Overhead view of the surrounding countryside

Five-Year Applewood Residents Offer Sage Advice to Newcomers

Oct 13, 2022

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Charles & Yvonne Clark

After moving to Applewood in their early 70’s in 2017, Charles and Yvonne Clark immediately began enjoying the resort-style amenities and resident interest clubs, making them easily recognizable by most residents in the community for partaking in all that Applewood has to offer.

Both native New Yorkers, they raised five children while living in Freehold. When they began to consider a move from their large home, they first considered moving to a 55+ active adult community in the area, but an unanticipated health issue convinced the couple to change course and instead choose a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) to meet possible future healthcare needs later in life.

Downsizing from a larger home to a more manageable two-bedroom apartment, their home continues to meet their needs five years later.

Ready for fun, friendship and fulfillment

“One of the many things that are great about Applewood is the ease and accessibility to trying new things,” explains Charles, who spent most of his career in New York City law enforcement.


“I had never painted in my life, but it had always appealed to me. If Applewood didn’t provide a fully-stocked art studio, I doubt I would ever have picked up a paintbrush.”

mr clark painting

He says other resident artists helped guide him during his learning process, and he’s now passionate about working on his art, which he enjoys sharing with his family. Charles has also carved and painted several wooden birds and ducks in the community’s fully stocked woodshop.

A music lover, Charles has sung in the community chorus, enrolled in private piano lessons with the community’s choral director (no piano purchase required) and currently plays the ukulele in the weekly resident Jam Session.

Charles improves his piano skills with private instruction from Applewood Music Director Charlie Clarke.

Yvonne was impressed by Applewood during visits to see a friend who worked in the Marketing Department. “I told her that if we ever moved to a retirement community, it would be here.” Since moving to Applewood, Yvonne has rekindled old hobbies and discovered new passions that challenge her and bring joy to her daily living. A member of the Go Green environmental committee, Yvonne has also accepted key community leadership roles as co-head of Resident Ambassadors, a 20-member group of residents that welcome and acclimate new residents; and managing the Needlework club, which meets twice a week in the Craft Room.

“My advice to newcomers is not to sit at home, but to dive into the lifestyle here,” Yvonne suggests.

Active and energized daily senior living

The Clarks join other residents in an overnight excursion to Longwood Gardens.

“While some clubs and activities have been in place for years, there is always something new on the calendar to try.” The Clarks also mentioned the fun and ease of a recent resident overnight trip to Longwood Gardens, which included private Applewood coach transportation, hotel accommodations, meals and entry to the Gardens.

The couple agreed they’re excited about all the new residents who have recently joined the community this year and hope they feel the sense of a tight-knit community where everyone looks out for each other. They are also grateful to have some of their children and grandchildren close to them, relishing the opportunity to frequently see and care for their grandchildren.

Lastly, Yvonne offers this sage advice: “Come to Applewood when you’re healthy enough to take advantage of everything the community offers. I promise, you’ll never have another boring day in your life.”