Beverly and Joel Stern

Couple Smiling

Moving to Applewood was an easy decision for the Sterns, longtime Freehold Township residents. Dr. Stern had a thriving dental practice and Beverly served as head nurse for the Freehold Township School District where she worked for more than 25 years. Joel was also one of the original founding dental staff members of CentraState Medical Center (1974) and followed plans to launch the area’s first continuing care retirement community (CCRC), which would eventually become Applewood.

“My older sister, Caroline Solow, lived here years ago and my cousin, Pearl Kessler, preceded her,” Joel explains. Bev and I always loved the atmosphere at Applewood. “Moving here was a no-brainer for us.”

The Sterns were part of the Orchard Club, a priority depositor club for future residents wishing to secure their future Applewood residences in advance, avoiding any potential waiting list, as inventory becomes limited. When a Bayberry model, the Sterns preferred apartment floor plan, became available in July 2015, the Sterns jumped on it.

Over the next few months, management renovated the apartment from top to bottom—new kitchen, baths, carpet, paint, lighting, washer/dryer and sliding doors leading to their balcony.

Applewood is home to the Sterns in several ways—Joel’s sister, Karen Slobodin, also moved into her own independent living home about eight months after Joel and Beverly arrived last year. They also had several friends from the Freehold area who gave the community rave reviews.

“Although we already knew several residents from the area, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many new people from all over,” Beverly says.

“Who says you can’t expand your friendship circle later in life?”

The Sterns pursue a plethora of social, fitness and wellness activities, but also maintain local ties to their community where they lived for 55 years. Joel is on staff at the Spicy Apple; the resident-run literary magazine; oil paints in the art studio; belongs to the Men’s Club; and plays the saxophone in the Accidental Orchestra.

“We also take advantage of the day trips,” Joel says. “We’ve seen a Broadway show and love the tours to cultural destinations, like the great museums in Philadelphia.” He also works out several times a week in the fitness center.

“Protecting our future healthcare needs with Life Care gives our children peace-of-mind, but we’re committed to staying healthy by being active every day,” says Joel, a frequent golfer.

“I work-out almost daily at the CentraState Fitness and Wellness Center,” Beverly says. “Aqua-aerobics is my fitness passion!” The retired nurse also serves as the secretary of the Safety and Security Committee, writes for the Spicy Apple and reads voraciously.

“We also look forward to the on-site Culinary Institute cooking classes. I don’t have to cook anymore, but the program is fun, social and enjoyable, just like our Applewood community.”