Right on Point

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There is something about Jack and Leslie Baldwin’s cottage when one first steps into it. Perhaps it is the sunlight that shines through the skylight or the view of the stone edged fish pond in the backyard. Maybe it is the glowing fire in the den accompanied by soft music. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure about the Baldwins; when it came to customizing their new home for their future, they came up with a plan that would reflect their lifestyle and welcome visitors.

A little research went a long way after the couple visited 11 different communities. After asking all the right questions, they recently moved to Heron Point of Chestertown, a continuing care retirement community that had everything they wanted.

“When we decided to move to a CCRC, we looked for nonprofit accredited communities that featured cottages and accepted pets,” commented Jack. “Another factor we considered was that health services be well run and that they provide a sense of security for us if we ever need them.”

They decided to make the transition because they had been caregivers for three elderly family members. “They were generous, self-reliant relatives who gave much of their lives to others, but, as they aged they could not bring themselves to make choices that would assure them an independent, safe life in other than their beloved homes of many years,” said Leslie. “We didn’t want that to happen to us.” She has even written a book about their experiences and issues of aging titled Choices. Planning the Rest of Your Life.

Having moved 21 times during Jack’s Navy career, one more relocation was not difficult for them. While Jack was on active duty, Leslie devoted her time to designing and implementing family programs for the Navy and now they both enjoy traveling and visiting their two children and their families in Singapore and Annapolis.

After 14 years in their house in Annapolis, the couple wanted a place that would reflect their lifestyle and be a welcoming spot for friends. They worked with the Heron Point staff in adding a vaulted ceiling and skylight, and making other adjustments to their cottage. “The experience was a pleasant one,” Jack remarked, “because Heron Point was very flexible and accommodating in responding to our ideas.”

“The staff is superb,” added Leslie. “Each member comes to see you shortly after you move in to brief you on what their job is and how they can make your life safe and comfortable.”

With busy careers followed by the planning for their new home, one might say a little relaxation is in order for these two. Leslie has gone back to her creative pursuits by painting, writing and working on her canvas work embroidery. As they have long been interested in historic preservation, Jack said they have been given a membership in the Kent County Historical Association, courtesy of their daughter. They have found the welcome extended by their neighbors and other residents to be another reason to be happy here. And, of course, their two terriers are finding the woods behind their house an excellent place for hunting.

Referring to Leslie’s book’s title, the couple’s life at Heron Point, as well as that of their neighbors, seems to be filled with a sense of independence that comes from making their own choices.

“When they talk about independent living, they mean independent living,” said Leslie.

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