People are at the heart of what makes Peabody community a special place to call home
Peabody, MA - Relationships matter. In a year when social distancing is imposing a sense of isolation on people of all ages, the value of community has never been more evident. Those who live at Brooksby Village, an Erickson Living developed and managed senior living community in Peabody are embracing friendships, connectedness, diversity, and new beginnings this holiday season.
"Times like this remind us how important it is to be part of a strong community," says Tom Neubauer, executive vice president of sales, marketing, and communications for Erickson Living. "Residents who have been members of our com-munities for some time will tell you that the best part of living on campus isn't the modern fitness center or delicious variety of dining options, it's the friendships they've developed with their neighbors and staff and the community they've built."
Easy to make friends
Dick and Jeanne Scott know this to be true. The couple moved to Brooksby Village from Salem, Mass., in December 2017.
"I tell people we made more friends in our first few months at Brooksby Village than in the previous ten years," says Dick, who worked in publishing for Fodor's and Reader's Digest. "Where we used to live, most of our neighbors were still in the workforce. During the day, we wouldn't see them. Our social life was much more limited than it is now at Brooksby Village."
Dick and Jeanne say social opportunities were among the factors influencing their decision to move to Brooksby Village, but the reality was even better than they'd imagined.
"We figured we'd make friends," says Jeanne, who worked for Reader's Digest and the Salem Chamber of Commerce. "It was above and beyond. When you walk down the hall, everybody says hello. You stop and talk. It far exceeded our social expectations."
It doesn't take long for cordial introductions to blossom into meaningful, supportive friendships, thanks to the built-in opportunities for socialization through Brooksby Village's on-site amenities, clubs, and activities.
"You have dinner with people you don't know, and yet, you get to know them by the end of the meal," says Jeanne. "Then there are the impromptu gatherings when you run into a friend in the hall and say, 'Let's get together.' You can make plans for the next day, and you don't even have to call someone up or get in your car to meet them."
Shared interests strengthen those bonds of friendship. Dick and Jeanne are both active in the on-site television studio; Dick as a stage manager for More About Us, a program to get to know other community members, and Jeanne as an on-camera personality for Good Day Brooksby, a lifestyle show produced by residents for residents.
"We didn't have many neighbors in our situation before we moved to Brooksby Village, but now there are all kinds of activities to do with people in the same stage of life as us," says Dick. "There's so much to enjoy here, from lectures and concerts to clubs and games." When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation, Brooksby Village's executive team took decisive action in the early weeks of the viral spread to limit the risk of resident exposure. Staff quickly put programs in place, like meal and mail delivery and concierge services, so residents could remain safely in their apartments."
The difference between staying at home in a single-family home versus a community like Brooksby Village is a strong support system. Instead of feeling fearful and isolated, Brooksby Village's residents had everything they needed to not only survive, but to thrive throughout the challenging time.
"I can't say enough about the staff," says Dick. "No matter what department, whether they're in general services or dining services or resident life, they have been wonderful."
Reengaging once more
As Brooksby Village implemented its phased reopening plan, residents found fresh delight in reconnecting in person once again.
In early July, Dick and Jeanne began gathering outdoors with friends once a week to enjoy a glass of wine before dinner, observing social distancing while still savoring the joy that comes from spending time with friends. As amenities and services continue to carefully and thoughtfully reopen, Dick and Jeanne say they are most looking forward to the vibrant lifestyle they've come to love at Brooksby Village.
"This is a wonderful place to enjoy life with friends," says Jeanne. "It's so nice to live in a community where all these opportunities are just down the hall."
Photo: Dick and Jeanne Scott enjoy the carefree lifestyle filled with fun and friends at Brooksby Village.
About Brooksby Village: Brooksby Village is one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living® and is situated on a scenic 90-acre campus in Peabody, Massachusetts. The not-for-profit community, located in Essex County, is home to 1,700 residents and is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Brooksby Village can be found at BrooksbyVillage.com.