‘Best Day Ever’ 
From its idyllic campus to its concierge-like service and luxurious amenities, HarborChase of Princeton enables residents to lead vibrant lives in mind, body, and spirit.
by Bill Donahue

Ask friends and neighbors if they one day aspire to move into an assisted-living community, and most would likely say no. Tracy Frederick, the director of sales and marketing for HarborChase of Princeton, believes people’s perceptions have been shaped by assisted-living communities of yesteryear. 
Visiting a community such as HarborChase of Princeton is liable to upend those perceptions. Located on 22 wooded acres in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, HarborChase of Princeton delivers assisted living, memory care, and respite care services to residents in 130 spacious, beautifully appointed apartments. The community is unique not only in terms of its idyllic campus but also in its approach to creating “a delightful experience” for residents and their guests. 
Tracy says the difference is apparent from the moment someone walks through the front door for the first time. 
“There’s a feeling you get when you come here,” she says. “You feel warm and welcomed. You feel like you’re at a place where people truly care, because they do. I have been here since before we opened [in August 2021], and from the beginning we have been intentional about hiring a warm, loving team of experienced and well-trained staff. These are people who have as much passion for working with seniors as I do.”
HarborChase of Princeton strives to make each resident’s time on campus intellectually, emotionally, and physically engaging. In many ways, HarborChase of Princeton resembles a resort—elegant and grand, yet not ostentatious. The setup and natural beauty remind Tracy of The Sagamore Resort, the storied hospitality landmark on the shore of Lake George. She often sees a distinct change in residents within a few days of coming to the community.
“The people who choose HarborChase on their own come here to live an adult life with great food and abundant choice,” she adds. “They want to live in a place where they can be surrounded by other intellectually curious adults. They want intelligent conversation, and they want to stay busy with activities and amenities they find interesting. We have lectures, poets, artists, book clubs, musicians, and a much higher level of programming than what you might find at the average assisted living. It’s like coming to a 55-plus community because they are in charge.”
HarborChase of Princeton helps each resident lead a vibrant life in mind, body, and spirit. In addition to engaging on-campus programming, residents enjoy premium amenities such as a fitness center, a full-service salon and spa, and valet services. Residents also benefit from an ongoing series of wellness classes, an assortment of physical exercises, and activities unique to the season; for example, the community recently hosted a raft of events around the spring holidays, including an Easter egg hunt and a Passover paint project. Participation in a variety of clubs provide plenty of opportunities to discover new interests and meet new people. 
For those who wish to venture out, off-campus enrichment abounds at nearby McCarter Theatre Center, Morven Museum and Garden, and Princeton University, among other area attractions. Likewise, both Philadelphia and Manhattan are within an hour’s drive.
Tracy says the restaurants at HarborChase of Princeton are a particular point of pride. The community’s five restaurants—Signatures, Signatures Too, Counter-Offer café, Fusion Lounge, and The Grill Room—provide culinary options ranging from gourmet five-course dinners to casual fare. At The Chefs Studio, professionally trained chefs showcase their culinary talents through monthly demonstrations and tasting events, while Zest provides an intimate, reservation-only dining venue for celebrating special occasions.
HarborChase of Princeton is also pet-friendly, meaning residents can bring their beloved pets with them. Tracy cites one resident’s pet, a dog named Patches, that brings a smile to the face of every resident. In other words, HarborChase of Princeton enriches residents’ social lives however possible. Tracy says the community was designed with families in mind. 
“Family members want to come here to spend time with their loved ones,” she adds. “It’s the kind of place where family members will walk out the door after a visit and say, ‘This was the right choice.’ In part that’s because we have so many amenities here, from the living room with a fireplace, to the beautiful courtyards and gardens, and the wooded property with a network of walking trails. We want families to be involved, and they are.”
Whether a resident needs assisted living, memory care, or respite care, HarborChase of Princeton “brings the care to you” so each resident can age in place. Tracy describes the community’s memory-care neighborhood, known as The Cove, as “dignified, wonderful, and welcoming.” A transitional program known as The Sound cares for individuals who live with mild dementia or memory loss.
“With some communities, the memory-care neighborhood is almost hidden away,” Tracy says. “Here, you’ll see ours right by the front door, because we encourage and support the entire community to engage in our programming. That’s very unique to us. Our memory-care neighborhood is designed to take care of the most vulnerable in the most dignified way.” 
HarborChase of Princeton welcomes individuals and families from towns surrounding the campus, though Tracy says some residents hail from much farther afield than New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Residents have come to the community from as far away as California, Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts.
“This is a special place,” Tracy says. “You see that specialness in the community’s cultural diversity. You see it in the collegial nature of our daily happy hour. You see it every day in the way people treat each other. At HarborChase, we believe every day should be your best day ever, and we think that’s exactly what we enable people to do day in and day out.”
HarborChase of Princeton
4331 U.S. Route 1 South
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
(609) 309-9543

Photograph courtesy of HarborChase of Princeton
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, April 2022.