The long view
Annapolis woman chooses Seabrook living, improves visionBy Julia Collins
Life happens. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be disabling.
One morning in 2008, Patricia Hudson awoke unable to see. A retired executive director living alone, Hudson relied on the help of her adult children. They arranged a minor operation to correct her vision and cared for her during that time.
Unfortunately, they didn’t live nearby and couldn’t help long term. “Even after the operation, my vision was still damaged,” Hudson says. “I knew I could no longer live alone.” She began considering her options and started researching retirement communities.
Having grown up in southern New Jersey, Hudson looked at retirement communities there, where she would be close to siblings and some of her children. After visiting Erickson Living communities, she quickly realized that, despite her damaged eyesight, she could have a lifestyle that allowed her to keep enjoying her life.
At the time, Hudson lived in a tall row house in historic Annapolis, Md. She loved the town’s walkability, charm, and especially its close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay. “I wanted to move close to the water,” she says. “I chose Seabrook because it’s close to the ocean.”
She chose a one-bedroom apartment with a patio “because I wanted to be able to open the door and walk outside,” she says. “I could also picture where I would put my furniture and things. I could visualize myself there.”
Hudson also liked the idea of having all her needs within walking distance, just like in Annapolis. Seabrook has its own doctor’s office, pharmacy, fitness center, restaurants, garden areas, and market.
Once she decided to move, Hudson hired a real estate agent recommended by Erickson Living. Her daughters helped prepare her house for market by mending peeling wallpaper in the downstairs bathroom and painting in certain areas of the house. “It took about a year, working weekends every five or six weeks, to get it ready to sell,” Hudson says.
With the house spick-and-span, they put it on the market and received three offers in the first week. “Despite the economy, the house was easy to sell because it’s an attractive house in a good location,” Hudson says.
She happily moved to her new Seabrook apartment home in June 2009 and has found life there to be active, engaging, and enjoyable.
Hudson quickly found her damaged eyesight no longer restrained her from going places. She takes Seabrook’s daily shuttle to local shopping areas, doctor’s offices, and attractions. As an added bonus, that’s how she meets new friends.
“You sit down and start talking with someone, and you quickly make a date for coffee or dinner,” she says. “Pretty soon, you get to know quite a few people.”
When she’s not making friends on the shuttle, Hudson volunteers at a local elementary school for three hours every Wednesday morning. Her passion lies here. As past executive director for Providence Center, a nonprofit organization providing services for individuals with disabilities, Hudson interacted daily with adults and children.
“I really love kids,” she says. “Volunteering gives me a chance to interact with children. I figure that wherever I go, I learn as much from the kids as they learn from me.”
Another surgery in January 2010 restored Hudson’s vision to almost 100%, and it improves every day. Now, she says, she’s ready to re-engage even more.
“I think I’m ready to get politically active again,” she says.
While at Providence Center, Hudson says she was very politically active “because we depended on the state government for money.” Additionally, she says, living in Maryland’s state capital was a natural fit for getting involved politically.
Now she’d like to help make a difference in her new community, proving that life’s stumbling blocks can’t dampen her will.