John and Nancy Tobey were in the midst of planning their move to Brooksby Village, an Erickson Living developed and managed senior living community in Peabody, Mass., when the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country.
"My first thought was that we should wait a year until this passes," says John, a retired college math professor and author of mathematics textbooks. "A lot of retirement communities and nursing homes in Massachusetts have seen a terrible spread of COVID-19. But Brooksby Village has done a remarkable job taking the virus seriously and doing everything they can to protect residents."
Brooksby Village is uniquely equipped to manage an effective response to COVID-19 in light of its comprehensive infection prevention protocols and onsite medical center staffed by full-time physicians. By strictly adhering to proven mitigation protocols, Brooksby demonstrated its ability to act in a thorough, timely manner to support residents throughout this unprecedented public health emergency.
"When we considered all the facts, we felt Brooksby Village was one of the safest places to be," says Nancy, a retired elementary school teacher. "We realized there was less chance of exposure to the virus than we'd have in our house."
The couple sold their home of 42 years in Hamilton, Mass., and moved into a two-bedroom, two-bath Kingston-style apartment at Brooksby Village in June 2020.
"There are a number of positives to moving now," says Sales Counselor Jane Kiegel. "The safety and security of the Brooksby Village community has generated a lot of buzz in the area about how extraordinarily well the community has done, how well our residents have been cared for, and how minimal the exposure to the virus has been to date. That gives prospective residents peace of mind when it comes to thinking about the future. If there is another outbreak, Brooksby Village is where they want to be."
A proven leader
As part of the Erickson Living network of 20 managed communities across the nation, Brooksby Village has the support, resources, and financial strength to secure all the essentials and weather even the toughest challenge.
"We benefit from economies of scale," says Kiegel. "Thanks to our size and network of suppliers, we have buying power related to food, essential supplies, and personal protective equipment."
To support resident engagement throughout the pandemic, Brooksby Village's closed-circuit television station produced a variety of specialized programming, including virtual fitness classes, entertainment, and worship services.
"I think many people are feeling isolated in their homes," says Kiegel. "Most people move to Brooksby Village for socialization purposes and for the amenities we offer. Even now, when life has to operate a little differently, we're finding new ways to keep residents and staff well cared for and connected."
A strong housing market
Ahead of their move, as John and Nancy considered the practical implications of moving – organizing, downsizing, packing – they began to feel overwhelmed.
"We didn't know where to begin," says Nancy. "Fortunately, the professionals recommended by Brooksby Village's sales team knew exactly where to start. What seemed like mountains to us were tasks they handle every day."
Brooksby's Personal Moving Consultant Laurie Phillips visited John and Nancy in their Hamilton home to create a personalized moving plan. Phillips' assistance is part of the Erickson Realty and Moving Services program, a network of resources designed to help future residents through every part of the moving process, from choosing a real estate agent to finding a senior move manager.
"There was a tremendous benefit to using the professionals Laurie recommended," says John. "I'd done a little research on my own to determine the value of our house. When we met with the Realtor, it turned out my number was way off. Our house was worth quite a bit more."
For anyone who's interested in the Erickson Living lifestyle but isn't sure about the timing, there's good news on the real estate front. Low interest rates and limited inventory mean it's a sellers' market.
"Homes are selling quickly, frequently at or over asking price," says Kiegel.
John and Nancy's home sold before it officially hit the market.
"We're thankful we decided to go for it when we did," says John. "It proved to be a good time to sell our house because there were so few homes on the market."
Access to quality medical care
As Brooksby Village begins to carefully and thoughtfully implement its phased reopening plan, John and Nancy say they are most looking forward to meeting new people and learning more about Brooksby Village's clubs, activities, and special events.
"That's an important part of life here," says John. "We're excited for new opportunities and new friendships."
Brooksby's rich quality of life also affords peace of mind for the future, as the community offers all levels of continuing care on campus.
"As we look at the next ten years, it's comforting to know that whatever medical need arises, Brooksby has the resources to handle it," says Nancy. "We made the decision to move now for our present lifestyle, but also to make it easier in the years to come."
Consider Brooksby Village if you’re interested in living in a connected and engaged senior independent living community. Beautiful walking paths, gardens, resort-style amenities, an on-site medical center staffed by full-time medical professionals, and new friends await. Request more information today.