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Moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community

by Ysolt Usigan

In 2001, Vince and Ellamae Mazzei decided it was time to move. The husband and wife wanted to stay in the Hatboro, PA area, but needed to live somewhere where their routine tasks as homeowners would be minimized. "We were looking for less responsibility," Ellamae explains. "At our [former] home, we had half an acre to maintain, and we wanted a smaller property." The couple also wanted to make new friends and enjoy activities unrelated to maintaining a home.

They found what they needed at the nearby Wesley Enhanced Living at Maple Village. Currently serving 225 residents, over 145 live in independent- and assisted-living apartments, while 38 live in cottages. With amenities like a new health and exercise room and social programming activities, residents at this Continuing Care retirement community (CCRC) hardly ask for more.

On the Mazzeis' wish-list: They wanted to make sure their apartment had a full kitchen as well as a washer and dryer, and they also needed to make sure they could afford their new living arrangement. The Wesley Enhanced Living at Maple Village met their budget standards and even had two bathrooms. The amenity was an added bonus for the senior couple.

When it's your turn to decide whether to move to a Continuing Care retirement community, Vince advises to discuss all of your options. "It's important that both you and your spouse are positive about the move and you choose a place that is great for both of you," he says.

Every change requires adjustments. The main adjustment for Vince and Ellamae was going from a house with a yard to living in a high-rise building.

Because of that, the couple has some funny stories about their first year at Wesley Enhanced Living at Maple Village. "I accidentally locked my husband out on the third-floor balcony," Ellamae recalls. She left to take a shower, and shortly after, Vince was banging on the door and windows, giving Ellamae a good scare. "I couldn't imagine who it was!" she exclaims.

What They Love
The Mazzeis moved next door to a friend they've known for more than 40 years, which was comforting in their new community. "Life is good," Ellamae says. "There are a lot of activities here. You can also take the time to be by yourself if you so choose. There are many options."

"We enjoy living here; the other residents here are friendly," Vince points out. "Let me put it this way: I do not miss our home or the responsibility that came with it. This was a great move for us."

It's like living in a hotel for these two. Vince exercises in the fitness center every day. He runs errands around town and then relaxes when he gets home. He's even involved in a lot of the activities at the continuing care retirement community. "I like being socially involved and meeting other residents," he says. "We have dinner with different groups of people every night because we like to make new friends."

And when Vince is busy exercising and going about his day, Ellamae does some general housekeeping around the apartment and runs errands. "I meet my friends at the Village Fare for coffee," she says. For exercise, Ellamae participates in a stretching class with an instructor on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the continuing care retirement community. She also frequents the on-site library to pick up new novels to read.

When asked if they have any regrets, both Vince and Ellamae chuckle as if it's a silly question. They love their new home and can't imagine being anywhere else. "Every day we wake up feeling good and we thank the Lord," Vince attests.

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