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Get your guide to retirement living

Everything you need to know about living at Charlestown

Created date

September 24th, 2013

A new comprehensive guide to retirement living at Charlestown is the equivalent of a spiral-bound encyclopedia about Erickson Living s community in Catonsville, Md. From activities and apartment home styles to wellness amenities and costs to live there, the 45-page guide provides detailed information about every aspect of the Charlestown lifestyle. The book also covers the community s programs to assist people in selling their house and moving and information about social benefits; the maintenance-free, weatherproof lifestyle; fresh flavorful dining; and the peace of mind offered by Erickson Living's financial structure.

Personalized and comprehensive

"We didn't hold anything back," says Erickson Living Copy Director Karen Walls. "We wanted the guide to answer the questions of potential residents and their adult children. We wanted them to be as well-informed as possible so the decision they make is truly the right one for them." The yearlong project involved extensive research, multiple brainstorming sessions, and constant reassessments. Sales Director Don Grove and Personal Moving Consultant Vera Ballard collaborated with the talented creative team at Erickson Living to develop a reader-friendly print guide with information as comprehensive as what can be found at They even worked it out that the sales team at Charlestown can personalize and tailor the guide s content to match a prospect s interests and needs. For example, they might insert brief bios about the physicians who staff the community's on-site, full-service medical center and tend only to its residents. "We want our sales teams to give people exactly the information they re asking for," Walls says. Nicole Hospelhorn, a strategic marketing director at Erickson Living, led the project. "It was a labor of love," she says. "Everybody who works at Erickson Living is genuine in their desire to help people live better. We really care about what we do."

Skim or read cover to cover

The strategy was a correlation of thoughts from potential residents; sales offices; and Erickson Living's creative, research, and data teams. "People want to know as much as possible about a specific community without making an actual visit," says Hospelhorn. So the Charlestown guide also includes actual floor plans of apartment home styles as well as information about the community's on-site continuing care health services neighborhood. "We designed the guides to be as easy to skim as to read cover to cover, and they'll stand the test of time as reference tools," Hospelhorn says. "They even feature barcodes to scan and hear testimonials from Erickson Living residents on the Web." Equally important, to illustrate the diversity and vitality at Erickson Living communities in a realistic, authentic, and spontaneous way, the photography features real Erickson Living residents. "I can look at the photos and feel the energy and excitement here, says Charlestown Sales Director Don Grove. "I feel the happiness, and I think, 'Oh my goodness, this is real life. This is Charlestown.'"