“I didn’t think I was missing anything in life until I came here.” There is something special about visiting a senior living community. Doing online research is essential, but an elusive x-factor to every community can only be experienced in person. The feel of a community – the culture, the campus and the people – can make all the difference. And when you do find something good, you’ll know it. So was the case for Jeanne Charpentier, a former teacher and a current resident at The Overlook. When Jeanne visited The Overlook, she knew she had found her new home. “A retirement community was never really a consideration,” shared Jeanne. “A lot of people plan that far ahead. But for me, it just kind of fell into place and how lucky I am that it did. I am so delighted with my life at this point.” Falling into place Jeanne shared, “I’m a mother of three daughters and grandchildren. I taught elementary school education in Shrewsbury and got my master’s in speech and language. But in retirement, which my husband and I graciously took, we had many years of travel and enjoying our family.” As time passed in their postretirement life, one of Jeanne’s daughters initially suggested that her parents consider an independent living community such as The Overlook. Jeanne and her husband began touring various communities in the area to find a good fit. “This was the fourth place I visited,” shared Jeanne. “And when I first came here, I was with my husband. And all the way from Westboro I was saying ‘I hope I hate it. I hope I hate it.’” “But I didn’t,” Jeanne added with a laugh. “The other places had great opportunities, but when we came here, I said, ‘We don’t need to look anymore. When I’m ready, this is where we’re coming. The search is over.’” Jeanne was anticipating a long wait after she made her decision. But, after only five months, her ideal apartment became available. The rest is history. If you want it, it’s here Jeanne’s initial interest in The Overlook was rooted in a couple of key aspects of community life. “Number one is the health facilities on campus,” she shared. “I mean, all of us at this stage look at that. But for my own selfish reasons, The Overlook offered more of an ability to put your own stamp on your apartment. Where other places were more restrictive, at The Overlook they said, ‘You can make it your own in any way you want.’ And I was delighted that I could make it my own.” The theme of personal choice and expression is a recurring theme in Jeanne’s reasoning. For instance, she also appreciates how many activities, amenities and services are available to residents every day. “There’s so many, from quilting to music to choir. There’s a barbershop, beauty shop, you can buy stamps, anything!” Jeanne excitedly explained. “I mean if you want it, it’s here.” And while there are a lot of different activities for residents, there is one that Jeanne returns to again and again. “I love to gamble,” Jeanne shared with a mischievous smile. “I love it. We do bingo on Monday. I play Left Right Center on Tuesday. I play Pokeno on Thursday, and then I go back to Left Right Center Friday night. That one is very rowdy and fun.” With a wink, she added, “and lucrative.” It’s the people Ultimately, the most important part of any community is the people and its culture. Luckily for Jeanne, The Overlook is overflowing with warm and welcoming residents. She shared, “There are just not enough hours in the day. We bump into people all the time. If you’re in a funk, if you’re feeling a little down, you’ll say ‘Well, I’ll just go get my mail.’ It’s a 10-minute trip to get your mail, but 45 minutes later, I’m giggling all over the place and laughing. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t return a smile.” Residents at The Overlook also go out of their way to bring new people into the community so that they feel comfortable and loved right from the start. “And to accomplish that,” Jeanne explained, “we have some volunteers. We don’t leave you alone the first couple of months. We tell you, ‘Come to dinner, I’ll meet you down there. I’ll know who you are. Please come.’ And we make so many wonderful friends.” The result of this loving and genuine outreach to newcomers is a connected, supportive community. It is the element of The Overlook that Jeanne seems to value the most. “I didn’t think I was missing anything in life until I came here. And all the smiles and the community,” Jeanne paused, overwhelmed by emotion, “it’s the people.” So, if you’re interested in joining such a loving and engaged group of people, people like Jeanne are ready to help. “Come on over so I can have more new friends,” she encouraged, “and don’t wait too long. People told me that and it’s true. Don’t wait too long, you want to enjoy all of it.” If you want to join Jeanne and her friends at The Overlook, call 508-202-4090 or click here to join our community for a fun and informative event.