The Overlook is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Charlton, MA, known for its spacious 450-acre campus and top-tier active lifestyle. People choose The Overlook for a wide variety of reasons, from its masonic roots to its delicious, farm-to-table dining.

To get more insight, we spoke with Bob and Tina Burnham about what led them to The Overlook.

Bob and Tina at The Overlook

The initial move to The Overlook                       

Bob and Tina Burnham first met in church youth group in their hometown of Winchester, MA, almost 65 years ago. After Tina graduated from college, the two of them moved to Dover where they raised their two sons. Tina volunteered at their church’s Sunday School and nursery for a year before the owner asked Tina if she would buy the business from her… for a dollar.

“So, for 25 years, I owned, ran, and was a teacher in a nursery school,” Tina explained.

When the couple moved to Nantucket, Tina carried on the tradition and offered the business to one of her colleagues, this time for two dollars. As the Burnham’s adventures have taken them to new places, Tina has never forgotten her time at the nursery. She still keeps those two dollars “in the bathroom in a little shoe on the wall,” Tina explained with a twinkle in her eye.

When their health needs changed, Bob and Tina decided to move from Nantucket to a CCRC on the mainland for a number of reasons.

“[We chose The Overlook] partly because family is in the area, partly word of mouth from people who live here, partly because its masonic, and partly because it was more affordable than a lot of other places.”

They also like the peace of mind of having a full continuum of care under one roof.

“[Any healthcare we may need] is just down the hall and through the double doors,” Bob said, “You don’t have to go out to the car. You don’t have to get in the rain. You just head down the corridor and go through the double doors.”

Maintaining independence

For Tina and Bob, one of the biggest draws of The Overlook is the independence they have. They balance their time between activities on and off campus. For example, Bob is on The Overlook resident council because, as he says, “If you’re in the boat, grab an oar!” He also makes his voice heard in a similar way locally by serving on the bylaw committee for the town of Charlton. For more artistic and cultural pursuits, Bob is involved in the chorus at The Overlook, but also goes offsite to participate in the church choir. He even teaches two ESL classes at the local library every week. And while their children and grandchildren visit them often, they also make frequent visits to Dover.

“We’re here and we’re also outside and it’s a great combination,” Bob explained. “In my opinion, most people wait five or eight years too long to come here. We are in independent living, and we can do just about everything we ever did.”

Living space and engaging programs

Bob said, “It’s all here. Our apartment isn’t just these three rooms. Our living space includes a pool, a library, a game room, a lovely restaurant and 450 acres of walking trails.”

Along with the expansive campus comes a wide variety of activities in which to participate.

“I do spiritual circle and like it very, very much,” Tina said, “And I help the ladies behind the front desk. We like to get to meet people.” 

Bob and Tina are also both on the “Brew Crew.”

“We have a beer brewery here, which is like a home. It’s noncommercial, and we have a heck of a lot of fun doing that,” Bob explained.

Bob also participates in the play reading group and attends the IT group meetings. With so much to do and so much space and freedom to do it, Bob and Tina are constantly engaged with The Overlook community.

A culture of friendliness

Tina shared, “I think the staff here is just wonderful. They care about the people and they’re friendly and security is awesome, really.”

Bob agreed, “One of the interesting things, more so here than other places, is the openness of the management to talk and laugh with the residents. The staff knows us by name.”

Members of The Overlook team, from management to maintenance, will stop what they’re doing to say hello and catch up with residents. This culture, of course, is present in the residents as well.

“Our older son and his wife recently bought a condo three years ago,” Bob shared, “and they’re moving because they don’t like the neighbors and don’t get along with them. We’re here and we’re going to stay here because we do like the neighbors and we do get along with them. This is a comfortable place socially.”

Tina nodded her head, “It’s the people. It’s just a good, warm, comfortable place to live.” If you’re interested in joining the culture of friendliness at The Overlook, schedule a tour today or simply call 866-753-5429.