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Following in mom and dad’s footsteps

Second generation moves to Brooksby Village

Created date

January 7th, 2016

two generations of Grahams at one location

When Maureen Graham retired from her job as a computer programmer, she wanted to spend more time with family.

“I was living in South Carolina and didn’t have any family in the area,” says Maureen, whose husband passed away two years ago. “My son and his family live in Peabody, Mass., and my daughter lives in Denver [Colo.]. My mother and my sisters also live in Massachusetts.”

Maureen considered relocating back to her home state of Massachusetts but didn’t relish the idea of moving into an isolated apartment.

“I wanted my own space, but I also wanted to be part of a community,” she says.

Another option quickly took root. 

“My parents moved to Brooksby Village 13 years ago,” says Maureen. “My father passed away last year, but my mother lives in the continuing care neighborhood. I realized I could move to independent living at Brooksby and be close to my mother while still participating in community life.”

Having it all

Maureen joined Brooksby’s priority list, which allowed her to reserve an available apartment home. She sold her South Carolina home and moved to a two-bedroom, Kingston-style apartment at Brooksby in February 2015.

“Snow storms were coming one after the other when I moved to Brooksby in February,” says Maureen. “It was so nice to use the climate-controlled walkways to visit my mother. I didn’t have to go outside and drive anywhere.”

Maureen says that seeing her mother every day is the primary benefit of moving to Brooksby, but she also takes advantage of opportunities to nurture her own well-being at the community.

“I absolutely love the meditation classes,” she says. “They’re outstanding.”

Maureen makes use of Brooksby’s indoor swimming pool and walks the nearby North Shore Rail Trail with other residents.

“Over the past year, I’ve met an increasing number of younger residents who are choosing to live at Brooksby,” says Maureen. “We’ve even started a club. We call ourselves the New Friends.”

No more winter blues

Like Maureen, Peter Seamans is another second-generation Brooksby resident. He and his wife Carol moved to Brooksby in August 2015 from Beverly, Mass.

“I suffered a stroke in August 2014 and made a remarkable recovery, but it was cautionary for us,” says Peter, a retired municipal administrator for the City of Beverly. “Carol and I started thinking about the work it takes to own a home and how we really wanted to spend our time.”

The couple knew they wanted to travel more without being tied to a house. Last winter’s relentless snowstorms nudged Peter and Carol even closer to a decision.

“I was constantly shoveling snow, and I told Carol, ‘This isn’t smart,’” says Peter. “We briefly considered moving to a warmer climate, but then we started thinking about Brooksby.”

Peter’s mother, Anne Seamans, lived at Brooksby for nine years before she passed away in January 2015. 

“We knew how happy my mother was at Brooksby,” says Peter. “She was active in needle crafts and enjoyed being around friends. Carol and I felt we could have the life we wanted at Brooksby.”

Peter and Carol joined the priority list in February 2015.

“After we joined the priority list, we attended downsizing seminars with Laurie [Phillips, Brooksby’s personal moving consultant],” says Peter. “They were very helpful in planning our move.”

To help prospective residents prepare for a move, Phillips offers a four-part moving and downsizing seminar, “Lunch and Learn With Laurie,” which meets for four consecutive months. 

“The first month we talk about downsizing your closet,” says Phillips. “Month two is devoted to downsizing the kitchen. Month three covers downsizing hot spots—books, china, and collectibles. The fourth seminar takes a look at what to expect on moving day.”

Stress-free living

The couple didn’t realize how quickly their move would transpire, but once they saw a two-bedroom, two-bath, Jackson-style apartment with a courtyard view and an abundance of natural light, they made their decision.

“The apartment satisfied all of our criteria,” says Peter. “We had to ask ourselves if we were serious about making a move. After a little soul-searching, we decided we were ready.”

It didn’t take long for Peter and Carol to start living the life they had been anticipating. One week after they moved to Brooksby, the couple crossed the Atlantic Ocean for a two-week cruise on the Adriatic Sea.

“This is a whole new way of life for us,” says Peter. “I don’t have to rake leaves or shovel snow anymore. It’s definitely a stress-free lifestyle.”

When they’re not traveling, Carol participates in