“I was thinking about doing this when I was 80, but then when I found Buckingham's Choice, I thought, why am I waiting? I mean, there's no reason to wait,” said Arlene Perkins, a widow who loved her large condominium but had been contemplating the benefits of moving to a continuing care retirement community.

Arlene and her canine companion Evie moved into Buckingham’s Choice last December and couldn’t be happier.

She sat down to talk about being a new resident at this friendly, active community.

What attracted you to Buckingham’s Choice?

Arlene: I did some research and looked at other places as well. I wanted a place that was near my children who live in this area. I also wanted the health care if I need it, I'm independent right now, but if I ever needed any other types of facilities, I wanted them to be right here.

What was your first impression?

Arlene: It felt like home the minute I walked in. Everybody had a smile on his or her face. It felt like a very comfortable place to live, and people were very friendly. Other places I visited it wasn't that. I didn't feel like a stranger and that was important to me.

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Why not wait?

Arlene: My husband and I worked all our lives, saved money, and this is a solid investment. This is an investment in my life. This is not an investment in an apartment or a home. It’s an investment in my life to make sure I’m safe and have everything I need in the future. I’m a planner and want to make things as easy as possible for myself and my children. My children are very supportive,  but I also wanted to make this type of decision for me. I didn't want my children to have to make living decisions for me, and I didn't want that burden on them. This was a very easy decision for me and for them.

What kind of activities do enjoy?

Arlene: I just finished teaching mahjong to eight people! I also volunteer in the community, active on the entertainment committee, and religious committee. I love attending events, being entertained by all the professional musicians who here and enjoy the lectures given both by residents of Buckingham's Choice as well as outside speakers. If you are looking for something to do, there's always something to do.

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How are the campus amenities?

Arlene: The amenities are very convenient and there are so many of them! There’s a huge indoor swimming pool, the workout room is terrific, and physical therapy is on the premises with educated staff, which is important to me. I can go down to the health unit and have my blood pressure taken, treated for any illness, cold or whatever it may be. There's always a nurse on duty and multiple specialists come on campus, I recently went to the dermatologist. It’s a very convenient place to live.

Learn more about the various health services offered at Buckingham's Choice

What makes Buckingham’s Choice an ideal location?

Arlene: I love living near Frederick, Maryland. This community is very close to shopping, movies and theater, walking around a lovely downtown quaint area, with plenty of restaurants. It has everything that I was used to in other places that I lived, and everything was close by.

How easy is it to make friends?

Arlene: I knew absolutely no one when I moved in here. I just came down to the restaurant and asked the hostess, “Does somebody have an extra chair that they're not using that I can join them and for dinner?” Everyone is very welcoming, and it was very interesting to talk to people who've only lived here three years and some who have lived here 22 years.

How important is your new lifestyle to your health?

Arlene: You want a certain environment as you get older and things start to break down a little bit as your needs increase, it's important to have that peace of mind that if I should need more than what I need right now, that it was available to me in the same place I'm living, where I'm comfortable, where my friends are, where my children are near, and nobody has to think twice about what I have to do.

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