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Down the street from the entrance to the Harbor Links Golf Course three huge construction cranes scooping up dirt, deposit it in monster trucks. The foundation site is emerging for the Amsterdam at Harborside, a Continuing Care Retirement Community. When the trucks drive past the temporary information center, Margaret Minichini, director of Community Relations at The Amsterdam, says the building shakes.

Minichini expects occupancy to begin in the first quarter of 2010. "As of today, 90 percent of the apartments at The Amsterdam are reserved," she said. "Residents are invited to monthly events that give them an opportunity to socialize and get an update on the progress of the construction. As construction moves forward, resident events will include presentations about selling their homes, downsizing, moving, and decorating their new homes."

Situated on nine acres, the community, once completed, will offer independent living in 226 apartments and penthouses. Residents will enjoy maintenance-free living surrounded by resort-style amenities, such as underground valet parking, numerous dining options, housekeeping and concierge service. The community will offer residents lifestyle spaces such as a creative arts studio, woodworking shop, greenhouse, media room, indoor swimming pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, game room, business center, beauty salon and more.

But even more important, said Minichini, is "that the residents stay involved and active outside the Amsterdam. We are really interested in being part of the community, not something separate. In the first year we invite all the volunteer organizations for a fair day to introduce residents to organizations. We are looking for opportunities for the residents where they can stay engaged and involved. We are bringing 300 people into the community and it's important that we contribute as well."

Actually 85 percent of the new residents come from within 10 miles of the area probably because they have ties to organizations and people here. "Now they don't want maintenance hassles anymore," said Minichini. With continuing care you don't need long-term care insurance. Your monthly fee includes transportation, meal plan (30 monthly meal credits), real estates taxes, basic cable and insurance. People pay extra for phone and Internet connection. There is no additional charge for being moved to one of the 34 private apartments for assisted living or the 40 skilled nursing suites. If an individual does develop a need for health care it is provided onsite, as well as physical and occupational therapy at no extra cost.

While you must be 62 to come in, most of those interested are in their mid-70s. When people are this age they start to feel they can't take care of a house on their own said Minichini. Studies have shown, "American's don't feel that they are old until they are 74," she added. Furthermore, their estate is protected for their descendents. The amount paid for their apartment is reimbursed to their descendents at a minimum of 85 percent.

The Amsterdam at Harborside's life care program entitles residents to lifetime use of their residences and guaranteed access to on-site health care services, if ever needed. Health care services are provided through an affiliation with North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. The Amsterdam at Harborside is sponsored by the not-for-profit Amsterdam House Continuing Care Retirement Community Inc., which is affiliated with Amsterdam Nursing Home in Manhattan, an organization with a 134-year history. For more information or to tour The Amsterdam's Information Center in Port Washington, call (800) 365-0665 or visit www.theamsterdamatharborside.com.


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