Lilly Ann and Michael Walker

man kissing woman on cheek while toasting

Allentown couple rekindles active adult community friendships at Applewood. Several of the Walker’s friends chose Applewood as their CCRC, making their move an easy decision After living for nearly 20 years at an active adult community in Allentown, NJ, Lilly Ann and Michael Walker saw signs that the time was right to move up to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC).

“A couple we knew had to live separately when one of them unexpectedly needed assisted living care,” Lilly Ann recalls. “They were only able to be together a few times a week due to his difficulty driving. This wasn’t a situation we wanted to face in our later years.”

Both New York City natives, Michael, a former IT professional, and Lilly Ann, a retired secretary and district clerk to a Rockland County, NY school board, love culture and the arts. But their biggest passion is fitness, which is obvious when you meet them in person.

“We’ve played tennis for years, love to dance and walk every chance we get,” Michael notes. “We may be in our 80’s, but Lilly Ann still walks 8,000 steps daily several times a week. I do my best to keep up with her.”


Since 2017, the Walkers have regularly visited Applewood to visit five friends and former neighbors who now call the senior community home. Lilly Ann said everyone expressed their satisfaction and happiness living in the community and urged the couple to join them.

After some health challenges emerged in 2020-21, the couple contacted an Applewood sales counselor to see what was available. In the meantime, the couple began to downsize their large home and keep what mattered most. To Lilly Ann, that was her dining room table that seats 14 guests.

“We love entertaining friends and family and I needed a home that could accommodate our extra-large dining table,” Lilly Ann explains. They look forward to hosting family for Easter brunch this year. The couple, who love to cook, also needed a sizable kitchen and a master bedroom large enough for their king-size bed. The second bedroom doubles as a guest room and office area.


The 2 Bedroom Redwood open floor plan fits the bill perfectly with its expansive 14.4 x 23 ft. great room and generously-sized 12 x 21 ft. master bedroom. In late December 2021, the couple took up residence at Applewood in Freehold and celebrated the New Year in their new home.

“I like that the public spaces are regularly updated and have a fresh modern look,” Lilly Ann notes. “The Engaged Living lifestyle at Applewood also suits our interests and hobbies, so we have more than enough to do every day.”

The couple has already joined several in-person and online group fitness classes, including Saturday morning Strength Training, DrumFIT, Standing Cardio and Standing Strength. Lilly Ann also plans to join the Applewood Chorus and dive into Aquasize classes in the indoor pool.


After living in their 55+ adult community for nearly two decades, the Walkers shared some advice they learned firsthand about transitioning to a CCRC:

“Move to a continuing care retirement community while you can still enjoy all the fabulous amenities they offer,” Michael says. “It’s also a great social environment, so you can enjoy meeting new people and widening your circle of friends.”

Lilly Ann says that downsizing is physically and mentally demanding. She advises people to start the moving process even before finding their next home. “Start getting rid of everything you don’t use or need anymore,” she says. “It feels great to simplify your surroundings so you can focus on the important things in life–having fun!”