Culture is a Walk Away, Conversation Always on Tap 

The Cohens found easy connections at Judson Manor, a vibrant arts-focused community with access to the healthcare and cultural institutions they value. 

“We shrugged our shoulders,” says Judy Cohen, relating a joint nonverbal gesture she and her husband, Dick Cohen, relayed to their adult children during a celebratory milestone birthday weekend when everyone flew in to spend time. “What if something happens to you? We don’t know what you want us to do or if there is a plan,” their kids expressed. It was a legitimate concern. 

The Cohens had been rooted in Shaker Heights their entire married life, and Dick was raised there. Aside from serving in the U.S. Army, they’ve been otherwise tethered to the community. Judy says, “We didn’t know what we were going to do either, and we started looking at senior living options and gathering information to make a decision while we could do so knowledgeably.” This was 2022. Dick logged the experience, creating a spreadsheet their friends greatly appreciated with pros, cons, amenities, and financial information. They visited some properties, and by June 2023, they had dually decided to stay put. 

Then, another “sign” triggered a bolder move. By late summer and early fall, some very close friends and family fell sick or unfortunately passed away. “We decided it would be better if we moved when we were in charge and not when our children had to scramble to make decisions in a stressful situation,” Judy says. “Once we made that choice, it was full steam ahead.” 

The Cohens made Judson Manor their official home a week before Thanksgiving 2023. In many ways, the couple has come full circle to where they started. Dick is a retired dentist who first went into practice in the former Park Chester Medical Building—which has since been razed. He can look out their Judson Manor property window and see where his business was rooted. He retired in 2010. Dick recalls gathering with colleagues and friends for lunch when Judson Manor was the Wade Park Manor Hotel. 

For Judy, a still practicing Realtor with Howard Hanna, the architectural detail in Judson Manor was an instant win. “I love the high ceilings, crown molding, and layout,” she says. “To see what Judson has done with it, it is even more elegant than when we could come in the 1950s to have lunch.” 

Seamless Transition 

Judy had her Realtor hat on and a tie to the location when she toured their current Judson Manor apartment home. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit allowed for some customization. “We made the larger bedroom into a family room and office combination,” she says. The couple worked with Susan Kent of Susan Kent Design Services, who partners with Judson to provide full-service move planning and relocation offerings. “She was a wonderful help,” Judy says.

The Cohens had collected teak furniture, now antique, purchased in Copenhagen, Denmark, while Dick was stationed in Germany. “We really loved it and hoped we could take as much of it as we could,” she relates. “With Susan’s help, we could take all of it.”  Susan worked with us to create a workable floor plan, then helped us refine it and execute furniture placement. “We even had an upright piano—my husband plays—and we weren’t sure if we’d be able to take it, but we could fit this, and it’s terrific!” Judy says. With adult children living across the country from Naples to Chicago to Memphis and Michigan, the Cohens greatly appreciated the transition and planning support—and so did the kids. 

‘A Truly Life-Enhancing Place’

“I don’t have to cook anymore!” says Judy, who says the couple is busier now with programs and gatherings than before they moved to Judson Manor. “There are so many wonderful events.”  Dick especially enjoys the music programs and the Manor’s proximity to Severance Hall. “When the weather is nice, we walk there and to the lagoon at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and it only takes 10 minutes to get there on foot,” Judy says, adding that they feel “very safe” and love taking in Cleveland Institute of Music programs, also right in the neighborhood. “I have even walked to appointments at Cleveland Clinic,” adds Judy, noting that living close to their healthcare providers was a critical factor in choosing Judson Manor. 

Judy has always been an active exerciser, participates in golf leagues twice weekly, and appreciates the various fitness classes at Judson Manor. Dick is a pastel paint artist and has assembled several exhibitions. “He loves being in the art room downstairs at the Manor,” Judy says. Dick has always played piano by ear. He wanted to learn to read music and is now working with the Artist in Residence pianist, Icy Nguyen, who is teaching him. Judy says, “One of the most enjoyable aspects of Judson Manor for both is the wonderful people we have met here. We share experiences—it’s truly a life-enhancing place to be.”

© Copyright 2024 Judson Services, Inc. Judson Smart Living® is a registered trademark Privacy Policy Sitemap

Skip to content