In most people's lives, the years leading up to retirement are filled with questions: "Where will I live? How much will it cost? What will my social circle look like? What will I do if my health changes?" Such dilemmas can be overwhelming at times. This is why many of those on the edge of retirement opt to relocate to a premier retirement community devoted to helping residents answer all of these questions, including the most important question of all: "How do I make sure I enjoy my retirement?"

Linda Kalalian had these questions in mind when she began researching places to live in retirement with her husband, John. The Kalalians found an ideal match at Lima Estates in Media, one of several communities in southeastern Pennsylvania under the ACTS Retirement-Life Communities umbrella. Here, they discovered everything they wanted in retirement: a strong sense of community in a location offering flexibility in living options; a myriad of amenities and activities; and the security of top-quality on-site health care so they would not ever have to move again.

Th _ACTS_WEBThe Kalalians are among the many Americans age 65 or older, a population that is projected to double to more than 70 million over the next 20 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. ACTS Retirement-Life Communities, which is headquartered in West Point, Pennsylvania in Montgomery County, is on a mission to enhance the health and overall well-being of this booming population, which, now more than ever, seeks convenience and security in every stage of retirement.

As one of the largest not-for-profit organizations of its kind, ACTS tailors its communities to meet the shifting lifestyle preferences and health needs of its residents. ACTS' family of communities along the East Coast, from Pennsylvania to Florida, includes eight in the Philadelphia suburbs-Brittany Pointe EstatesFort Washington EstatesGwynedd Estates,Normandy Farms Estates and Spring House Estates in Montgomery County; Granite Farms Estates and Lima Estates in Delaware County; and Southampton Estates in Bucks County.

At each of these locations, residents enjoy a comfortable and secure retirement lifestyle, according to Michael Smith, ACTS' corporate director of communications.

"Our type of retirement community offers the lifestyle experience, amenities and health care security people are often looking for in their retirement years," says Smith. "We're a full-service retirement-life community-meaning, you move in when you're healthy and independent then if your needs change, you can move into the on-campus health center and receive higher levels of care. There's no concern about things like home maintenance, dinner preparation, transportation or even the financial cost of needing health care services. Here, it's all conveniently available on campus for an affordable monthly fee."

Customization and Design Options

At ACTS, residents can customize their entire living experience. Through the ACTS Signature Residence Program, for example, residents can personalize their residences, selecting everything from finishes to floor plans. Floor plan options include open kitchens, great rooms and dens, while finishes range from attractive classic choices to items such as stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

"Once they reserve a residence, they spend time with our move-in coordinator in our design center," notes Cary Sherk, director of sales for ACTS' Mid-Atlantic region. "As they select their finishes and choose a floor plan option, they are able to create an environment where they will be comfortable and feel at home."

ACTS' communities are home to nearly 8,500 seniors, and surveys among those residents indicate a consistent level of overall happiness; many residents, in fact, say they wish they had moved in sooner. Furthermore, ACTS' all-inclusive approach to serving seniors' needs has resulted in a number of second-generation residents deciding to relocate to ACTS communities, according to Sherk.

"It's truly the peace of mind ACTS gives to residents and their families," she says. "Seniors can enjoy everything the community has to offer and families don't have to worry about future care for their loved ones. It's the best of both worlds."

Meeting Resident Expectations

ACTS aims to increase residents' level of enjoyment in the years ahead. The company is planning $120 million in upgrades over the next several years at its eight retirement-life communities in Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery counties, according to Smith. Among the larger projects is at Granite Farms Estate in Media, Delaware County, which is adding a new bistro café, fitness center, indoor pool and larger independent living apartments. Similar types of enhancements are occurring at other ACTS communities as well.

ACTS surveys its residents on a regular basis, and Smith says that residents routinely give ACTS top marks for the services it provides. "When people move in, they often rave about the care-free lifestyle, the activities and amenities, and the friendliness of the staff," he says. "Our residents are always our very best referral sources."

Add residents such as the Kalalians to the list of satisfied ACTS customers. "Love and kindness are two words they use often here," Linda says. "I can truly say ACTS lives up to both of those."

The Kalalians have found a great deal to appreciate at Lima Estates. From the community's talented culinary team that prepares a variety of menu options each day to the many daily activities planned for residents that foster a sense of fellowship.

"When you're looking at a community like this, you also want to look at the care," she says. "My husband is currently in the care of ACTS, and I can honestly say we made the right choice. We are in very capable and caring hands."

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