Fresh Beginnings

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While learning of their backgrounds, one can see the diverse experiences and interests of Art and Marge Miller, Louise (Weezie) and Charles Baker, and Carolyn Hunt. When it comes to their futures, however, they are all certainly on the same page. They each seek a fresh start in a home that will be customized to meet their unique lifestyles, and that is exactly why they have chosen Whiteland Village, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) to be completed in Exton, Pa.

From the setup of their homes to the available activities, the staff has enabled these five individuals and other future residents to provide their feedback on different aspects of the community.
“From the beginning, they have looked for input from residents,” said Marge Miller. “They’ve been very receptive to these wishes or suggestions, and as a result, have said they made substantial changes.”

For the Millers, having a home that offers various choices is especially important having participated in different organizations and personal adventures throughout their lives.

As their four daughters were growing up, Marge was a full-time volunteer active with the League of Women Voters and eventually began a 12-year career with the American Red Cross. Now a leader of its retiree association, Marge is proud to still serve the cause that has been a significant part of her life.

Her husband, Art, was a journalist who started as a reporter on daily newspapers and later became a writer and editor for several magazines including National Geographic. As a hobby, he sings with a barbershop chorus and enjoys keeping up with their five grandchildren. “I’ve always enjoyed writing, and interestingly enough, I’m one of probably few people who can pinpoint exactly when I knew what I wanted to do,” he said.

It was a passion for writing that led this couple of 53 years to buy a motor home and travel throughout the U. S., researching and writing seven books. “That was a unique experience,” said Marge. “We’ve been fortunate to travel and meet a number of wonderful people and then turn those experiences into books that have sold.”

With its setup, activities and impressive administration as well as the convenient location of Whiteland Village to their friends, organizations and the Chester Valley Trail, this retirement community appealed to these two hikers. They are also looking forward to the perks of a brand new community. Marge noted that everyone will be establishing new relationships at the same time while Art anticipates a home that will feature the latest advancements.

And enjoying such benefits is right around the corner for the couple and their peers as residents are expected to begin moving into the Phase 1 residential units in the fall of 2010 and Phase 2 units in mid-2011.

Like the Millers, the Bakers found the location of Whiteland Village and its accommodating staff as factors that placed the community above others. The security that accompanies a continuum of care was important for the couple who has actually spent many of their years caring for others.

The parents of three children, they were inspired by their youngest son who is disabled. Charles sold his business in 1978, and he and Weezie started Baker Industries, a non-profit company to provide employment for people with disabilities. “What is rewarding about our work is trying to help others have a better life and get back in the workplace,” said Weezie.

While she continues to work, Weezie enjoys gardening as well as playing bridge and tennis with her husband. Sailing is also one of Charles’s favorite pastimes, and both plan to remain active volunteers with their organization and the mission committee through their church.

Though Whiteland Village is near their daughter, the Bakers are happy to have found a home with many offerings that still allows them to continue their outside pursuits and social activities. They have also appreciated being so highly involved in the customization of their future home.

“We have been going over floor and lighting plans, and still have things such as finishes to decide on,” said Weezie. “The staff has been very accommodating, easy to work with and open-minded.”

The Bakers, however, are not the only residents making such changes. In fact, future residents are encouraged to participate in the selections for the fit and finish of their new home. They have the option of making changes to the structural design of their floor plan. From wallpaper and paint, to floor coverings, kitchen cabinets, counter tops and appliance colors, the new residents have a say in all the various decisions. There is even a staff member with experience in interior design at Whiteland Village to help individuals during the selection process.

Carolyn Hunt is another individual who has made changes to her condominium’s layout and has felt very comfortable working with the staff in doing this. She said that the administration is not only open to recommendations, but has also made an effort to keep future residents informed regarding the progress of the community.

Carolyn spent most of her married years as a homemaker. A lover of music and a Penn State football fan, she has always been a volunteer in her church and community. As a devoted mother and grandmother of two, she also enjoys attending activities in which her grandchildren participate.

Since her husband of 38 years passed away 12 years ago, she finds downsizing her “home” appealing and decided to follow in her mothers’ footsteps. “I saw happiness, sense of security and assurance of healthcare for both my mother and my mother-in-law when they were residents in retirement communities,” said Carolyn. “That also provided peace of mind for their families.”

Now Carolyn looks forward to taking advantage of the swimming pool, exercise facilities and all of the other amenities her new home will feature along with the assurance of its healthcare, if needed. She is also impressed by the option of the health plans that will be offered by this community.

Decisions at Whiteland Village are not limited to just the fit and finish of one’s home. Future residents are also able to select from two different healthcare plans so they can tailor the coverage to their individual circumstances. Furthermore, once a resident moves to the community, they can modify some of the services they receive on a monthly basis and take a credit for those services they opt not to use.

Having choices is always important when considering a move to a CCRC, and Whiteland Village offers a wide array of selections for their future residents to consider. Now that these five future residents have made the proactive decision to move to a community that will meet their individualized needs, they can just relax and look forward to an enjoyable and secure future with their peers.

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