Cottages at Shipley Senior Living Are a Happy Haven for Seniors

June 14, 2024 | News | Reading Time 3:00 Minutes

Sitting on the deck attached to their two-bedroom cottage at Shipley Senior Living in Wilmington, Delaware, Dave and Joan Neikirk often spot deer, foxes and birds in their backyard.

For Joan, the area is familiar territory.

“I grew up near here. It was like coming home,” she says.

With a choice of either a one- or two-bedroom cottage, both of which are on one level, the couple, who previously lived in Newark, chose a spacious two-bedroom, two-bath floor plan.

“I was finding stairs increasingly difficult,” Dave says. “This was perfect for us.”

They moved in seven years ago and found that the cottage also provided them with ample space to turn their second bedroom into a home office.

They are so happy at Shipley Living that they gladly serve as volunteer ambassadors for the community, which enables them to welcome new and future residents, show them around, answer any questions they have, and tell them about the factors that made them decide to make a cottage at Shipley Living their home.

Choosing a new place to live is never easy, and the Neikirks looked at many other communities before deciding that Shipley Living’s peaceful setting, available spacious cottages, easy access to outdoor space, and other amenities suited their needs to a T.

They often spend time on their deck having a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or reading.

“We like looking out on the large green space,” Dave says. “It’s almost bucolic.”

Shipley Living, which offers independent living, assisted living, short-term rehab, and skilled nursing, is conveniently located within the greater Wilmington community.

The Neikirks, who are in independent living, are very active and still have a car and drive.

“Our car is right outside our door, in a reserved space,” Dave says.

A shopping mall with a movie theater is less than a mile away, and there are shops, restaurants, and other nearby destinations.

While the Neikirks drive, not all residents do. The community offers a bus service for residents who want to visit their doctor, go shopping, dine at a restaurant or do other errands.

The Neikirks’ cottage is also close to the many on-site activities offered to Shipley residents to keep them engaged, active, and enjoying life.

The couple enjoys weekly bridge games, monthly jewelry-making sessions, Friday night get-togethers with other residents and weekly happy hours.

Joan, who is an avid walker, walks daily in the nearby neighborhoods.

“The neighborhoods are nice,” she says. “I like that this community is not stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere.”

Furthermore, “It’s a very good neighborhood for walking because the terrain is mild,” Dave notes.

As they’ve become immersed in the life at Shipley, the Neikirks say another way in which the community stands out is in having an outstanding staff.

Dave has nothing but praise for the way all the staff perform their jobs.

“They are more than responsive,” Dave says. “They always go the extra mile. They are cheerful, upbeat and helpful.”

Having found so much happiness in their cottage and the community, it’s no surprise that the Neikirks love their roles as ambassadors for Shipley Living.

Dave says it’s not hard for people to feel what a special place Shipley Living is.

“Once people are on campus, and they see what we have here, and see how comfortable it is –those are great selling points,” Dave says. 

Shipley Living

Nestled in a vibrant neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware, Shipley Living is a full-service, rental, continuing care retirement community offering carefree independent living, the helping hand of assisted living, and comprehensive skilled nursing. Shipley Living is managed by Life Care Services®. For additional information, visit or call 302/387-4832.