In a few short days, we’ll be home

Last week, we furnished and decorated one of our suites to give you an idea of how homelike and incredibly comfortable the private rooms at our new Peabody Place will be.

Our new home is roomy with all the luxuries of home – cable, Internet and individual climate control keypads. Most importantly, the space is bright with lovely floor-to-ceiling windows to let in ample natural light, which is important for our spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Substantial common space is also warm, bright and inviting.

An alternative view of the living area showing the kitchenette and the large window view.

Our elevators run so quietly and smoothly delivering passengers to whichever floor they need to go. Right now, that’s tradesmen and staff only, but this weekend, it will be family members and volunteers making the much-anticipated move to our new building.

Our old home is bustling with activity as we’re working hard to get all our family members’ belongings and personal possessions packed, labeled and ready for Saturday’s big move. With only a few days left, we feel a bit like kids the night before Christmas eagerly waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus.

In a few short days, we will finally be in our gorgeous new home.

A view of the studio bedroom with a lovely blue accent wall.

Our special thanks to Corporate Member Chuck Motta for his help putting the finishing touches to this beautiful space and to the Grevior Furniture Store family, right here on Central Street in Franklin.

Navigating the finer points of the Assisted Living Admittance process – Or Don’t Wait to plan ahead

By Karen Bachelder, Peabody Place family member

How many of you out there have aging parents?  Ok, now, how many of you have aging parents with an actual PLAN for transitioning to assisted living?

As we all know, the best plan for getting old is to A) Win the Lottery and B) have at least eight children who can collectively deal with everything from finances to transportation and everything in between, as you get older.

For those of us whose parents were shortsighted enough not to do this, there are two other ways to handle their transition from regular life to assisted living.


In an ideal world, Mom and Dad would start planning WAY ahead. Along about age 75, they’d realize they should downsize and simplify life and move closer to doctors and other amenities. They’d conduct an organized search / tours / applications for assisted living, move at leisure, and then sit back and relax, knowing that everything is taken care of.


There are a lot of reasons why otherwise intelligent and capable people fail to implement organized, rational and well-considered transitions.

Sometimes Mom and Dad are just waiting till they get old. (They’re 90 and they’re still waiting.) They don’t realize how much their world and their capabilities have shrunk. Since they’re still “getting along ok,” they “don’t need to go into assisted living” just yet. And maybe you, as their child, don’t want to push them.

But here’s what will happen.

A bomb will go off. It will not be at a convenient time.  Mom or Dad will have a fall or other sudden medical issue. You will have to DROP EVERYTHING. Immediately.

Mom or Dad will be in the hospital and the realization dawns they are not safe to live at home anymore and need to go into a nursing home or assisted living NOW. There will be a VERY short window of time to find assisted living. This is NOT the way to do this!

For starters, assisted living is not like midweek room availability at Motel 6. You can’t just drive up and expect there’s a room ready for you. There are a lot more aging loved ones out there than there are available rooms, and the wait can be several MONTHS or longer. You can’t wait that long.

At this point a frantic search will ensue, and you’ll be on the phone constantly, running all over the State, touring homes and seriously considering putting your SELF into a home while you’re at it. It will be complete chaos, but here are a few suggestions to make things easier.


Contact list – list of contacts, account numbers, billing addresses, etc., for everything your parent(s) do / need on a regular basis – banks, credit cards, utility companies, insurance, Medicare, pensions, their attorney, tax preparer, even the lawn care guy and the auto repair shop.

Password list – compile a list of passwords and usernames of everything that involves financial, healthcare and other accounts.  Might sound simple but don’t forget the password to the computer itself!

Wills / Trusts / Powers of Attorney – this should be obvious, but an amazing number of people don’t have one, or just “haven’t gotten around to it.” (See “waiting till we get old” above.)

Be added as a signatory on the Checking Account – you will need this if you suddenly have to pay all the bills, and it’s WAY easier to just BE on the account than to have to go through POA, etc. to get access.


  • Trust and/or Will Documents
  • Durable General Power of Attorney – it needs to be fully signed and enacted!
  • Advance Directives the portable DNR card
  • Recent Bank (checking / savings account) statements
  • Recent Financial / Investment / Annuities / CDs / IRA statements
  • Tax records or other documentation of the current value of your house
  • Copies of Mom / Dad’s ID / Driver’s License, Social Security Card, Insurance Card
  • Copies / proof of deposits of Mom / Dad’s pension(s), Social Security income
  • Long Term Care Insurance policy info
  • Medicare info / card / ID number
  • Any other medical insurance they might have
  • Last year’s Income tax – 1040 form
  • Names / contact info of any doctors who have been involved in recent care



This can be hard when your hair is on fire and you haven’t had any sleep in two weeks, but it’s worth it in the long run. Stuff will be coming at you from all directions, and if you’re “just now for the first time,” scrambling to find the household bills, wills, passwords and insurance cards, you’ll need to get the whole mess under some sort of control, FAST. Keep file folders – both digital and hard copies.

And finally – Pick a good home

Ok, seems elementary, but there is a lot of advice out there; nursing home checklists on line for example, and you should definitely use those, but also, pay attention to your gut when you tour the home. If you have the slightest sense of “eeehhhh… I don’t know about this…,” then, run!

You definitely want a high degree of competence, skilled care, and a safe and clean facility, but the personal touches are even more critical. Does the administrator take an active interest in you, and your loved one’s story? (Does she sit in her office with you for an hour, exchanging stories about life with your parents?) Do staff members act happy? (Normally, they WILL be pretty busy, but you can tell if they’re engaging beyond the required basic greeting).

Do the residents seem engaged? (Obviously not all of them can be, but if you see groups out watching TV together, or reading and talking in the common room(s), or just generally looking at YOU with curiosity, it’s a good sign that there is social engagement going on).

Does it feel like YOU would feel at home if YOU were going there?

Those were things that struck me immediately here at Peabody Home, and have made me feel I made the right choice for Dad, and would recommend Peabody to others in my situation.  

So – this is a hard process. It’s exhausting and emotionally draining. If you’re IN a crisis now, do the best you can, stay organized, and take help if people offer it. But if you CAN, get Mom and Dad to start planning NOW.

Do the “Pick a Good Home,” part FIRST, and you’ll be able to make that transition smooth, happy, quite possibly fun and an experience that will forge even tighter family bonds!

Navigating Assisted Living

A Guide for Seniors: Using Technology to Support Your Health

Thanks to modern technology, daily life is easier than ever. Ordering food, booking a vacation, keeping up with friends—all of these things have gotten simpler. Cutting-edge tools have also made life easier for seniors. If you are looking for ways to maintain your health and happiness as you age, Peabody Place offers a roundup of some innovative technology tools for seniors to help support health and make life easier.

Take advantage of cooking apps

Once you retire, you will have more time on your hands to devote to hobbies like cooking. When you aren’t pressed for time, preparing a meal is a far more enjoyable experience. Make the most of it by mastering senior-friendly recipes. Nutritious food gives you the nutrients and vitamins you need to maintain energy, which can be difficult to maintain as we get older.

Your smartphone can be a useful sous chef when preparing food. Cookster provides a roundup of practical apps to download. The Allrecipes app offers free recipes, for instance, while SideChef provides easy step-by-step instructions for meals targeted at newbie chefs. Finally, Tasty lets you manage all your different recipes easily in one place.

Consider taking a multivitamin

Even with a healthy diet, you might not get all the nutrients you need from food and drink alone. Many Americans fail to get the recommended daily amount of vitamin A or D, for example. A supplement specifically designed for seniors can help ensure you aren’t missing out on any essentials.

Use a technologically advanced pillbox to keep track of your supplement intake as well as any other medications you may need. Modern trackers don’t just allow you to compartmentalize pills based on day of the week; they also remind you to take them at the right time using gizmos like flashing lights or sounds.

Focus on fitness

As your needs change over the years, it’s important to look for exercises that will help improve your quality of life. Focus on activities that allow you to work on your balance, strength, and mobility. Yoga, swimming, and cycling are great ways to boost your health while having fun doing so. If you prefer working out at home, find a suitable regimen that works for your age group and requires little to no equipment. You can even turn to fitness apps with at-home workouts you can enjoy at your own pace.

Modern fitness trackers and smartwatches can keep track of everything from heart rate to how much physical activity you get on a daily basis. Some models can also alert emergency services if needed. This can be especially useful for older individuals who are more prone to dangerous falls at home. While new models can be pricey, a refurbished one can offer the same benefits at a lower price. Simply jazz it up with a new band, connect it to your smartphone and you’ll be ready to go.

Take advantage of preventative care

Preventative care is the key to living a long and healthy life. Regular checkups allow your doctor to catch potential signs of illness early and to make lifestyle recommendations so you can get on a healthier track. Note that Medicare may cover preventative measures; for instance, with a Medicare Advantage plan, you may qualify for certain wellness programs.

If you aren’t currently in Medicare Advantage, it is possible to switch during the yearly enrollment period. This is your chance to reexamine your current plan and see if you should upgrade. provides all the information you need to help you decide whether you should make the switch.

Stay social with modern technology

Finally, don’t forget to address your mental well-being as well. Many seniors may find themselves feeling isolated, especially after retirement when they no longer have the daily social contact they once had. This is why living at Peabody Place can make such a difference. With an array of activities and social programs, residents can stay engaged and enjoy a sense of community. For additional ways to stay connected, use apps to find volunteering opportunities, join a MeetUp group related to a favorite hobby or pastime, or consider even rounding up friends for weekly card games via Zoom.

With the above tech tips and tools, you can maintain your well-being physically and mentally.

Continued good health is the first step to enjoying your golden years as much as possible. Technology can also bring enjoyment to your life, which is important for your health — whether using a tablet or smartphone, you have a plethora of entertainment at your fingertips!


By Rhonda Underhill, Guest blogger