Maplewood Park Place

Alice Duncan, who admits to being in her 80s but would rather not get more specific, didn’t want to burden her younger brother with finding a nursing home if she needed one. Plus, she didn’t want to end up feeling isolated if she had to give up driving.

That’s why Maplewood Park Place, a resident-owned cooperative community in Bethesda, seemed like the perfect place: It offers assisted living and skilled nursing care as well as individual apartments. A retired nurse who worked at the National Institutes of Health, Duncan has lived at Maplewood since it opened in 1996.

“If I want people around, I can have people around,” says Duncan, who still volunteers one morning a week at her church and takes part in exercise classes at Maplewood. “If I don’t, I can go upstairs and shut my door.”

Scott McAlister, Maplewood’s executive director for four years, attributes the community’s third consecutive “Best of Bethesda” win to the fact that “we are a resident-owned and governed community. That sets us apart from the other senior communities.”

Duncan is one of about 285 seniors, average age 83, who call Maplewood home. McAlister, 49, finds he’s the same age as the children of many residents. “It’s a good relationship,” he says.

Apartments range in price from $400,000 to $800,000.

9707 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, 301-530-0500,

Other Top Vote Getters: Leisure World, Fox Hill Club & Residences