February 22, 2021
Angela Riley moved to Crosslands in 2017. She had been considering Kendal-Crosslands for a number of years, since hearing about the community from a friend, whose wife sat on the Board.
Angela helped care for her mother as she struggled with cancer. Caring for her mother and the issues with finding care for Mom planted the seed of considering a senior living community for herself as she got older. As Angela learned more about Kendal-Crosslands from her friend, the idea of a community that would guarantee care would be there when needed appealed to her. Angela first visited in 1999 after a bout with breast cancer made her consider more seriously what kind of care she would want for herself, when the time was right.
Finding the Right Community
Angela lived in New Jersey, and was looking for a place to retire that was close to both her son, daughter in law and grandson who live in New York, her in-laws who live in the Delaware Valley, and other relatives who live around Baltimore. Her son had attended Quaker schools in New Jersey and Philadelphia, so Angela was familiar with Quaker philosophy and had even attended a few meetings in the past. While there were other senior living communities around in New Jersey, none of them seemed to be as attractive as Kendal-Crosslands. Many of them just felt more ‘institutional’, and many did not offer care at all levels, putting residents at risk to have to move again if they developed health problems. She was impressed that all levels of care were available at Crosslands, avoiding additional transitions.
When she would talk about considering Crosslands, many of her friends would try to talk her out of it. They weren’t sure she should give up her house, and many had preconceived notions about what senior housing was like. For Angela, she has just one son, and he works for the federal government, and her daughter-in-law has her own photography business. She said “It’s always possible they will need to move, and I don’t want my care to fall solely on them. There were three siblings in my family, and we all pitched in to help when my mom was ill. Later, my brother developed dementia, and we all pitched in to help with his care. It was difficult and painful, and I did not want all of that falling on my son alone.”
Angela had a successful real estate investment business and an education consulting business, and like many academics, she had quite a collection of books and materials accumulated over the years. She knew she would have to downsize, and wisely started to downsize a few years before she actually wanted to move.
Angela chose a one-bedroom with den at Crosslands, because it also let her have an office that she could also use as a guest room when her family and friends came to visit. The extra half bath was great as well. “I like having the different spaces- living room, kitchen, office, sunroom, patio- I have wonderful views of the pond and the path to the Community Center- there just isn’t a bad view anywhere here.”
The Transition Process
We asked Angela to ask us what the transition from her home to Crosslands was like. “The people here at Crosslands are hugely active- thinking, active, engaged people who always have something going on. They called me, made arrangements, took me to dinner- and the welcome group gives you a whole kit, a notebook, filled with everything- the process is really thought through.”
Over time, Angela joined the origami committee and she joined the Adopt-a Tree committee as well. She also is very active taking Zumba lessons, exercise classes and using the fitness center.
Angela appreciates the way residents take care of each other and notice small things. “People know you, embrace you for who you are, and respect your privacy. But if they don’t see you, they will also check in and make sure you’re ok. It’s such a caring community.” Angela also added “My friends and family now ask about all the special events and meals here at Crosslands- I think the friends who weren’t sure I was making the right decision know I made the right decision for me.”
Angela also mentioned that even during the pandemic, she feels they have been very well served and taken care of. “They took proactive measures, and the small number of cases show how well it worked. I love it here, and it’s been a great fit for me.”