Sylvia and Andrew Fowell moved into a beautiful cottage at Buckingham's Choice about five years ago. They say the relaxing, quiet setting, security of life care, and abundance of amenities and activities makes it the "absolutely ideal" lifestyle for their wellness.
Why retire at Buckingham's Choice?
Sylvia Fowell: I was ready before Andrew was ready. It got to the point where climbing on ladders and changing light bulbs, we would be scared of doing things like that. We actually should have thought about it earlier. Our children wondered why we were doing it. Why are you leaving our home? But when they saw this place, our daughters were very excited about us moving in.
Andrew Fowell: Our daughters visit us quite regularly. So they changed their minds.
Sylvia: They’re both local. We move closer to them. So it's been a wonderful experience to be close to them and be able to entertain them. One son-in-law said, I'll never come see you because there's not enough room there. Now we have Thanksgiving here. There are 12 people! It's absolutely fine.
Andrew: We lived in a house for more than 40 years, and the neighbors were all young.
Sylvia: The young men would try to help Andrew with different jobs but with all the young people working. You just saw cars going in the morning and coming home at night and no one there during the day except for us.
Andrew: We thoroughly enjoy living here, but it was an excellent move. We have more friends here than we had back home.
Sylvia: We have a support group here for whichever one of us is left. Which is really important. You have friends the same age, going through life, things together.
Is it an easy to make friends?
Sylvia: Absolutely. We've been here five years this August, and we know everyone in this community. Even if we don't know them personally, we recognize everyone here, it's like family. We downsize just about enough to fit in this place. But it was good you did now, not like later on. It's a big undertaking and once you do it, it's nice to feel freedom.
Andrew: We have everything that we need. I had a quite a workshop and tools back in the house but here I've used the wood shop. I like to make jigsaws puzzles and you need a big table with an edge on to not lose the pieces. We had a a large piece of plywood cut, put an edge on it, I painted it and it's now in full use.
Are you more active since moving to Buckingham's Choice?
Andrew: I didn't swim back home, but I swim here. I use the gym here. We make use of all the facilities that we can.
Sylvia: A couple of months ago, I had a replacement knee, and it's really fortunate to have the therapy right here looking at choice. We have a terrific therapy department and I don't have to drive anywhere to go for therapy. It's wonderful. That's a great point that many people don't know about that you could go and get it all done. In fact, a dermatologist comes here now once a month and It’s so convenient to not have to travel.
How is Buckingham's Choice ideal for your lifestyle?
Sylvia: Buckingham's choice is absolutely ideal. The setting here is so quiet, which just birds and trees and Frederick is a lovely town, only a 15-minute drive away. We have the best of both worlds. The quietness of here. We sit here looking at a lake.
Andrew: We have the convenience of shopping when we want to, and it's within a short drive, pick up stuff, come back.
Sylvia: We have a blue heron in our lake. I love being here. I can see the wildlife and here's a trail to do. We occasionally walk around the whole loop. It’s nice, you have Sugarloaf Mountain and the views. We also feel safe with the gate house. We can leave the door open and it doesn't bother us.
Andrew: There’s a motion detector in the hallway, if by noontime someone doesn't pass that motion detector, security will come to check your house, which is amazing.
Sylvia: And there's activities here, which keeps people going. There’s no way you could actually take part in everything that's offered. It’s like being on a cruise ship. They give you a calendar of what's happening that day. I may pick out two or three things you couldn't possibly do it all. The calendar is absolutely full of opportunities it's great to have so many options.
Andrew: We dine with somebody different every night.
Sylvia: Everyone gets invited to dinner, it’s part of just how you socialize. We always make reservations for four and then call people to join our table. We're going to Annapolis next week. We've been to concerts, we're driven to a theater, don’t have to drive at night or in traffic, or worry about parking.
Andrew: We love to travel. In our old home, there was a lot you have to take care of before you go away for two months. Here, security makes sure that everything is fine.
Sylvia: We go to England once a year and we can get transportation to Dulles Airport fairly easily.
Why Buckingham’s Choice as opposed to other retirement communities?
Sylvia: We had dinner as visitors and we just felt very comfortable. We wanted a cottage with a garage. Being on the priority list is absolutely worth it. You have choices, first choice and second choice and when it becomes available, they call. We passed on our first call because we weren't ready. When we did accept, we sold our house in three days.
Andrew: We researched continuing care communities, and that was paramount in our moving here. We didn't want our children to have to look after us. They're very happy we're at Buckingham's Choice.