Something special is going on in Franklin, NH. No, I’m not talking about the development of the unique water park that will attract outdoor enthusiasts from afar and major investments that are going into historic mill buildings that will include high-quality housing options and additional amenities. Though this is quite exciting, what I am specifically talking about is what brought me to Franklin – the opportunity to work on the transformation of the well-respected and long-standing Peabody Home into Peabody Place as we re-envision what a modern retirement community should look like in 2021.
We’ve learned so much over the past year and part of that has revolved around how important community is to us, especially when it shrunk due to the pandemic and safety protocols. With over 45 years of retirement living, assisted living and nursing home experience, I have seen a lot of change. Drawn to this work as a teenager through volunteer work that brought me into nursing home environments many years ago, I strongly believe we can do better today with the right philosophy, thinking and setting.
As the new executive director of what will soon be Peabody Place, I am excited to build off an 80-year history of care and service. The amazing team that is currently in place clearly has the right care-centric philosophy and thinking. While the setting is gorgeous, the space needed significant improvements to help achieve the vision of being a true community within the larger Franklin community.
Anyone who drives by will see a ton of activity next to the current Peabody Home as the foundation and steelwork is well underway on phase I of Peabody Home, which will be completed by the end of the year. We’ll move into phase II and upon completion, the new 63,000 square foot Peabody Place will offer independent apartments, assisted living apartments and a specialized memory support center. Designed by EGA P.C., an award-winning architecture firm, Peabody Place will offer accommodations that are sure to please.
I was quite excited that the board and staff at the current Peabody Home were eager to embrace new ideas that will be made possible in Peabody Place, due to the expanded size and ability to serve more people with varying needs. Our goal is to create a place where people want to be.
As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, we are viewing these individuals as members, rather than residents because they are part of us. We are looking into providing locally grown food to our members. We plan to not only be pet friendly, but pet-welcoming because we know the joy animals bring to people, myself included. And we are fortunate to be at a location with views of the Winnipesaukee River and access to fishing and an additional piece of property known as Procter Point that members will be able to visit and enjoy. Inside amenities will include a bistro, library, media room, beauty and barbershop and an exercise and wellness room.
Another difference is financial accessibility. Unlike other continuing care and life plan communities, Peabody Place will not have an entrance fee and will not lock members into agreements that are difficult to get out of. At Peabody Place, members not only control their own finances – but always have control of their future. Today, those of retirement age do not want to make life-long commitments. We understand – and support the ability of members to keep all of their future options open.
We are pleased to announce the opening of our priority waitlist and all reservations received by May 31st will be drawn at random to establish the initial order of consideration. Reservations received after May 31st will be added in the order received. This is a great opportunity for those who are at all interested to get a priority selection of accommodations along with pre-completion pricing.
Making a decision to move to a retirement community is a big decision. Many people put off this decision due to the pandemic. With staff and current members all having received opportunities to receive vaccinations, in some ways, retirement communities are now one of the safest places to be. We further enhanced safety because we were able to work some lessons learned from the pandemic into building design and flow. Additionally, all apartments – including assisted living – will be private and include their own lavatory and shower. Come visit our community, learn about the big doings in Franklin and stop by to say hello and admire the progress on Peabody Place. We’d be delighted to show you all that we have cooking.