Overhead view of the surrounding countryside

Outdoor Enthusiast Seeks Active Senior Community

Aug 9, 2022

Catherine Galbreath banner

Catherine Galbreath’s lifestyle is active and then some. Could she find a retirement community that could keep up with her?

Catherine Galbreath with her cat

Catherine and her beloved Lynx are comfortably settled into their new home at Applewood.

After living in a 55+ community in Manchester, NJ, for 12 years, Catherine Galbreath knew it was time for a change. “I’ve always been very active and social,” says Catherine. “I kayak, camp, sing, crochet and love to paint,” she notes. “I was looking for a community where I could easily meet like-minded people who also enjoy these activities.”

During the pandemic stay-at-home period, the Bernardsville, NJ native realized she didn’t want to spend her future sitting at home. Now in her late 70s and watching longtime neighbors and friends begin to move elsewhere, Catherine became increasingly motivated to begin her new chapter.

She received a postcard from Applewood inviting her to attend an event to learn more about the Freehold Township continuing care retirement community. “I asked my son, who lives in Bergen County, if he had time to join me,” Catherine recalls. “He quickly agreed and we went on to attend several events to learn more about the lifestyle and meet the residents.”

While the community boasted an active, Engaged LivingTM lifestyle, she was most interested in the people. “I was taken by how friendly the residents and staff were and everyone seemed to know each other,” Catherine recalls.


“As a single person, I wanted to form new friendships, so this made Applewood feel right for me.” Nonetheless, she also visited several other New Jersey CCRC communities, but kept coming back to the Freehold community.


Planning a move with her beloved Lynx Point Siamese cat, Lynx, she was also thrilled to join a CCRC and never have to cook a meal again. “I am done with cooking—even breakfast!”

After downsizing to just the belongings that were most meaningful, Catherine happily moved into a sunny, freshly refurbished studio apartment with a separate sleeping alcove and tons of storage. Her outdoor equipment–skis, camping gear, and kayak–are stored in an affordable garage on the Applewood campus, not far from her apartment. “I was also able to choose a light grey flooring throughout the apartment that is beautiful and cat friendly.”

Catherine Galbreath reading a book

One of the Bernardsville, NJ native’s favorite items is a book crafted about her life, a gift from her son.

Not surprisingly, after just three months at Applewood, Catherine has joined the hand-crafting group, the women’s club and attends AquaFitness up to three mornings a week. She made good use of Applewood’s Woodworking Studio by cutting display shelves for her paintings.


She recently checked out the resident Music Jam session and left as a new bongo player.

“I wasn’t too bad—for a former flutist.”


“I could easily be busy here 24/7,” she says with a smile. An accomplished painter, Catherine’s next stop will be the Painting Studio, where she can spread out, store her supplies, and meet other resident artists.

As the newly minted secretary of the Resident’s Association, you can be assured it’s only a matter of time until you meet Catherine. ”This community is designed for socializing and having fun,” she explains. “All you have to do is walk out your front door, rain or shine, January or June.” With that, she heads downstairs to the Bistro, where she’s getting together with friends for the evening.