So many choices

Retired nurse finds much more to love about Linden Ponds than on-site health care and a beautiful apartment

Created date

September 24th, 2019
Cynthia and Kevin Lessard enjoy traveling (they’re pictured here on a trip to Maine), but they say they also find plenty of events, activities, and live entertainment right at home at Linden Ponds.

Cynthia and Kevin Lessard enjoy traveling (they’re pictured here on a trip to Maine), but they say they also find plenty of events, activities, and live entertainment right at home at Linden Ponds.

Cynthia Lessard spent her career as a nurse, so she has a unique view on the health care system and how people’s needs change as they get older.

“I had been a home care nurse years ago, and I saw a lot of people in their homes being so lonely and so needy,” she says. 

As a result of that experience, Cynthia says she became interested in the idea of moving to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) like Linden Ponds, where she and her husband Kevin would have access to higher levels of care should they ever need it. 

In addition to an on-site medical center, the Hingham, Mass., Erickson Living community also has a continuing care neighborhood that provides short-term rehabilitation services, long-term nursing care, and respite care. For people who are living independently but need some assistance, the community also offers outpatient rehabilitation as well as home care services for help with daily tasks. 

Those offerings are a big part of the reason Cynthia and Kevin decided to move to Linden Ponds about three years ago. 

“When we came here, we thought it would be the best thing to have all of our health care in one place,” Cynthia says. “The referrals and the [medical personnel] we are exposed to and our primary care have been excellent.”

While many people move to 55-plus communities when they retire, Cynthia says that didn’t appeal to her and Kevin because they only wanted to move once. They decided that a CCRC would give them more of what they needed for the long term, like transportation services, live entertainment, and on-site amenities, such as a fitness center, hair salon, pharmacy, convenience store, and medical center. 

“A CCRC is a place to have freedom from worry about repairs, maintenance, emergencies, monthly bills, cooking, or snow or ice removal,” Cynthia says. “A 55 and older has some of these services but not many, and as people age, they will be more isolated and possibly have to move again.”

Best value, best promise

The Lessards also found the financial value offered at Linden Ponds was superior to other retirement living options. Cynthia says having one monthly payment that includes most of their living expenses gives her and Kevin peace of mind. Plus, Linden Ponds’ 90% refundable entrance fee means that the Lessards or their children will recoup most of their initial investment (Linden Ponds’ Residence and Care Agreement has the full details). 

“Linden Ponds really has the best promise for the least money,” Cynthia says.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Linden Ponds’ value proposition is its home for life commitment. The community maintains a Benevolent Care Fund to assist residents who outlive their financial resources, and no one is ever asked to leave for a genuine inability to pay.

“There were so many reasons to come here young and healthy and to be worry-free about aging,” Cynthia says. “Our children are thrilled to know that we are busy and happy. We are in beautiful surroundings with security and safety for any emergency.”

Once they had decided that a CCRC was the best option for their retirement, Cynthia says she and Kevin considered a few different communities in the area before choosing Linden Ponds. When a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment home with a patio became available at the Hingham community, they decided to jump on the opportunity to move.

“My husband was brought up in Brighton, Mass., with a front porch, so there was no way he would go anywhere without access to the outdoors,” Cynthia says.

At Linden Ponds, the Lessards can step right out the door to enjoy the warm summer sunshine or the colorful fall foliage on their own private patio. 

“Everything really fell into place,” Cynthia says.

So much more to love

While it was the continuum of care and the apartment home with a patio that initially attracted Cynthia and Kevin to Linden Ponds, they’ve found so much more to love about the community over the last few years. 

They didn’t initially think they’d want to eat most of their meals at the on-site restaurants, but they have found that they really enjoy the food and the dining experience at Linden Ponds too much to miss out on dinners there. 

“After the first year here, we changed our tune,” Cynthia says. “We had come in under the 20-meal plan, but we are now at the 30-meal plan. We find being here gives us the opportunity to do anything we want, and the people are great.”

Cynthia says she and Kevin also appreciate the entertainment and leisure activities available on campus. With more than 100 resident-run clubs and committees and a full calendar of parties and special events, there’s always something fun to do at Linden Ponds—and plenty of other active and engaged people to do it with.

“We have made a lot of friends here,” Cynthia says.

Cynthia is a member of the retired nurses club and serves on the continuing care committee, which acts as a liaison between the continuing care neighborhood and the independent living neighborhoods. She also volunteers at the Treasure Chest, an on-site resale shop where residents can donate unwanted furniture and household items. Proceeds from sales are donated to the Benevolent Care Fund.

“You have the choice to be as active as you want to be here,” Cynthia says. 

She and Kevin have children and grandchildren in the area, so they often leave Linden Ponds to visit them and attend the kids’ sporting events. Cynthia also volunteers at a local hospital. But she says it’s nice to have so many options for entertainment that don’t require driving, either because they take place on the Linden Ponds campus or because the community provides transportation.

“We love the socials, the dances, the live entertainment, and the movies [on campus], and we have the option to go on a theater or museum outing in town without driving,” Cynthia says. “Even at the last minute, you don’t always have to plan it because activities are always available here.”