Paul Kershon

smiling man in red plaid shirt

After living for 20 years in Boynton Beach, Paul Kershon and his wife Charlene heeded their adult children’s request to move back to the New Jersey area. Desiring to take their time choosing a retirement community that suited their needs, they rented an apartment in a Manalapan senior community while they looked for their next home.

They toured most of the continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) in the central Jersey area (their daughter lives in Howell), including Applewood, but inventory was limited at Applewood when they were looking, so they decided to hold off. During this time, Charlene passed away after a brief illness.

Eventually, Paul decided the time was right to move forward; he re-contacted Matthew Mazzucca, his senior living sales counselor at Applewood.

“Applewood stuck in my mind far more than the other communities,” says the former New York City accountant. “It’s a beautiful place with tons of amenities.” Paul loved the flow of the one-bedroom Signature Poplar apartment with a private balcony and large storage room.

“As soon as I walked in, I felt a deep sense of relief knowing I had found my new home.”

Paul settled in earlier this year and quickly realized how easy and convenient retirement community living can be, particularly when it comes to daily meals. “There’s no more wandering around the kitchen or deciding where to dine out every day,” he notes. Now, I just walk down to The Bistro or the formal dining room to enjoy three hot meals.”

Paul says he never expected to make many new friends at this stage of his life. “There are resident Ambassadors who help you acclimate to the community and introduce you to other residents,” Paul explains. “The caliber of the residents I have met has been a highlight of my move. It’s been remarkable meeting people at Applewood that have become some of my best friends.”

He says the high quality of the afternoon educational lectures are also a high point of his week, citing the Applewood University series and a recent three-part lecture about Judaism hosted by Rabbi Levy.

His daughter and her family are also happy to have Paul nearby. Now they can enjoy simple pleasures together, like seeing a movie or attending Friday night Shabbat services at Temple Beth Shalom in nearby Manalapan. They also enjoy a standing weekly dinner date.

The octogenarian drives to appointments and errands around town, but he can see transitioning to Applewood’s private local transportation in the future. “I like the security of knowing if I decide I don’t want to drive, I can be dropped off and picked up with a quick phone call.” Paul says he also appreciates that his apartment is cleaned and his laundry and linens are washed weekly, freeing up his time for more enjoyable activities.

“The Maintenance team here is also amazing,” Paul notes. “If you need help moving something or hanging some shelves, one of the guys will come by and take care of it for you.” He notes that the staff recently power-washed his balcony and washed his windows, inside and out.

Paul said losing his beloved wife was very difficult, but he’s grateful he made the decision to push forward and start again at a continuing care community back in New Jersey.

“I feel excited to start every day that I’m blessed to be here. You can always start over, regardless of age or what happens in life.”