The Silver Connections dinner group is one of Brooksby’s resident-led initiatives to create a warm, welcoming community. (From left) Stephanie Carnahan, Larry Carnahan, Margie Keene, Lillian Young, and Betty Roop.

Like the first day of school or the first day on a new job, every beginning offers a mix of excitement and trepidation.

“It’s a feeling that doesn’t go away, even as you accumulate more and more life experiences,” says Melanie Bernardin, director of resident life at Brooksby Village, the Erickson Living community in Peabody, Mass.

Larry and Gerri Berry, seen here playing ping pong, chose Brooksby Village for its abundant amenities and full activities calendar.

When Larry and Gerri Berry first considered moving to a retirement community, they put three factors at the top of their list.

“Activities, cost, and location were our primary considerations,” says Larry, who spent his career in the cargo airline industry with the Flying Tiger Line, which was later acquired by FedEx.

Brooksby Village driver Kate Hubbard (left) and resident Audrey Frye Helzner discovered a surprising connection during a drive from Boston to Peabody.

The drive from Peabody, Mass., to Boston is just enough time to strike up a meaningful conversation, says Kate Hubbard, who works in the transportation department at Brooksby Village.

Allison and Jim Dolan pose in their home

For Jim and Allison Dolan, planning is key.

“My parents lived at a continuing care retirement community, so we were aware of its value and the peace of mind it affords,” says Allison.

In 2008, while the couple was living in Malden, Mass., they began to explore options for their own retirement living.

Brooksby Village resident Jerry Rosen works as a program assistant at Salem State University’s Enterprise Center four days a week.

Four days a week, Ed Berger makes the familiar commute into Boston, Mass., where he works in the office that bears his name.

As a pension appraiser and qualified domestic relations order preparer at Ed Berger & Company, Ed’s spent the better part of four decades building his career. Ed says he can’t imagine not working.

Mary Dentler (right) and her daughter Karen Vadala enjoy a sunny afternoon in Mary’s apartment home at Brooksby

If anyone can speak to the benefits of living at Brooksby Village, it’s Mary Dentler.

Mary and her husband Carl moved to the Peabody, Mass., Erickson Living community in 2002 from their home in Lexington, where they had lived for 52 years.

Ralph and Nancy Bonney pose in their home at Brooksby Village

For Ralph and Nancy Bonney, the decision to move to Brooksby Village was akin to a day at the beach.

First, they stood on the shoreline and admired the ocean. Then, they dipped their toes in the water before venturing in up to their knees. Finally, they took the plunge.

Justin Paradis was recently named associate executive director at Brooksby Village, the Erickson Living community in Peabody, Mass.

Erickson Living has named Justin Paradis the associate executive director at Brooksby Village in Peabody, Mass. Paradis has been with Erickson Living since November 2006 working in health care operations.

Gilbert Norwood, pictured with his cat Moose, wasn’t planning to move to Brooksby Village but says it’s one of the best decisions he’s ever made.

If there was one certainty in Gilbert Norwood's future, it was that his retirement years did not include a move to a retirement community.

“After my wife passed away, I moved in with one of our sons,” says Gilbert, a retired pediatrician from Beverly, Mass. “I thought I was set for life.”