Jennie Frisella

Jennie Frisella moved from her home in New Hampshire to The Overlook in Charlton, MA. She wanted to be closer to her daughter and young grandchildren and enjoy the benefits of a maintenance-free retirement lifestyle. However, the life she found at her new home held much more than she originally anticipated.

“My daughter who lives near here told me about The Overlook,” said Jennie. “So, I came to look at it and I liked it. I liked the friendliness of the people. I liked that I could still have a garden. I wouldn’t have to do the mowing or the snow plowing, or any of that!”

The Overlook is a Life Plan Community, also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), that offers residents a delightful, active lifestyle, without the burdens of maintaining a house and yard. For residents like Jennie, life at a CCRC is an opportunity to leave behind time-consuming chores, and live a life full of friends and family, hobbies and passions, and new experiences.

The community garden

During many months of the year, you’ll likely find Jennie with her hands in the dirt. She is an avid, lifelong gardener, so it only made sense that when she moved to The Overlook, one of the first activities she became involved in was gardening. Jennie has a sizable garden plot, as well as some raised beds in the community’s gardening area. Her garden plot is sectioned off into quarters with a slate and tile path separating them.

“A quarter of my garden is for flowers, and I do the rest as vegetables,” said Jennie. “Corn, tomatoes, beans, anything!” Jennie often incorporates the vegtables she grows in her garden into her cooking.

Jenny is far from being the only gardener at The Overlook. About a dozen other residents have made their stake in the community gardening area, and they take pride in their green thumbs. It’s not surprising that gardening is such a popular hobby, since there’s a long list of physical and mental health benefits to the activity. It’s been shown to relieve stress, maintain dexterity, help regulate your immune system, improve mental health and even reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Living an active lifestyle

Gardening isn’t the only way Jennie likes to spend her time. She’s also the vice president of the Residents’ Council, an organization dedicated to communicating the evolving wants and needs of the resident body to community leadership. She also started a cribbage group that meets on Monday mornings, as well as a Reiki circle that meets once a month.

“I had given an informational speech on Reiki to a few people, and then started the group with one of the nurses. There were a few people in the community who were Reiki practitioners already, and so we met up in the solarium,” said Jennie.

When Jennie isn’t spending time on campus, she enjoys square dancing and round dancing, volunteering in the greater Charlton community and traveling. She also often visits her other children and grandchildren in Arizona, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, and she takes trips to far off destinations.

“I’m often involved with the family and visiting them at different times and traveling. I went to Africa, and I’m going to Ireland this year,” she said.

“The friends I’ve made here are like another family. I love the food. I love the people. I love the activities. I am living my life independently. I can do what I want. I can come and go as I want. I can pick and choose what I want. I have my own place. It’s home!” said Jennie.

Explore all that The Overlook has to offer. Give us a call today at 866-753-5429, or visit us online to schedule a tour. Our friendly staff is happy to answer any questions you may have. Not yet ready for a tour? You can request your free information kit by clicking here!