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On-the-spot answers

The Tribune sits in on a Seabrook sales event. This is what we heard.

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October 16th, 2017
(From left) Mike Seidman, Jack Hubemy, Ken Hor, Jerry Weinstein, and Mel Shteir play billiards weekly in Seabrook’s Town Center Clubhouse, one of hundreds of activities you’ll find going on around campus.

(From left) Mike Seidman, Jack Hubemy, Ken Hor, Jerry Weinstein, and Mel Shteir play billiards weekly at Seabrook, one of hundreds of activities you’ll find going on around campus.

 

The living room in Seabrook’s clubhouse buzzes with conversation as people researching their retirement living options gather in several groups of 10 to 12. A resident ambassador or a staff member answers questions about life at the Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J.

In one group, an adult daughter and her mother ask about the financial structure and continuing care options. In another, the topic is a bit lighter—what activities are available on campus? In another, the discussion covers local transportation and travel groups. 

Asking questions and getting on-the-spot answers is one of the best reasons to visit and tour Seabrook. And the community takes these events seriously. Several knowledgeable staff members are on hand as well as the people who live there who offer honest, firsthand answers and insight to those considering making a lifestyle change. 

Visitors tour available apartment homes and have the opportunity to join the priority list or reserve an apartment. Plus, a delicious, chef-prepared lunch is included for a taste of what life without having to cook all the time could be like.

The Tribune attended one of Seabrook’s recent events for first- and second-time visitors. Here’s what we heard.

Visitor: What’s the average age of people who live here? 

Sales Counselor Dennise Baldwin: The average age of our 1,400 residents in independent living is 83. The average age of people moving in is 81. 

Visitor: Really? I thought it would be much older. I don’t feel old enough to live here. 

Baldwin: In the past few years we have had many more younger people move in who are in their early to mid seventies and even several in their sixties. They have started several new clubs and activities, and helped to rejuvenate the entire community—make it even more vibrant and active.

The only regret we hear frequently from current residents is they wished they had moved sooner so they could enjoy all the activities and amenities here. 

Visitor: What are some of the activities available on campus? Could you give some examples? 

Sales Director Dan Simms: We have over 100 activities. You’ll find quilting groups, arts and crafts, Ping-Pong, bocce, theater, singing, current events discussion groups, the TV studio, the wood shop, gardening, continuing education classes, religious groups, language groups, and political groups. You name it, we have it here. And if we don’t, you can start it. 

Visitor: And we have access to all of that? What about our guests? 

Simms: Residents and their guests have access to all amenities. It’s included in your monthly service package, which also covers property taxes, a flexible meal plan, utilities, 24/7 home maintenance and security, and parking. You are also free to use any number of your meals for your guests. 

Visitor: What is the average percentage of increase to the monthly service package year over year? 

Simms: Over the past five years, we have averaged a 3% increase each year. However, last year, Seabrook had the lowest increase of all Erickson Living communities, at 2.5%. 

We recently finished installing a solar field on our property. It saves the community hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs each year, which is reflected in the low increase to our monthly service package. 

It’s also worth noting that the monthly service package stays constant for the entire year, so you can easily budget your monthly living expenses. 

Visitor: What about if we need continuing care? How much does that cost? 

Simms: Continuing care costs depend on your level of care. We are a fee-for-service community, so each level of care has different pricing. This way, you’re not paying for services you don’t need. 

If you need skilled nursing, assisted living, long-term care, or just some help in your home with medications, you can get that level of care here on campus. 

Also keep in mind that only about 4%–5% of independent living residents need assisted living care. That speaks highly to what happens in independent living—dining, activities, fitness opportunities, and medical care all contribute to longevity and independence.

Visitor: What’s the benefit of joining the priority list? 

Resident Ambassador Maureen Sullivan: The priority list is a way to get the apartment home of your choice. There are only about 15 apartments available right now, so if you’re flexible in what you want, you could move in now. But if you want a specific floor plan or location, the priority list puts you in line for getting your first choice. 

It’s also a great way to attend more events so you can really get to know your future neighbors and the community before you move in. It makes the move that much easier. 

Simms: Priority list members can access our Live the Life program and additional exclusive events like seminars by Personal Moving Consultant Laurie Williamson who will walk you through the next steps of meeting with real estate agents, downsizers, and movers. 

Visitor: How do you join the priority list? 

Simms: You make a $1,000 fully refundable deposit along with a $150-per-person, nonrefundable application fee. The $1,000 is either applied toward your entrance fee when you reserve an apartment, or it is returned to you should you find that Seabrook isn’t the right fit. 

The 90% entrance fee goes to your estate, or if you decide to leave the community, the deposit is returned to you once the apartment is reoccupied (the Residence and Care Agreement has full details).

Sullivan: The priority list is really a great way to get to know if Seabrook is right for you, and the best part is it’s completely noncommittal. 

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