A cut above

Seabrook’s Live the Life program provides an experience worth doing

Created date

November 25th, 2019
Gordon Clark treats his floor-to-ceiling bay window as a year-round balcony and says it’s the pièce de résistance of his Brighton-style apartment home a Seabrook.

Gordon Clark treats his floor-to-ceiling bay window as a year-round balcony and says it’s the pièce de résistance of his Brighton-style apartment home a Seabrook.

Although Gordon Clark was familiar with Erickson Living retirement communities—his mother had lived at Charlestown in Catonsville, Md., for 20 years—he still wanted to get a closer look at what his own life might be like if he moved from his Ocean City, Md., condo to an Erickson Living community. 

The Live the Life program was just the ticket. Seabrook, the Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J., appealed to Gordon because of its proximity to the ocean and easy access to New York City, where he maintains a condo. Live the Life is Seabrook’s overnight stay program, which allows prospective residents to spend the night in a guest suite, partake in activities, enjoy meals, and talk with community members.

“Since my mother had lived at Charlestown, there were no surprises. I just wanted to validate what I had experienced at Charlestown,” says Gordon, who participated in Live the Life twice. 

And everything was validated. 

The impressive amenities, like an indoor aquatics center, fitness center, classrooms, library, auditorium, and restaurants, all exceeded expectations. The apartment homes suited his lifestyle and budget. The food was good. And the people were friendly and welcoming.

He even got a tour of Tinton Falls and the surrounding beach resort towns on one of Seabrook’s shuttles. 

“On my second visit, I asked for a driver to take me around. He spent about two hours showing [me] some of the areas around Tinton Falls as well as the six ocean resorts,” he says. “Between that and my pop-out bay window, those two things sealed the deal.” 

Moving ahead of schedule

Gordon, whose career had him managing budgets, also spent time reviewing his current and potential living costs, should he move to Seabrook. 

“I outlined all my expenses and saw that Seabrook made sense not just physically in location and with amenities but also financially,” he says. 

Seabrook’s financial structure includes two components. The first is a onetime entrance fee, which is 90% refundable to the resident or to their heirs (Seabrook’s Residence and Care Agreement has full details). 

The second cost is a predictable monthly service package. One check each month covers most day-to-day expenses, including apartment home maintenance, property taxes, heating and air-conditioning, door-side trash and recycling collection, dining plans and options, basic cable TV, regularly scheduled transportation, 24-hour security and emergency response services, plus access to a wealth of campus amenities.

“It’s basically maintenance-free. No matter what happens, I don’t have to worry. I love that, that I don’t have to worry anymore,” he says.

He also doesn’t have to worry about his future care needs. Seabrook’s top-rated continuing care neighborhood provides assisted living, sub-acute rehabilitation, nursing care, and memory care on campus, so independent living residents don’t have to move again should they need rehabilitation or additional care. 

“Having continuing care on site was absolutely important,” Gordon says. “You hope you never need it, but there’s peace of mind in knowing that it’s right there if you do, and knowing that my mother used it for a very short time, and knowing that Erickson’s continuing care facilities are nice places if you have to be there. They are a cut above.”

Gordon chose a budget-friendly one-bedroom Brighton-model apartment home with a floor-to-ceiling bay window. Though he originally wanted a balcony, he says the bay window is like a year-round balcony, and it sealed the deal. 

In fact, he liked it so much that he sped up his move by two years just so he could take advantage of the availability of the apartment he chose. 

“I walked in, and it was like having a balcony you could use [all] year. I just fell love with it. I ended up moving in two years earlier than expected because it might not be available two years from now,” he says, adding that the sales team was incredibly helpful and not pushy, unlike at the other communities he toured. He moved on June 28. 

Streetwalk

Gordon continues to split his time between Seabrook and New York City, but no matter where he is, you can usually find him walking. 

“I love destination walking. I never tire of walking the streets of New York, just as I never tire of walking the streets of Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, and around the campus at Seabrook,” he says. 

He’s still getting settled in but says, “So far, I love it.”

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