Senior Living: A New Home to Love
When Raymond (“Scotty”) and Mary Anne Scott had their first date, it was not exactly with each other. They were on a double date, and she was paired with his friend. When her date had later gone to the hospital for an operation, however, he asked Scotty to drive Mary Anne for a visit. Needless to say, sparks flew and a simple invite to a movie turned into 60 years of marriage. And as they recently celebrated this milestone, there was no place the happy couple would have rather been than their home at Waverly Heights, a nonprofit Continuing Care Retirement Community on the Main Line outside of Philadelphia, Pa.
Over the years, Mary Anne stayed home to take care of their two sons while Scotty went into the family business as an automobile dealer. The family tradition continued as Scotty, his brother and his son were each selected as Time Magazine’s ‘Quality Dealer’, a coveted award in the industry.
As avid travelers, the couple also made time for visiting different locales, including Yugoslavia, Russia and Mary Anne’s favorite, England. Among their most cherished memories are the cross-country camping trips they took with their children and vacationing in Alaska.
“Alaska’s pretty special; we’ve been there several times. We once went on a boat with 25 other people for an anniversary celebration and were able to see and do things many people don’t,” said Mary Anne.
No matter where the Scotts went, however, they always loved coming home. The grandparents of 10 have taken pride in their acquired residences, which includes a lake house in New Hampshire adorned with prized antiques.
“Our homes are our hobbies, we love them,” said Mary Anne. “We have a passion for antiques, many of which our children and grandchildren have fallen heir to.”
Now the couple has one more home to add to those they have loved, and it is only within a half-mile of where they raised their children.
“We lived practically across the street for 47 years,” said Scotty. “I was chair of the Gladwyne Civic Association when Waverly Heights was being proposed.”
Although they briefly left their options open, the Scotts ultimately knew nothing could compare to the beautiful scenery they would have in one of the villas at Waverly Heights.
“The beautiful trees and the open vistas appeal to us and we enjoy them every day,” said Scotty.
“What makes it so special is you’re in this lovely suburban country, but you’re also 20 minutes away from Center City Philadelphia,” added Mary Anne. “You don’t find that at many places.”
Also special for the Scotts was the fact that their move to Waverly Heights in 2007 enabled them to maintain their ties with the Gladwyne community, which they can now say they have been a part of for 51 years.
Knowing they made a great decision, what is most important to the couple is that it was their decision. After the stressful experience of finding care options for Mary Anne’s mother with dementia, the Scotts wanted to be in control of their future.
“After the time we put in negotiating care for her parents, we decided for our family that we would already be settled somewhere so that our sons wouldn’t have that burden,” said Scotty.
As a result, the couple and their family rest assured knowing that at Waverly Heights, residents have personal care and skilled nursing services available to them onsite. The community’s comprehensive medical services also include an emergency call system, on-site pharmacy and different medical specialists.
“The healthcare here is ranked among the top in the country,” said Scotty. “If one of us becomes ill and has to go to the health center, we don’t pay anything extra.”
With their future secured, the Scotts have been living in the present and continually adding activities to an already filled calendar. “We weren’t here for three weeks before we were asked to be chairpersons for the community’s ‘Derby Day,’” Mary Anne said with a laugh.
Four years later, the tables have turned as she has since become chair of the welcoming committee to reach out to new residents of Waverly Heights. A member of the marketing committee, Mary Anne will soon take on the role of chairman of Special Events. “Every year we have a big Halloween costume contest, Fourth of July bash and a wonderful New Year’s Eve party,” she said.
“There are so many interesting people here who have had amazing professions, and I’m going to be part of a brand new committee that will arrange luncheons for people to present a job or hobby they think might be interesting,” he said.
There is never a dull moment for the couple and their peers at Waverly Heights with amenities that include a gym, putting green, croquet court and scenic walking paths. Residents can also take part in a range of activities from water aerobics and line dancing to Tai Chi and Wii bowling.
Although there is so much to do, the Scotts have been particularly grateful for the freedom they have to be as active as they desire on and off campus. While the community provides daytrips for the residents, the Scotts have enjoyed attending their usual UPenn functions and the Philadelphia Orchestra. They have also hosted birthday parties and alumni events at Waverly Heights’s Manor House.
“We will go to our lake house for a couple of months, but I usually can’t wait to get back here,” said Mary Anne.
“From the president to the individuals who do our yard work, they are all absolutely wonderful,” said Mary Anne. “You feel as though the major goal for them is to make you happy and comfortable.”
While the couple acknowledged the decision to move is not easy and that they were lucky to have a community built in their neighborhood 25 years ago, they cannot emphasize enough the fun and sense of security a continuing care community provides.