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The right reasons

Retired physicians move east for family, new social life

Created date

May 9th, 2018
Indira and Bala Pillay moved from Cleveland, Ohio, to Linden Ponds to be closer to their family.

Indira and Bala Pillay moved from Cleveland, Ohio, to Linden Ponds to be closer to their family.

For 45 years, Indira and Bala Pillay, both retired physicians, lived and worked in Cleveland, Ohio; their two adult children live in Cambridge, Mass. When they learned that their first grandchild was on the way, the Pillays decided they wanted to live closer to their family. So in 2015, they moved to Linden Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Hingham, Mass.

“With a grandchild, it was a no brainer for me,” Indira says. “I was so convinced that we had to spend time with her while she was little. She is two and a half years old, and what a joy she is.”

Pleasantly surprised

Bala admits that the transition was a bit more difficult for him. He was reluctant to leave the large colonial-style house where they lived in Cleveland.

“My initial idea of Linden Ponds was this was a nursing home, and I’m not in that position yet,” he says. “But I learned that this is a nice community, where we can be for many years.”

He’s come to enjoy living at Linden Ponds and is an active member of the community.

Bala is a member of the Resident Advisory Council, an important and influential committee that serves as a liaison between community members and administration.

He serves on the continuing care committee and the arts council.

And he volunteers at the Treasure Chest, Linden Ponds’ on-site resale shop. The shop donates its proceeds to the community’s charity fund.

Vibrant social life

While the desire to be near family initially brought the Pillays to Linden Ponds, they’ve found that the vibrant social life at the community has filled a void for them.

When Indira and Bala both retired in 2010, they found the transition difficult. Bala had a private practice in internal medicine, while Indira was the director of pathology at Lutheran Hospital, which later became a part of the Cleveland Clinic.

“It was a huge adjustment,” Indira says. “It was not just the loss of the paycheck but the intellectual interaction and contact with patients. My husband loved his patients, and they loved him, so it was very difficult.”

Without the stimulation of their careers, living among more than 1,000 active and engaged peers at Linden Ponds seemed even more attractive to Indira and Bala.

“That was another reason we moved—I said, ‘I need social interaction with people,’” Indira says. “I couldn’t live in the suburbs in a big house with just two people living there.”

Indira spends three days every week in Cambridge to be with her granddaughter. But when she is at home at Linden Ponds, she enjoys the easy access to friends and leisure activities.

“We have made a lot of wonderful friends; we love the social activities, like the lectures, and I use the gym,” Indira says. “There are so many things here to keep me busy and socially engaged—and that is the single most important thing at my age.”

Travel easy

Indira and Bala are both originally from India, and most of their family lives there. They spend a few months in their native country every year, and they’ve found that living at Linden Ponds has made traveling easier.

With around-the-clock security, community members don’t have to worry whether their homes will be safe while they’re away.

“When we were in Cleveland, I would make a list of 80 different things [to do] before we left,” Indira recalls. “Here it is nothing—I just go down to the front desk and tell them we’re leaving, and we have a friend here who gets our mail. We don’t worry about the house at all.”