Cliff Gerenz’s familiarity with Brooksby Village, an Erickson Senior Living developed and managed retirement community in Peabody, MA dates back several years.
“I had a good friend who moved to Brooksby shortly after it opened in 2000,” says Cliff, a retired chemist who enjoyed a 32-year career at Roche pharmaceutical company. “I saw what a great place it was for her to live.”
In 2019, Cliff made his own move to Brooksby Village, selling his house of 43 years in New Jersey to start a new chapter in Massachusetts. Cliff’s sister Ellen Dunham also moved from New Jersey to Brooksby Village in 2019, each sibling choosing their own apartment at the Peabody community.
“That’s the beauty of Brooksby,” says Cliff. “You have the privacy of your own apartment with all the social opportunities that come from living in a community.”
Cliff attributes his choice of Brooksby to several factors, including his friend’s good experience, his familiarity with the Erickson Senior Living network of communities, and his local family ties. He has a brother and sister, along with nieces and nephews, in the greater Boston area.
“Several friends from my hiking group in New Jersey moved to Cedar Crest [the Erickson Senior Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J.],” says Cliff. “In fact, I was able to complete some of the paperwork for my move to Brooksby at Cedar Crest.”
Cliff chose a two-bedroom Fairmont-style apartment home at Brooksby Village, drawn to the wide window sills in the living area for his plants and a second bedroom large enough to accommodate a guest bed and a piano. Eliminating the need for stairs, like the ones in his New Jersey house, ensures everything Cliff needs is within easy reach.
At Brooksby, Cliff has the freedom to nurture his interests. As a master gardener, one of Cliff’s first moves was to apply for a garden plot where he’s grown produce, like uniquely shaped Old German tomatoes.
“I transferred my master gardener status to Massachusetts when I moved to Brooksby,” says Cliff. He also joined Piano Pals, a group of pianists who enjoy playing duets. Cliff lends his musical talent to the weekly Protestant service in the Brooksby Chapel, playing the piano prelude and postlude.
“There’s a phenomenal balance between the steady hum of ubiquitous engagement all over campus with each person’s ability to shape their own experience,” says Resident Life Director Matthew Connery. “An entire town’s worth of vibrant activity is everywhere, but there are so many support services and staff committed to each resident’s vision that we can cater to everyone.”
The maintenance-free lifestyle was another draw, freeing Cliff up from the chores of home ownership to enjoy leisure activities, like regular swims in Brooksby’s glass-enclosed indoor pool.
“The question before every Brooksby resident is simple,” says Connery. “We’ve taken care of everything else, so what would you like to do today? The opportunity of living in an Erickson Senior Living community is one of renewed dedication towards their interests and pursuits because we see to the rest.”
Time to pursue activities
Outside Brooksby, Cliff is a member of the Peabody Historical Society, Danvers Historical Society, and Topsfield Historical Society. He also enjoys the scenic beauty of walking trails adjacent to and in the area surrounding Brooksby Village.
“Erickson Senior Living is in the business of quality of life,” says Connery. “Every component of the human experience is shaped on our grounds—dining, engagement, wellness, environment—all that and more is what we’re here to provide. The value of our communities is in safeguarding those principles to allow each resident the freedom to enjoy each day, every day.”
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