A friend to lean on

Common journeys lead lifelong friends to Brooksby Village

Created date

March 20th, 2019
Peggy Ciampa (left) and Nancy Innocenti met as nursing students in Cambridge, Mass., and their friendship continues at Brooksby Village, the Erickson Living community in Peabody where they both live.

Peggy Ciampa (left) and Nancy Innocenti met as nursing students in Cambridge, Mass., and their friendship continues at Brooksby Village, the Erickson Living community in Peabody where they both live.

Peggy Ciampa and Nancy Innocenti met as nursing students at Mount Auburn Hospital, in Cambridge, Mass.

“Nancy and I had similar interests and connected on a lot of levels,” says Peggy. “It was almost like we were sisters.”

Decades later, the two friends are as close as ever, thanks in part to their shared address. Peggy and Nancy both live at Brooksby Village, the Erickson Living community in Peabody, Mass.

“Peggy and I have known each other a long time,” says Nancy. “Now to think, we’re here at this special time in our lives; it’s pretty exciting.”

Sharing life’s milestones

Peggy grew up in Belmont, while Nancy grew up in nearby Arlington.

“We lived near each other as children, but we didn’t meet until we were both nursing students,” says Peggy. “It was a residential nursing program, so we all lived in a dorm. It was an intensive learning experience as we cared for patients right from the outset of the program.”

By the time they graduated from nursing school, Peggy and Nancy had each met their significant other.

“We got married a week apart and both honeymooned in Bermuda,” says Nancy. “We had such a good time planning our weddings.”

The two friends stayed close as their families grew.

“We went on camping trips and celebrated New Year’s Eve together,” says Peggy. “I have four children and Nancy has three. Our kids are good friends to this day.”

As life’s seasons rolled on, Peggy and her husband Bob sold their house in Bedford to their daughter and added a suite to one side of the house for them to live in part-time.

“We were snowbirds for a while, splitting our time between Florida and Massachusetts,” says Peggy.

Meanwhile, Nancy sold her family’s house in Belmont and moved to a condo in Watertown.

“The kids were grown and gone,” says Nancy. “I was working full time, and it was just too much to keep up a big house.”

Vibrant retirement living

In 2016, Peggy called Nancy with the news that she and Bob were planning a move to Brooksby.

“The concept of a retirement community was on my mind before Bob and Peggy moved to Brooksby,” says Nancy. “I thought it was a grand idea, having all the resources you need on one campus. Even still, when Peggy told me they were moving to Brooksby, I wasn’t convinced it was the right timing. In my mind, we weren’t old enough yet.”

Situated on 90 acres, Brooksby is home to more than 1,700 community members, ages 62 and up. The community features a variety of spacious, maintenance-free apartment homes, restaurants, an on-site medical center staffed by full-time physicians, a fitness center, swimming pool, wood shop, television studio, bank, pharmacy, and hair salon.

Peggy and Bob moved to Brooksby in February 2017, settling into their two-bedroom Harrison-style apartment, which Peggy decorated with colors reminiscent of the Florida coast.

“Once I visited Bob and Peggy at Brooksby, I saw what life was really like at the community,” says Nancy. “I started hoping and dreaming that I might be able to live there, but I was worried it might be out of my price range.”

Nancy scheduled an appointment with the sales team in October 2017 and learned that Brooksby was indeed an affordable option.

“Once I knew I could move to Brooksby, I took some time to let the idea settle,” says Nancy. “I spent the holidays with my daughter who lives in London, and then joined the priority list at Brooksby once I returned home.”

A friend to lean on

As she contemplated her move, Nancy says Bob and Peggy’s insight was invaluable.

“It was a huge advantage to have somebody to rely on who already lived at the community,” says Nancy. “I don’t know if I would have taken advantage of all my options if Bob and Peggy hadn’t encouraged me.”

Nancy attended the Lunch and Learn presentations by Brooksby’s Personal Moving Consultant Laurie Phillips, she enjoyed an overnight stay in one of the community’s guest suites as part of the Live the Life program, and she met with the Custom Interiors department to select the finishes in her new apartment.

“Peggy was by my side through all of it,” says Nancy. “I felt right at home as soon as I moved in because I had this wonderful introduction to the community through Bob and Peggy.”

Nancy moved into her extra-large one-bedroom Ellicott-style apartment in August 2018 and joined the Brooksby Singers and the Catholic Choir soon after.

“Nancy had a lot of transferable interests and was able to jump right in to life at Brooksby,” says Peggy. “Our apartments are close to each other, and it’s so nice to see how it’s all unfolded.”