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Health and wellness journey continues at Charlestown

February 24, 2020

Convenient amenities help residents reap benefits of staying active

Catonsville, Md. – February 24, 2020 – According to the National Institute on Aging, studies show that staying active can help older adults maintain better health and well-being. Recent research shows that older people with an active lifestyle are less likely to develop certain diseases, enjoy a longer lifespan, and report feeling happier.

At Charlestown, a senior living community managed by Erickson Living, many residents make staying active a priority by taking advantage of all the convenient on-campus amenities including fitness center, all-season swimming pool, and plenty of walking and bike paths.

For Fern and Eric Bowman, who moved to Charlestown from Annapolis a little over a year ago, Charlestown's well-designed campus helps them continue their favorite activities. Fern was a dedicated mall walker during her years working at JC Penney in the Annapolis Mall, so she was delighted to discover that she could walk a full mile, all while staying indoors, at Charlestown.

"It's climate-controlled, which is wonderful both in the cold winter and hot summers in Maryland," she says. "And like the mall, there is a lot to look at as you walk."

Family ties

The Bowmans have a unique connection to Charlestown. Their daughter, Molly Fricker, is a Sales Counselor at the community. After hearing so much about it from Molly over the years, they knew they eventually wanted to settle there.

They decided to join Charlestown's Priority List, which gave them the opportunity to attend special members-only events on campus and learn more about the characteristics of all the different apartment home options available.

Charlestown offers a wide variety of one and two bedroom apartment homes, all of which are completely customizable to residents' taste with the community's own Custom Interiors design services.

After much thought, they narrowed it down to the Hamilton style, which offers two bedrooms, two baths and ample living space. Even though they didn't plan on moving right away, their Priority List membership provided them with the first right of refusal when a Hamilton became available.

At their Annapolis home, one of the Bowmans' favorite features was a screened-in porch with beautiful views of the wooded landscape. Both Fern and Eric agreed that a similar setting was important to them in their new apartment home. So when a Hamilton with great views of the trees and woods that populate Charlestown's picturesque 110-acre campus became available, the Bowmans decided to take the opportunity, moving a little earlier than they had originally anticipated.

"We knew from Molly that it could take some time to get exactly what we wanted," said Fern. "But the woman who had been living here ended up moving to a different city to be closer to her daughter. When we saw the view, we knew it was the right place for us."

Trying something new

An avid exerciser, Eric used to bike to the United States Naval Academy, where he served as the Director of the Academic Center. He was also a licensed practicing psychologist and in his free time, enjoyed running, swimming and working out at the Annapolis YMCA.

"My dad has always been a fit and healthy person," says daughter Molly. "He enjoys working out and it's been fun to see him try new things since moving to Charlestown."

In addition to using the treadmill and other machines in the Fitness Center several times a week, Eric often participates in group fitness classes such as yoga and Tai Chi.

"I didn't realize how good the fitness center was," he said. "The facilities and equipment are better than I expected, and all of the instructors are wonderful."

Eric has always liked to set fitness goals for himself, and found that having a race to train for often helped to keep him motivated. While he does continue to run races and train for certain events throughout the year, he's found that the variety available at Charlestown has helped to diversify his fitness routine.

"As I get older, I am being more strategic, running some shorter distances and incorporating other exercises," he said. "For example, I've really enjoyed Sylvia's yoga class, which offers the perfect blend of challenge, stretching, relaxation and mind-body connection."

Deciding factor

"Wellness is an important factor in many people's decision to move to Charlestown," explains Molly. "When new residents realize how convenient it is to stay active here, and how much fun, I think it's very motivating for them. There's no pressure or intimidation, so folks of all fitness levels can be as active as they want to be."

As for her parents, Molly says it's wonderful to have them at Charlestown. She frequently runs into her dad on his way to the pool, or her mom out walking the indoor loop while she is touring prospective residents around the community.

"As a daughter, it brings me a lot of joy to see them making the most of all Charlestown has to offer," she says. "Because of my role at the community, they knew a lot about the benefits of this lifestyle and I think that helped them to be proactive. I'd love to see even more residents use this approach when planning their move, so that they can take full advantage of all the amazing amenities, services and programs available."

About Charlestown: Charlestown, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 110-acre campus in Catonsville, Maryland. The community is located in Baltimore County and is home to more than 2,000 residents who are supported by a team of more than 1,200 employees. Additional information about Charlestown can be found at

Photo Caption: Eric Bowman, who moved to Charlestown about a year ago with his wife Fern, gets his daily workout in at the community's Fitness Center, where Teresa Reymann-Curran, Fitness Manager, and her team are available to guide and support residents of all fitness levels.