Moving single

What’s best for you?

Created date

November 23rd, 2018
Merle Sidell chose Brooksby Village for its abundant amenities and on-site social opportunities.

Merle Sidell chose Brooksby Village for its abundant amenities and on-site social opportunities.

Merle Sidell has lived through enough New England winters to know what to expect.

“During especially tough winters, with all the snow and ice, there were weeks I couldn’t get out of the house,” she says. “I started spending winters in Florida to escape those tough months.”

In Florida, Merle rented an apartment at Kings Point, a 55-plus community in Delray Beach.

“There were lots of planned activities at Kings Point, and people were always getting together,” says Merle. “I liked the sense of community and having a choice of activities right outside my door. When I came back to Massachusetts, I started looking around for something like it.”

Merle visited senior living communities in Lynnfield, Beverly, Andover, and Peabody.

“I wanted a community with a lot to offer,” she says. “When I visited Brooksby Village, in Peabody, I liked all the amenities on campus—the restaurants, bank, pharmacy, salon, fitness center, and medical center. I also liked all the active, diverse residents I met. They were so friendly.”

Adjusting to a new living situation

It wasn’t the first move Merle was making by herself, although the previous time followed an unexpected loss.

“My husband and I bought a house in Malden [Mass.] in May 2009,” says Merle. “He passed away three months later while we were renovating it, so he never got to live in the house.”

Once she moved in, Merle found she was in a different stage of life than her neighbors.

“Most of them went off to work during the day,” she says. “There wasn’t anyone around who was in the same situation as me.”

Living alone, Merle grappled with security and peace of mind.

“The only way I felt comfortable in my house was to have an alarm panel installed in my bedroom,” she says. “I needed to see the green light when I went to bed so I knew everything was secure.”

Forging her own path

This time, as Merle contemplated her next move, she knew she had both the opportunity and responsibility to make a decision that met her needs.

“When you’re moving as a single person, you’re the one making all the decisions,” says Laurie Phillips, personal moving consultant at Brooksby Village. “On the flip side, it’s a time for you to do something for yourself, to make choices that suit you.”

Convinced she’d found the right community, Merle chose a one-bedroom Dover-style apartment at Brooksby and set about making it her own.

“I wanted a side-by-side refrigerator with an ice maker in the door, and general services made it happen,” says Merle. “I also wanted recessed lights in the bedroom. My husband was an electrician, and he had lights everywhere. I’d gotten used to light and bright spaces. Again, general services installed the recessed lighting in the bedroom. I loved that I was moving into a community where I could get those little luxuries.”

Living the life she wants

In her Brooksby apartment, Merle says she feels comfortable and safe.

“I’ve slept like a baby from the first night,” she says. “I adjusted very quickly to life at Brooksby. It’s the lifestyle I wanted—lots of friends and lots of activities.”

Merle serves as president of Brooksby’s Hadassah group, a branch of the Peabody chapter of the Women’s Zionist Organization. She’s also on the community’s Jewish Council, she’s a floor captain for Canterbury Court, her residence building, and she’s on the Welcome Committee.

She attends balance and chair fitness classes taught by Brooksby’s fitness specialists and plays mah-jongg and Canasta with friends every week.

“I don’t have to go to Florida anymore to stay active in the winter months,” says Merle. “Everything I need is a short walk from my apartment.”

At Brooksby, all buildings are connected by climate-controlled walkways, so residents don’t have to go outside in inclement weather conditions.

“People ask me how I like living at Brooksby,” Merle says. “I love it. When I first moved in, I’d go to the dining room and not know anybody. Residents were so welcoming. It’s like a village where everyone looks out for each other.”

“Merle made the decision to move on her own terms,” says Phillips. “She found a great community of friends at Brooksby where she’s involved and active and enjoying life.”