't have to worry about how they'll get groceries, prescriptions, newspapers, and other essentials during the stay-at-home directive. They were relieved that they would not have to rely on their children to help them with deliveries, and they were grateful that home maintenance was no longer on their list of concerns.

"We loved our home and made many updates over the years," says Joe. "But when we decided to move to Cedar Crest, we knew it was the right time. Now, we have no worries about anything, nor do our kids."

Should they need any home maintenance now, Cedar Crest's general services team is just a phone call away.

An easy transition

While many have concerns about the impact of the pandemic on the real estate market, it's actually a great time for sellers in New Jersey. All-time low mortgage rates and low inventory are big motivators, especially for New York City buyers looking for more space in a suburban setting.

Jeffrey G. Otteau, president of the Otteau Group, a real estate data and appraisal company, said in a recent New York Times article, "In some ways, this looks to me like the 1960s and 1970s, when there was a large outflow of the population pushing into the suburbs."

When it came time to put their house on the market, the Spatolas were pleasantly surprised that it sold within just one week.

Everything we need

"We don't have to really go grocery shopping now," says Joe. "We love to cook, so even though we have meals included, we still have groceries delivered to make home-cooked meals a few times a week for variety."

During the pandemic, Cedar Crest's dedicated culinary team has delivered meals and snacks to each resident's apartment home, with plans to open up outdoor dining in the fall. When Cedar Crest's five onsite restaurants reopen, residents will have easy access to a variety of cuisine with enhanced safety protocols in place.

Many amenities have already reopened, including the salon, aquatics center, pharmacy, marketplace, walking and nature trails, resident gardening area, bocce courts, horseshoe pits, and café and pub for carryout.

On-site medical care is another attractive amenity for community members, especially during these difficult times.

"My wife right now is in rehab," says Joe. "It's nice that she can access that just outside our front door. We don't have to worry about transportation or any other logistics."

What an appointment at Cedar Crest looks like now

In the wake of the pandemic, Cedar Crest has put a number of additional safety precautions in place for sales appointments. The day before your appointment, you'll get a call from the sales office to confirm your appointment and ask several COVID-19 screening questions to ensure you're feeling well for safe access to the community. When you arrive, be sure to wear a mask covering your mouth and nose, as masks are required for all staff and residents on-campus to help protect everyone from the virus.

Changes have been made to common areas to allow for proper physical distancing, and hand sanitizer stations are widely available throughout the community. Meeting spaces have been adapted to allow for six feet of distance between prospective residents and staff. Additional guests may be limited for on-site visits as well. For those who may be uncomfortable with an in-person visit during this time, virtual visits are offered, too.

"Things may look and feel a little bit different now, but I assure you, there's no better time to visit Cedar Crest," says Brian Cassidy, sales manager at Cedar Crest. "Ruth Phillips and Kate Tanis, our sales counselors, are here to walk you through any concerns, needs, or questions you may have."

To learn more about Cedar Crest, visit

About Cedar Crest: Cedar Crest, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 130-acre campus in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,800 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 Cedar Crest can be found at

Photo: Low mortgage rates paired with low inventory mean sellers have the opportunity to sell now and start enjoying all that the Cedar Crest community has to offer.

Written by Kate Streit