Tribune Print Share Text

Generations unite at Brooksby

New Jersey woman happy to be surrounded by friends and family

Created date

January 24th, 2012

One of Frances Gold s first visits to Brooksby, an Erickson Living community in Peabody, Mass., included dinner at its Harvest Grille restaurant, where her grandson was working. Frances wanted to get a sense of Brooksby s inner workings from within its walls. Her prior notions of the community weren t just shaped by reports from her grandson she had also heard plenty from her son-in-law, Brooksby Executive Director Jim Wingardner. Three generations are connected with this place, Frances muses from the living room of her Brooksby apartment, which she has called home since last summer. At the time of her Harvest Grille visit, Frances was living in Westfield, N.J., in her home of more than four decades, alone since her husband s death in 2000. She had concluded that she no longer wanted her house, but she knew if she were to move it would be closer to family in Massachusetts. This was thrown into my hands, she says of Brooksby. Even so, at the time of her visit, Frances says, It was still a thought, not a decision. She adds, I had heard that it was just a delightful place to move: it offered a great deal, the people were most accommodating. It sounded really enticing.

Moving on

Once fully convinced, Frances put her house up for sale in late spring. While preparing for the move, she benefited from the help of her children and the personal moving consultant at Cedar Crest, Erickson Living s Northern New Jersey community. The moving consultant advised Frances on furniture arrangement in her Brooksby apartment home. A former school teacher with a lifelong love of opera, lectures, and bridge, Frances quickly became involved in similar activities at Brooksby. She attends local broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera and rehearsals of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, organized through Brooksby s Transportation Department, as well as regular lectures hosted at Brooksby. The people and the offerings and the overall accommodations you have an option to go to one of four restaurants it s just so easy, Frances says, referring to the one meal each day included in the cost of living at Brooksby. People come to visit; it s so easy to entertain them, she adds. It s much, much better than I ever dreamt it would be.

Extraordinary neighbors

Just a few months after making her move, Frances had already met many of her neighbors. The people are extraordinary, she says. They are kind and good, good friends, and I never thought I d say that so soon. More than an appreciation for her new home, Frances also has a better sense of her son-in-law s profession. I never realized until I got here the amount of work [involved]. I m very proud of him. It s quite a lot.