Life Without Limitations
No matter why residents choose Rydal Park and Waters, they benefit from a welcoming, engaging, and inspiring community designed to promote independence. 
by Bill Donahue

Marilyn Miller remembers conversations with William, her husband, about moving from their family home in Jenkintown. He didn’t necessarily want to move, but she thought they should prepare for a time when they might need support to accommodate any changes to their health. Such preparation was essential in her mind.
Their ears perked up at the mention of Rydal Waters, a 33-acre, 75-cottage complement to the community at nearby Rydal Park. Based on what they knew about Rydal Park, as well as the plans they had seen for Rydal Waters, they set their course. So, in the summer of 2020, at the height of the pandemic, they sold their existing home and moved into a cottage in Rydal Waters.
“Other than a few videos, we bought it sight unseen; it was just a piece of dirt back then,” she says. “I felt at home from the very beginning. Everything was brand new, and the people were wonderful. In our old house, we lived on a main street, but I felt isolated. I wanted a neighborhood, a community, and that’s exactly what they have here.”
‘Different Than the Others’
Best described as a “Life Plan Community,” Rydal Park and Waters enables each resident to pursue a life of engagement, inspiration, and independence. First-class independent living amenities as well as comprehensive healthcare services, should they be needed in the future, combine to provide a maintenance-free lifestyle that enables residents to live his or her best life.

Andrea Justice is among them. Andrea spent 30 years teaching students in Upper Dublin School District before taking early retirement in 2001. She and her husband, Roger, devoted their 50s and 60s to traveling the world: Africa, Australia, China, Ecuador, Italy, and New Zealand, to name just a few. “The only continent I haven’t been on is Antarctica,” she says. 
In September 2018, she and Roger decided it was “time for a change.” They had spent 40 years living in a Doylestown home they had helped design and build. Although they loved the home and the surrounding community, they realized they were paying other people to maintain the yard and other parts of the property. Plus, their children were grown and gone. 
The Justices promptly began looking to downsize to a townhouse or a carriage house. They had nearly settled on a destination when their daughter suggested they look at Rydal Park and Waters. 
“We found it to be different than the others,” Andrea says. “You got the feeling you were immersed in a community. The apartments are bright and spacious, with lots of natural light. It just seemed like the reasonable place to be.”
The Justices opted for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment at Rydal Park. She describes their apartment as “very private and safe,” and she adores the natural beauty of the surrounding area. They both enjoy the view from their apartment’s balcony.
As for their jet-setting ways, Andrea says she will likely keep her travel plans to visiting her children who live out of state—a son in California, and a daughter in New Hampshire. Otherwise, she is happy to indulge in the many activities available at Rydal Park and Waters.
“Rydal Park provides limitless activities, so you can make choices for yourself,” she says. “I didn’t really know anyone when we moved here, but I met a dynamic group of women, and they welcomed me into their activities. I also wanted to get involved and understand the operations [of the community], and that led to me becoming secretary of the residents’ association.”
The term doer certainly applies to Andrea, though she admits to doing a little less of late. A torn meniscus has prevented her from playing tennis and pickleball.
“If I have any advice for someone in a similar situation as we were, it would be to take your time to look at what’s available, without the panic of a deadline,” she adds. “Do your research, visit the space, and reach out to the residents. Then, when you’re confident in your decision, move in early enough so you can fully take advantage of what’s offered, before your limitations increase.”
‘A Great Opportunity’
Raymond and Nancy Rose had been spent decades living in Glenside. He was a biology professor at Arcadia University, while she was an accomplished Realtor after beginning her career as an educator. He retired in 2018, and she followed two years later. At that point, they began to consider a change of address. Friends who lived at Rydal Park invited them to the campus for a closer look.

“We visited people in other communities,” Raymond says, “but they couldn’t hold a candle [to Rydal Park and Waters] in terms of the space and the fun things to do.” 
The Roses customized a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment at Rydal Park to their specific wants and needs. Less than a year has passed since they moved in, but the Roses already feel at home and have begun to take advantage of the many onsite amenities. 
“I have a bad knee, and it’s great that I’m able to do my physical therapy right here,” Raymond says. “The fitness center has all kinds of machines, too. I’ve been working out and doing things in the gym I haven’t done in 30 years. It’s a great opportunity to become better than what you were.”
Nancy says they have just begun to explore the breadth of options for entertainment and education. She has, however, identified her favorite spot: the library.
“[Raymond] prefers nonfiction, and I’m drawn more to fiction,” she says. “There’s also an abundance of clubs and so forth, but we’re still in the exploratory phase.” 
Raymond isn’t ashamed to admit that he has “put on several pounds” since he and Nancy moved into Rydal Park in January. He’s not complaining; rather, he salutes Rydal Park’s culinary team.
“There’s such a variety of food here,” he says. “I’m a carnivore, and in the main dining room they have a filet mignon that’s absolutely incredible. We’re a couple of happy campers, very satisfied with the decision we made.”
As for Marilyn Miller, she likes having the reassurance of knowing she will be in good hands if and when she needs help. Sadly, William passed away in August 2021, and the support of the community has helped her cope with his absence. 
“I came here primarily for the social aspects, but the continuing care is a big part of it, too,” she says. “If I get sick or have a fall, it’s reassuring to know the care I would need is available right here. My children are so thrilled that I moved here, particularly now that my husband has passed. They see the support and the friends I have here. It makes them feel good, not that I need to be taken care of.”
Her days are full, socializing with friends over card games, swimming in the pool, or working out at the fitness center. She also has Tobie, the mini golden doodle she describes as “the light of my life,” who has become quite popular among Rydal Park residents.
“I try to stay as active as I can,” Marilyn says. “I look out at trees from the front door, there’s a walking path right next to me, and I have a nice big yard for my dog. It’s a beautiful place to live, and I love it.” 
Rydal Park and Waters
1515 The Fairway
Jenkintown, PA 19046
(215) 885-6800
Photo by Steve Belkowitz for HumanGood
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, August 2022.