Meet the Residents
Dick and Gail Ziegler
Dick and Gail Ziegler want to be as independent as possible as they get older. They also wanted to stay close to their loved ones who live in the area.
Their perfect solution wasn’t far away: Independent Living at The Overlook.
After investigating various options for senior living, only The Overlook had everything they were seeking, and it kept them close to the things they cherish—family, friends, doctors and other professionals, and the life they’d built in Central Massachusetts over the past 25 years.
Dick and Gail first looked at The Overlook back in 2007, before they had reached retirement age. The three years Gail had spent caring for her mother during the end of her life had convinced Gail that she wanted a different option for her children.
As they got closer to retirement, the Zieglers faced their “What’s Next” moment. At first they weighed two options: renovate their older home or move into a condominium. Then they realized there was a much more attractive third option—the simple transition into a cottage at The Overlook.
Dick says, “The cottage meets our need for the privacy of a single-family home yet gives us easy access to the amenities on The Overlook campus.” With so many services available, such as housekeeping and trash pick-up, maintenance outside and inside, including appliances, yes even snow removal, they enjoy a “maintenance-free” lifestyle even better than a condo.
They also have the confidence that comes with having Life Care and knowing quality healthcare is close at hand should they need it, plus having staff that’s skilled at easing the transition from Independent Living through the onsite healthcare continuum.
As Dick says, “The Overlook offers the lifestyle you want with the peace of mind you deserve.”
So how much do the Zieglers love life at The Overlook? Well, Dick is putting his MBA and years of hospital management to good use as president of The Overlook Resident Council. And Gail is involved with the Movie Committee, Walking Club and Swimming Pool. Even their goldendoodle, Maisy, is happy. After all, she has 450 acres to romp around in while Dick and Gail hike, bike, kayak, play tennis and cross-country ski.
Linda Thurston recently moved 1,300 miles from the place she lived and worked for the past 25 years. But she couldn’t feel more at home. Welcome to life at The Overlook.
After visiting one of her sons and grandchildren in Charlton during Thanksgiving last year, “Grandma Linda” knew she wanted to move to Central Massachusetts. Then after viewing three senior living communities in the area, she knew she wanted to move into The Overlook.
The two biggest factors in her decision were the friendliness of The Overlook community and the amount of living space she’d being enjoying—both inside her home and outside. She also liked how active the community is and the quality of the fitness center. “Moving here is the smartest thing I’ve ever done,” she says.
Of course, making such a big move, especially by herself, wasn’t without its challenges. She had a lifetime of furniture to keep or discard. And after much deliberation, she decided to auction off her furniture and start fresh in her new home. Using her floor plan as a guide, she chose only the most essential and emotionally meaningful items to bring with her.
Linda was also a little anxious about moving to a place where she knew no one. Those worries quickly faded away. “It felt like I was moving in with family,” she says. Linda also has enjoyed being a part of her grandchildren’s lives—going to the Memorial Day Parade in Charlton to hear her granddaughter recite a poem and attending soccer games on the weekends.
The California native says she has felt so warmly received at The Overlook that she did something she never imagined she would do. “I attended the Resident Council and brought a topic to their attention, which is something I definitely would not have done in the past.”
Now that she’s settled in, she enjoys going to the movies, attending her quilting class and she’s eager for her new pool class to start.
Henry “Hank” Rand
Henry “Hank” Rand had been alone long enough.
After his beloved wife died in 2006, “I spent a lot of time looking at the four walls,” he recalls. And he knew the time had come to move into The Overlook. Ironically, he had put down a deposit at The Overlook years earlier, when “I couldn’t handle my wife’s illness alone anymore.” But she rallied and they put it off.
With the passage of time after her death, Hank found himself in a place where he sought companionship. He also wanted interesting things to do. And he needed to be in a place where he could “go 100 miles an hour, all the time.” He found it all at The Overlook.
“The Overlook was a salvation for me. It kept me from losing it. It kept me stable,” he says. It also introduced him to neighbors that quickly became friends. “The people are great here. The ladies all dress up beautifully. It’s nice that people still want to be respected and look good, even though you’re 85 years old.”
Overall, he says, “The Overlook is a community that is unmatched by any other that I know of. It is the complete package. It’s got anything and everything you want to do or get involved with.”
For Hank, that’s regular card games (Bridge and Cribbage) in the Solarium. It’s also frequent visits to The Overlook’s gym, where he takes advantage of the treadmill, stationary bike and free weights. And it’s treating long-time friends to the gourmet meals served at Acacia.
Hank also plays golf twice a week at nearby Heritage and is involved in fundraising for the YMCA in Greater Worcester. As a 33rd Degree, 4th Generation Mason, he also serves on the Board of Governors for the Masonic Learning Center for children with dyslexia at the Masonic Temple in Worcester, MA, providing one-on-one assistance for children with dyslexia. “As long as I make somebody else happy,” he says, “I’m happy.”
Later, as he relishes the spectacular sunrise he views every morning over the nearby mountains, that same sentiment comes up again. “I’m happy here,” he says.
Bob and Barbara Howard
In May of 2014, Bob and Barbara Howard’s life changed dramatically. They just didn’t know it at the time.
They had just attended The Overlook’s Dine & Discover Event on Cape Cod and were invited to visit the community—a visit that wouldn’t happen for seven months. But once they saw everything that The Overlook had to offer, things happened quickly. In less than three months they had put down a deposit, and shortly after, moved from The Cape—where they were deeply woven into the social and political fabric—into a community that, as Bob says, “fits us to a T.”
Bob and Barbara had known for a while that they would seek a senior living community. After caring for his older parents, Bob felt strongly that their three children should be spared the burden of caring for their parents.
With a long-time association with the Masons, Bob and Barbara were attracted to The Overlook’s Masonic heritage. But there’s so much more they’ve come to love about it. They’re delighted by the active pace of life at The Overlook, they find their neighbors extremely friendly, they love the feeling of security and describe the administration as “kind and understanding.”
While they’ve only lived at The Overlook for a short time, they’re already active in a wide range of programs offered within the community.
Like so many residents of the community, Bob and Barbara bring a life of accomplishment and colorful stories. Barbara is a former second grade teacher who was a Regent in the D.A.R., served as president of the Woman’s Club in Yarmouth and chaired the Beautification Committee in Simsbury, CT. Bob sold insurance throughout New England, served on the Board of Appeals in South Yarmouth and the Barnstable Municipal Airport Commission.
Just as their path to The Overlook wasn’t typical, neither was their courtship. Barbara met Bob when he was trying to sell insurance to another Barbara (who was also a teacher) but met his future bride-to-be instead.
As Bob and Barbara keep proving, life has a funny way of working out perfectly.
Bill & Doris Brown
Everyone follows their own path to retirement living. Some people decide quickly, put down their deposit, and in no time are in their new home. Some deliberate for many years. While others spend a few years considering their options before making their choice.
Then there’s Bill and Doris Brown.
During their first visit to The Overlook in 2004, they knew right away they wanted to call it home…eventually. They had decided not to move until Bill turned 80. So six years after their initial visit they finally put down their deposit. Then three years after that, they moved into their cottage. Bill was 78.
As it turns out, the cottage they coveted from the start was available before Bill turned 80 and they feared losing it. But despite moving in two years earlier than planned, they’ve never looked back.
Bill now serves on the Resident Council and spends a lot of time on The Overlook’s tennis courts. Doris is involved with the Book Club, Movie Committee, Walking Club and as a volunteer in The Overlook’s on-site convenience store.
But the thing they like best about The Overlook is the people. “The people are wonderful here. They have wonderful histories. It’s a very supportive and loving situation,” Doris says, with Bill adding, “Almost every night we’re having dinner with a different couple.”
The Browns are quite active (still playing golf at least once a week), and they take advantage of the many fitness options at The Overlook. They go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, plus stretch and balance classes in between. Bill also maintains a flower and vegetable garden in The Overlook’s community garden.
They’re especially happy they chose a cottage, which features a finished basement large enough to host their large brood of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (25 at last count) with space left over for storage and fitness equipment.
Like so many CCRC residents, Bill and Doris, love “everything being in one spot. So as things change—if we need rehab or nursing care—there’s not a lot of moving around.”