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All in the family

Brother and sister find ideal lifestyle waiting for them at Brooksby

Created date

October 14th, 2016
Brother and sister Rocco and Josephine Petrillo moved to Brooksby Village from their family home in West Peabody, Mass.

Brother and sister Rocco and Josephine Petrillo moved to Brooksby Village from their family home in West Peabody, Mass.

When brother–sister duo Rocco and Josephine Petrillo built their two-story house in West Peabody, Mass., 24 years ago, it functioned as the perfect family home.

“Our widowed mother lived with us at the time,” says Josephine, who spent her 40-year career with the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. “The arrangement worked very well because we shared home maintenance chores and expenses.”

More than two decades later, however, the family home presented challenges.

“Our mother passed away, so it was just the two of us in this rambling house,” says Rocco, a retired Latin and Spanish teacher. “The bedrooms were upstairs, and the stairs were getting harder to climb. Josephine is a meticulous housekeeper, and she never complained, but I could see that she was spending a lot of time keeping the house in shipshape order.”

Rocco, for his part, felt the weight of keeping up with home maintenance.

“You spend a lot of time on the phone trying to contact home-service people, making appointments, and waiting for their arrival.” says Rocco. “There’s the landscaper, the sprinkler system maintenance man, the snow plower, the electrician, the plumber, the house painter, the oil company. It felt like keeping up the house and garden was a full-time job.”

A better alternative

Convinced there had to be a better alternative, Rocco requested a complimentary brochure from Brooksby Village, the Erickson Living community near their home. At Brooksby, residents enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle, with even the smallest chore—like changing a lightbulb—completed by the on-site maintenance team.

The brochure, which includes detailed information about Brooksby’s amenities, floor plans, and financial structure, gave Rocco a glimpse into a future that intrigued him. He passed the brochure to Josephine and asked for her thoughts.

“At first, I was more hesitant than Rocco about moving,” says Josephine. “But the brochure sold me on Brooksby. It included all the facts, and the lifestyle sounded ideal.”

Rocco and Josephine worked with Brooksby Personal Moving Consultant Laurie Phillips to plan out their move.

“We each wanted our own apartment in the same residence building,” says Josephine. “That way, we’d have our space with the comfort of knowing the other was nearby.”

Josephine selected an extra-large one-bedroom, one-bath Ellicott-style apartment on the third floor of the Baldwin Court residence building. Rocco chose a two-bedroom, one-bath Fairmont-style apartment on the fifth floor in Baldwin Court. He uses the second bedroom as a home office.

“It’s a great arrangement,” says Josephine. “We each have our independence and the freedom to pursue activities that interest us, but we still have dinner together most nights.”

Downsizing wasn’t a problem either as their house had enough furniture to outfit both apartments. Prior to their move, Phillips visited Rocco and Josephine in their home and brought a magnetic board of each floor plan with manipulative furniture pieces to determine furniture placement in their new homes. 

“I spoke with my financial advisor before we moved to Brooksby to be sure the move made financial sense,” says Rocco. “He assured me it was a good move. Now I feel like I’m enjoying the retirement I worked for during my career.”

Enjoying their new lifestyle

Among the many benefits of their new lifestyle, Rocco and Josephine enjoy the community’s on-site amenities.

“It’s all here—the bank, the barbershop, the swimming pool, the library, and the general store,” says Rocco. “I even get the newspaper delivered right to my door.”

Josephine, for her part, relishes the concerts and evening events that take place at the Peabody community. 

“Just recently, a couple on my floor hosted a dinner for the Baldwin Court third floor neighbors in the private dining room,” says Josephine. “It’s been fun to meet so many new and interesting people.”