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Ann’s Choice emerges from pandemic stronger than ever


Tom and Bettilyn Bogia had a vision for their retirement and were about to realize it when the pandemic hit.

On a Monday in early March 2020, the offer on their house disappeared, and their move to Ann’s Choice, the Erickson Living-managed senior community in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was put on indefinite hold.

Tom recalled feeling stunned by the sudden turnabout in their plans. “On Saturday we were selecting custom carpet for our new two-bedroom apartment home and ready to settle on the sale of our house. On Monday the state implemented lockdowns, which halted real estate transactions. We couldn’t move forward on either end.”

When the state began restoring services in June, the Bogias sold their house, finalized the custom work in their new apartment home, and moved to Ann’s Choice in July. Now, six months later, the couple says that moving during the pandemic was an even better decision than they had anticipated.

Said Tom, “We were among the first people to arrive when restrictions lifted. We were extremely pleased with the safety protocols they put in place. They delivered meals, essentials, whatever we needed. The staff did an incredible job keeping everyone safe, connected, and well-cared for.”

Bettilyn added that Ann’s Choice TV, the in-house station, was an excellent source of up-to-the-minute information. “[Executive Director] Chris Donati held weekly televised updates and answered residents’ questions. He was completely transparent about why they were implementing certain measures. It was reassuring to know that they were doing everything possible to minimize the impact.”

As pandemic numbers improved and state restrictions eased further, the couple began using the fitness center and carrying out meals from the dining rooms. The connected indoor walkways provided a perfect walking loop during inclement weather.

Tom joined the tennis group, and Bettilyn, a retired librarian, took over operations of the community library, which has more than 4,000 books, movies, audio books, and magazines in its main location; there also are branches in the other two clubhouses. “As you can imagine, I’ve been very busy,” she laughed.
“One of the main reasons we moved to Ann’s Choice now was because we wanted to be young and healthy enough to fully enjoy the active, maintenance-free life,” said Tom. “Although we didn’t have full use of the amenities initially, for good reason, we still were able to stay fit, active, and engaged.”

Now, over one year after the pandemic began, the Bogias are thrilled to see life gradually return to normal. In March Ann’s Choice completed its COVID-19 vaccination clinics with 95% of its residents receiving both doses. They applaud the efficient way in which the community carried out the inoculation program.