Living Large in a Small Space
Granite Farms Estates and Lima Estates empower residents to live their best lives.
by Jennifer Updike

Al Gaboriault’s cozy, modern one-bedroom “Freedom” apartment extends well beyond his four walls. In fact, just outside his front door awaits what he calls “the best-kept secret in the world.” He enjoys living in a spacious and beautiful community with incredible amenities, restaurants, and social activities to meet his every desire. 
Gaboriault lives at Granite Farms Estates, an Acts Retirement-Life Community (Acts) in Media, Pennsylvania. 
“I looked at 14 different communities before moving here,” says Gaboriault. “When you drive into the community and walk into the lobby, it looks like a five-star hotel. It blows your mind how beautiful. It does not look like a retirement community at all. I felt like I can start living now.”
His must-haves in a new home included a pool, a beautiful library, and a state-of-the-art fitness center, all of which he has at Granite Farms Estates, but the biggest factor into making his decision—Acts Retirement’s life care plan that offers peace of mind for the future. 
“That’s why I chose Granite Farms Estates,” he says. “You come in as an independent resident and if you ever need a different level of health care, medical or assisted living, there is no change in your monthly fee [based solely on the need for higher levels of care]. This is the only community I found with this big financial package.”

Having It All Without the Hassle
Comfort and security are among the many reasons why Regina Luberti moved into her one-bedroom apartment at nearby Lima Estates, another Acts Retirement-Life Community about a mile from Granite Farms Estates. Along with an expansive 54-acre campus, an array of amenities, and a bustling social life at her fingertips, Luberti enjoys stress-free living without the nuisances of maintaining a home.
“The community is so beautiful, so clean,” Luberti says. “I love ordering my dinner, not having to cook. I used to worry so much about cutting my grass. They came and cultivated my patio area already and oh my, it is only March. They’re on top of it.
“It was getting harder for me to live by myself in my home,” she continues. “The moment I came here, I knew this place was meant to be. I felt it right away.” 
The majority of residents at Granite Farms Estates and Lima Estates move from a larger home in the surrounding community, according to Brian Levesque, Executive Director at Granite Farms Estates. 
“They’re used to a bigger house and open spaces; they want a larger lifestyle, but they are also looking to physically downsize to have less to worry about,” he says. “They are able to live larger because they can take advantage of the beautiful grounds and amenities—a full-service fitness center, pool, hot tub, mini-golf, bocce and shuffleboard, and walking trails that extend to other nature trails in the township.”

Spacious and Stress-free Lifestyle
Residents who move into an Acts community are also attracted by the peaceful, rolling hills and breathtaking views. Lima Estates backs into the beautiful gardens of the Tyler Arboretum, while many of the apartment homes at Granite Farms Estates overlook the neighboring Wawa preserve, enhancing the already scenic setting. It is the perfect combination, with country appeal yet the convenience of suburban Philadelphia, just 30 minutes from Center City. 
This optimal location coupled with the communities’ vast amenities and open spaces, gives residents the freedom to truly enjoy life outside their apartment walls. 
“We also have some beautiful new clubhouse lounges, with a private kitchen and bathroom, that residents can reserve free of charge to have parties with their families,” Levesque says. “They can invite the grandkids to swim in the pool or play in our game rooms. They don’t even have to cook if they want to host a meal because they can make all those arrangements right through our culinary department.”

Expanding Your Social Life
An Acts community is more than lovely apartments and spacious grounds; many residents remark on how quickly they develop more active and fulfilling social lives, making new friends from different backgrounds who enrich their lives and create opportunities to learn new skills. 
“People are so friendly they accept you and make you part of their activities,” says Granite Farms Estates resident Al Gaboriault. “I’m a card player, but I never played bridge. I learned how to play because I wanted to start teaching it. Now I run the duplicate bridge club. I’m very active. We have golf tournaments here, and I won the putting contest in last year’s virtual games.” 
Gaboriault participated in OlympiActs, a friendly competitive sporting event held annually across all Acts communities. While COVID-19 isolated many older Americans, it did not hinder Acts residents who took part in fun and creative virtual games. “I competed in cornhole, too, but I didn’t win that one,” Gaboriault adds. “Next year.”
Acts communities empower residents to live their best lives, encouraging wellness in mind, body, and spirit. Residents can find fulfillment with numerous spiritual services held at each community. A chaplain is also available on each campus to counsel residents who are welcome to practice their faith right in the convenience of their communities. 
“There’s so much to do,” Levesque says. “Our Life Engagement Director also does a superb job with bus trips and outings. We just went on a lunch trip to a local restaurant and afterwards, a nice ride along the countryside sightseeing. All these programs are available to you. There’s always something going on.”
As examples, he cites a “very active” chorus, a theater group, and a large group of residents who participate in art programs. 
“We are in the process of finishing a new creative arts studio which should be done this year,” Levesque says. “Our chaplain takes care of residents’ spiritual needs.”
“Our campuses run like small towns,” adds Beatrice Couloute, a Sales Manager for Granite Farms Estates and Lima Estates. “There are so many different clubs and activities for every interest, you’re not going to spend too much time in your apartment because you have a pool, library, clubhouse. It’s all about the lifestyle.” 
Living large is a mindset; it extends beyond square footage. 
“Our one-bedroom Freedom apartment has everything you need—kitchen, bath, a washer and dryer, all the necessities, so you can live the life you want,” Couloute says.

Not Waiting is the ‘Best-kept Secret’ 
“I was amazed when I first got here to find people who were younger than me but who have lived here some 20 years,” says Gaboriault. “I said, ‘Wow, this is the best-kept secret in the world.’ If I had known what I know now, I would have moved here 20 years ago with my wife instead of buying a condo. You get much more than a condo.
“Waiting to move until you need help, that’s the wrong attitude. Living here, you can enjoy your retirement and freedom to do what you want without any worries. It’s a secret that needs to be out!”
Visit for more information on Granite Farms Estates, Lima Estates, and other Acts communities in the Philadelphia area and beyond. 

Photography courtesy of Acts Retirement-Life Communities

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, April 2021.