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'Why I Chose a Vibrant Retirement at Charlestown'

By Danielle Rexrode
May 1, 2024
Charlestown resident and her dog

There are many reasons why thousands of retirees have said 'yes' to a vibrant, worry-free lifestyle at Charlestown, the Erickson Senior Living-managed community in Catonsville, Md.

For some, it is the beautifully landscaped campus. Others love the variety of made-to-order meals served at on-site restaurants. And who doesn't want a stylish, maintenance-free apartment home suited to entertaining friends and pursuing hobbies? Everyone who lives at Charlestown has their own story. 

Recently, Tribune sat down with new Charlestown resident Brenda Guardala to find out what motivated her to make the move and how much she's enjoying life.

Tribune: What led you to consider Charlestown?

Brenda: I lived in the same house for 20 years, so every day started to feel the same. I really wanted a change! Plus, I wanted to downsize. I was looking for something that was manageable and maintenance-free, so I could easily clean it and focus on living life and having fun. 

When I started looking online at retirement communities, Charlestown came up. The more I read about everything they offered, the more I liked it. My family lives in Columbia, Md., so the community was perfectly located. 

Being single, I also loved the safety aspect of Charlestown being a gated community. It's nice to know that I am secure here--now and in the future. Being able to walk Pippa, my two-year-old schnoodle, any time is great. If she wakes up in the middle of the night and needs to go out, I feel safe.

Tribune: What prompted you to make the move to Charlestown?

Brenda: I requested a brochure and looked at the available apartment homes--they were very affordable. So, I called the Sales Center and scheduled a visit to look at a floor plan on campus. After the tour, I went home and thought about it, but it didn't take long before I ended up reserving it. 

Now, I live in a light-filled studio apartment home. It's the perfect amount of space for me. It looks out over the historic portion of Charlestown and the chapel on campus. I just love it! 

When I was looking at Charlestown, I heard so many people say, "Move now so you have time to enjoy everything the community has to offer." I have found that to be true. Without a whole house to take care of, I have more time to get involved in things.

Tribune: What are some ways you've gotten involved on campus?

Brenda: I go to the fitness center, I use the library, and I volunteer with the Treasure Sale on campus. Residents bring well-loved items they no longer need to the Treasure Shop to be resold--all proceeds go back to community efforts. 

I would also like to try bocce, and I am excited that we are getting pickleball courts! I have friends that I eat dinner with a few times a week as well.

Tribune: Speaking of friends, have you found it easy to meet people at Charlestown?

Brenda: Yes, my neighbors are so friendly and welcoming. In fact, sometimes it takes me longer to walk to my destination because I like to stop and chat with people. 

When I started meeting people soon after I moved in, they would say, "I am going to call you for dinner." And they did! It was great because I was able to visit every restaurant on campus and make new friends.

I like the fact that the menus are designed to feature a variety of foods. If you are dining with friends and someone wants a salad, someone else wants tacos, and the third person wants a piece of grilled salmon, we can all get what we want.

Tribune: What do you love most about living at Charlestown? 

Brenda: Peace of mind--for both me and my family. My son and I appreciate the home for life aspect of Charlestown. He never has to worry about me, and I know that I have a home at Charlestown regardless of what the future holds.

The community's stunning scenery is also a huge plus. I'm an oil painter, so I enjoy capturing the beauty of the lake and nature trail here. I love it here; it was a great move!

Invest in your future self at Charlestown. From top-notch amenities to affordable, maintenance-free apartment homes, you are sure to live your retirement to the fullest. Request more information today!