Parkville, Maryland--Sisters Kathleen Wilson, Mary Hohenberger, and Anna Small have always been close. For 50 years, Mary and Anna lived two doors down from one another in Parkville and Kathy was just a few miles away in Carney. Now, the three are steps away from one another at Oak Crest, an Erickson Living-managed community in Parkville.
"I'm on the fourth floor of Broadview Terrace, Mary is on the fifth floor of Trevor Place, and Anna is on the third floor of Trevor Place," says Kathleen who shares a two-bedroom apartment with her husband George.
Kathleen was the first of the three to move to Oak Crest in 2016 but wasn't the first in the family. Her late sister, Eileen, also once called Oak Crest home.
"We would come and visit my sister, and she really liked it, so we joined the priority list. We lived in a townhouse and it was getting to be too much upkeep for us. It was three stories and I would have to go up and down three flights of stairs just to do the laundry," says Kathleen.
Kathleen, Mary, and Anna are part of a growing nationwide trend of Erickson Living residents who have close friends or family members who also live at an Erickson Living community.
"We love it here. I feel really blessed to have both of my sisters living here," says Kathleen. "We have all the space we need and I like having everything on one level. If I had to pick out one thing that I love, I would say it's the peace of mind that comes with our apartment. We have all levels of care here if we need it in the future. You never know what the future holds, so it's nice to know we have it here."
Mary moved to Oak Crest in 2019 after she grew tired of caring for her single family home. With Kathleen already in the community, Mary had an instant connection to Oak Crest.
"It seemed like I was always putting money into my house and I said, 'well it's time to go,'" says Mary.
Mary found that a studio style apartment at Oak Crest was perfectly suited for her lifestyle.
"It's exactly what I wanted. Since I'm by myself, it's the perfect size. I have a great view and I just love it," says Mary.
Relationships make all the difference
A 2016 survey conducted by Harris Poll Online found 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase. Many of Oak Crest's newest residents discovered the community thanks to the suggestion of friends and family members already living there.
"We find that residents are eager to share their positive experience in living at Oak Crest with their friends and family," says Senior Sales Associate Melisa Batac.
"It's not at all uncommon for brothers, sisters, or former neighbors to move to Oak Crest by referral. We also have many staff members whose parents and grandparents have moved to Oak Crest after witnessing the lifestyle firsthand through their family member who works on campus," says Batac.
"Anna couldn't wait to get here because Kathleen and I have ranted and raved about how great it is," says Mary. Kathleen and Mary were able to assist Anna and her husband Glenn who moved in July 2020.
"When Anna was looking for her apartment, Mary and I went around with Melisa and did a virtual tour of the apartments with the camera. We were able to show what they looked like inside without her being there in person," says Mary.
In recognition of the large number of people who share their love of Oak Crest with their friends, the community created a resident referral program, as a way to thank residents who have encouraged their friends and family to consider Oak Crest.
"I feel very blessed that we are all here together. We have always been close. Before they moved, we would get together for cookouts and things like that, and now, we talk every day," says Kathleen.
Written by Danielle Rexrode
About Oak Crest: Oak Crest, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 87-acre campus in Parkville, Maryland. The not-for-profit community of more than 2,100 residents and 1,250 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, Inc., who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Oak Crest. Additional information can be found at OakCrestCommunity.com.