Residents say it best.
Retired classroom teachers Sherry and Bruce Chappelle moved to a cottage at The Moorings at Lewes in November 2019 after living in Rehoboth for 24 years. Two days after moving in, the couple agreed that “it feels like home,” a feeling that has extended throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Bruce and I find that older people are often less amenable to change,” said Sherry, “and this pandemic is the biggest change that anybody remembers. The administration at The Moorings merely had to make sure we all were able to cope with the uncertainty and restrictions. Instead, they went well beyond that — they took charge, remained calm, and everyone has been wonderful. We are so impressed and feel like, wow, we are lucky to be here now.
“In the midst of the craziness, the administrators were open with us. They told us what they thought would happen and how they were responding. Their communication was clear and careful and their concern for our physical, spiritual, and emotional welfare was quite obvious.” Echoing that, Bruce added, “They were magnificent in uncharted waters, and we didn’t sink.”
Praising Lauri Weeks, the director of resident services, Sherry described how right from the beginning, Lauri tried to keep life fun and interesting. “She arranged for members of a local runners club to run by in tutus to give us a laugh. A singer came around in a golf cart and sang outside our homes to entertain us. She organized people to make masks. She has such a sense of responsibility and is always available to answer questions. It makes a difference.”
Summing up, Sherry said, “They care for residents carefully and that starts at the top with Annette Moore, the executive director. There are many people behind the scenes who make it work. Bruce and I believe that we couldn’t ask for better conditions. There’s a culture here that they’re taking care of us as best they can, and we appreciate that.”
Jeannette Lee was born in New York City and lived in northern New Jersey for most of her adult life. After her husband, Tom, passed away in 2012, she moved to New Hampshire to be near her sisters. Finding the winters too cold and snowy, Jeannette moved to The Moorings at Lewes at the end of November in 2017, happy to be settling closer to her two children and the beach. When the COVID-19 pandemic started to shrink the world in March 2020, Jeannette was grateful to keep connected to family via video and email. She was also impressed with how Springpoint and The Moorings communicated.
“Springpoint’s communication was exceptional. They closed us down quickly and let us know what the CDC recommended and how they were responding. They stopped communal dining, began testing employees, and made cloth masks available to everybody. They broadcast testing results on our in-house TV channel and on their website. It was very reassuring that management immediately took it seriously, took the right steps, and kept us safe. They set up a marketing system so we could get staples from a shopping list and continued our food service. Knowing what the people in charge were doing made us feel much more comfortable about this unusual life-and-death situation,” said Jeannette, concluding that “the situation was taken seriously and yet there wasn’t a sense of panic about it.”
Talking about her routines before the pandemic, Jeannette noted that she misses the social interactions, including swimming, dinners with friends, book club meetings, and afternoon trivia contests. “I miss those connections, but given how serious this disease can be, we have to be careful. They got on top of the pandemic quickly and that’s a very impressive thing to know for people who are looking for a place to retire. Overall, I feel so fortunate that I’m in a place where we’re being taken care of.”
I love my apartment at The Moorings and find special pleasure in growing plants all year-round on my glassed-in porch. I’m looking forward to a new residents’ garden in the spring with raised beds where we can grow vegetables and flowers to share or add to our own cooking. The entire staff here is pleasant and helpful.
Housekeeping keeps my apartment clean; maintenance takes care of any problem. I love living where, if I run out of coffee or bread, the “bistro” is right down the hall. A good library and a swimming pool are in the main building too, as is a full-menu dining room and other conveniences. Yes … even a woodworking shop!
I have a college major in studio art, and coach the community art group. The same room provided for painting activities is also outfitted with comfortable chairs and a fireplace for needle workers who gather to socialize while knitting or quilting, browsing through art and craft books, or sharing a new skill. Once a year, The Moorings displays an exhibit of residents’ creative arts for sale. A percentage of the earnings is donated to the Residents Reserve Fund.
Community members are involved in many activities sponsored by The Moorings (such as tai chi) or arranged by resident committees (such as movies, the book club, chorus, and outings for dinner). The Residents’ Association comprises many committees and gives voice to resident concerns and interests. Whether serving on a committee, joining an activity, or making use of events and services in Lewes or nearby Rehoboth, I keep busy. Or, when I want quiet, I sit on my porch and enjoy my plants. Orchids are blooming on this snowy day!
We arrived at a point in our lives where we both decided to make plans for the future. We wanted to do this so our children wouldn’t have to do it for us. We’ve had to make decisions for other family members and didn’t want to put that burden on our children. Health concerns were a contributing factor; in addition, we didn’t want to deal with steps in our home anymore, and it was becoming more difficult and tiresome to do things around the house like raking leaves and shoveling snow.
We received an invitation to an ice cream social at The Moorings and decided to attend. We immediately fell in love with the community. After touring one of the cottages, we knew that was what we wanted. We got on the wait list, and the cottage we wanted became available after 18 months. We feel very lucky to have found such a nice place.
The informality of the community is great; you can just do your own thing. We love the body balance exercise class. I (Rich) participate in the residents’ Program Committee and Jean is part of the Activity Committee. She also writes an article for the community newsletter about the natural surroundings of the campus, including wildlife and coastal habitat. We love the outdoor walkways throughout the campus. It’s so nice to have people who take care of maintenance and landscaping, and they do an excellent job.
The food is very good and there is a broad selection. Usually there are six or seven entrees from which to choose, and some vary each day. The Chart Room is the formal dining venue; the Bistro is for casual food and offers takeout menu items that you can pick up or have delivered to your home. Cooking at home is an alternative, too. Jean loves the town of Lewes; it’s very quaint. Between Lewes and nearby towns Rehoboth, Dewey Beach, Bethany, and Fenwick Island, there are more restaurants than you can shake a stick at!
Residents and staff members are very friendly and tend to look out for each other—it’s a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. We discovered a longtime friend of more than 50 years also lives in the community. Moving here, we felt we had done something good for our children and we know they appreciate it. They really like the community too. They enjoy visiting and are happy that we’re safe and enjoying the lifestyle and activities here.