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The Essential Organizer

Well-informed search leads to Linden Ponds

Created date

December 24th, 2013

Bill Lytle was already living in a 55-plus apartment complex, having downsized from a condo three years before, when he began the search that ultimately led him to Linden Ponds. Sixty years of family history compelled him to make that one additional move, for the sake of his future.   

“How we see the future and how we wish to be cared for are shaped by looking at how older people in our lives were cared for,” Bill says.

A methodical and rational planner with a professional background as a management consultant, Bill took his family’s experiences and medical history into account as he began looking for a comprehensive retirement community. 

As a single man with few family members nearby, Bill says, “I knew I had to take responsibility for my own well-being in the future.” 

Research-informed guidebook

About five years ago, Bill undertook a comprehensive project in the spirit of future planning. Prompted by a neighbor’s observations as a hospice volunteer, Bill recognized the need for a resource that would help individuals and families prepare for getting older.  

The result was a guidebook, The Essential Organizer: An Ongoing Record of Your Estate & Personal Information. The book provides a framework for logging important information about legal and financial plans, practical issues, matters of present and future health, and family and friends. 

“The major theme is making plans for the long-term welfare of one’s self, as well as one’s family, and providing this information to critical individuals,” Bill says. 

The book is available in both a printed format and as a CD. It has been endorsed by The Wall Street Journal as “one of the best household organizers to cross our desks.” Bill plans to continue pursuing his career as an author while at Linden Ponds.

With a clear map of his future, Bill embarked upon his search for a new home using another resource he authored: A List of Important Characteristics of Retirement Facilities. This five-page document outlines desirable characteristics related to location, apartments, finances, buildings, people, medical care, and activities. 

With help from Sales Counselor Doris O’Keefe, Bill toured Ponds on four or five occasions. Features like the community’s proximity to Boston, safety, resident satisfaction, staff availability, and levels of care factored into his favorable evaluation. 

The community’s list of more than 100 activities and groups also impressed Bill. “Whatever you want, you’re going to find that here,” he says. 

Photography, walking, and veterans’ clubs interested Bill, who also planned to maintain activities outside of the community. A musician who plays the recorder as part of an ensemble of friends, Bill also volunteers at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Trustworthy staff and services

Bill joined Linden Ponds’ priority list, securing him a spot in line for an apartment home of his choice and access to the community’s resources, including Personal Moving Consultant Lynne Ford. 

Of the sales office staff at Linden Ponds, Bill says, “I think they were terrific. They were never pushy about making a decision. They were very friendly, knowledgeable, and professional.” 

Bill decided on a one-bedroom apartment home. The Georgian-style floor plan includes a large den and walk-in closet, and a large kitchen. For help with the move last September, Bill chose Linden Ponds-recommended Burkhardt Brothers Moving & Storage. “They could not have been more helpful,” he says.

Bill relied upon Linden Ponds’ general services staff for help setting up his kitchen and television, hanging more than 60 pictures, and installing a light over his dining room table. 

“The internal resources are just terrific,” Bill says. “They’re patient; they’re responsive,” he adds of general services. 

Bill describes Linden Ponds as “good people that I trust, which gives me some control of my future, both short- and long-term. And of equal importance, I find that the residents here are warm and supportive of newcomers.”

For more information about Bill’s book, visit