Best of both worlds
Growing number of families discover Charlestown is a great place to live and workBy Danielle Rexrode
When Deborah Dasch drives through Charlestown’s gates on the way to work each morning, it feels like she never left home. Maybe that’s because she’s not only surrounded by an extended family of close-knit co-workers, she also is just steps from where her mom Alice calls home.
“My parents were the ones who introduced me to Charlestown,” says Dasch, editor of Erickson Living’s newspaper, the Tribune. “They invited me to join them for a tour of Charlestown, and as soon as we pulled up to the front entrance, my jaw dropped. I was struck by how big and beautiful the community was. It reminded me of a college campus. Inside, the atmosphere was so friendly and welcoming. My parents felt it too. Right away I said to them, ‘You have to move here. This place is great!’ I thought it also looked like a great place to work.”
In June 2001, Dasch’s parents moved from their Annapolis townhouse into a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment home overlooking Charlestown’s Our Lady of the Angels Chapel. As luck would have it, Dasch landed a job at Erickson Living, located on Charlestown’s campus, and started her new job just days after her parents moved in.
“I think they were really happy that I started working in the community,” says Dasch. “My mom and I get together at least once a week for lunch. I know we wouldn’t do that if she still lived in her house.”
Dasch joins a growing number of Erickson Living staff who have family ties throughout the community.
When Bill and Mary Armstrong grew tired of the maintenance on their large Rhode Island house, their daughter-in-law Linda Armstrong, an employee of Charlestown since 1987, had the perfect solution.
“My husband and I were up visiting them, and they mentioned they were considering moving someplace where they didn’t have to deal with the worries and headaches of an aging house,” says Armstrong. “I said, ‘I know the perfect place!’”
Bill and Mary sold their home in Rhode Island and settled at Charlestown in 1991.
“When they first moved into the community, my son was school age, so if he had a day off of school or a snow day, he would come to work with me in the morning, spend the day across campus with his grandparents, and then when I got off work we would head home together,” says Armstrong.
However, a year after Bill and Mary moved to Charlestown, they had a change of heart and decided they weren’t quite ready to downsize just yet. So they moved again, this time to a new house in Catonsville, with the intention of moving back to Charlestown in the future. Ten years later, they did just that and say they have enjoyed every minute.
“Charlestown is a great place to live,” says Bill. “We love it here! We like all the activities. We love the fact that they have the medical center right here. It’s hard to say whether or not we would have moved here if it wasn’t for Linda. My guess is we’d still be living in Rhode Island.”
No worries, just happy
As for Alice, she loves her home and says living at Charlestown has really been a blessing.
“I’m happy. My kids are happy—it takes a lot of stress and pressure off of them,” she says. “Everyone here is just so friendly, and I’ve made so many friends. I just love it here.”
Dasch’s father has since passed away, and she says it’s comforting to see her mom living in a community where she has the world at her fingertips.
“I never worry about her. She’s surrounded by friends and has everything she could possibly want right here, including ready access to great health care. I know she’s in good hands, and who can really say that about where they live?”