Although senior living communities have become very much an accepted way of life for many of those over the age of 65, the Brookhouse Home remains a forerunner of the current senior living model, and an alternative to more costly Assisted Living options.
What We Do
When Capt. Robert Brookhouse gifted the home to the Association for the Relief of Aged Women in 1861, the women then as now were able to live in a familiar, supportive home setting that also enabled them to maintain their independence. We feel fortunate that we remain a non-profit, affordable Level IV Rest Home licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. This means we follow designated guidelines of resident care and life safety. We can offer medication administration, home cooked meals, laundry and housekeeping, activities that truly serve our senior women, while also being able to offer physical and occupational therapies, nursing, and health and wellness techniques.
What Sets Us Apart
Civic and community involvement has been one of the things that sets us apart from other senior living options, in that we remain an integral part of our neighborhood, city and regional community. Brookhouse Administrator, Judy Kane, is on the “Salem for all Ages” Advisory Council where leaders of the community come together to assess the needs of Salem’s older adult population.We have also been the recipient of grants from the Cummings Foundation, the City of Salem, and Eastern Bank.
Engaging With the Overall Community
We continue to be involved in many civic events, parades, and fairs, in support of our city. Some of our favorite moments are the yearly Halloween parade where our ladies get dressed up in costumes and ride the trolley in the Chamber of Commerce sponsored event.
We have been actively involved with Historic Salem where two years ago in December we had thousands come through the Brookhouse Home as part of the Christmas in Salem House Tour. Our holiday decorations stand out each year, and we are able to enhance and adorn this beautiful historic mansion. In 2019, Brookhouse also received an award at Historic Salem’s 75th Anniversary celebration for our ongoing historic preservation efforts.
Chamber Music and Dancing
The rooms at the Brookhouse Home might now be more often used for family visits, activities, and meetings but we have been able to honor the historic importance of this stately home. As an example, we have had dancing of all types in the ballroom (which is now our resident dining room) and that has included square dancing, Irish step dancers, and modern dance. The adjacent chamber – which was built originally as a chamber room for small quartets- has featured a series of chamber music performances. We were thrilled when the chamber musicians told us that acoustically our room was the best they had ever played in. Our piano in the “chamber” is available for all to play and the ladies of Brookhouse Home can sit and enjoy the beautiful acoustics.
In centuries past, our front parlor was used for important meetings or guests, including presidents and other dignitaries who gathered here to discuss the business of the day back in the 1800s. In honor of that, we have instituted a “parlor talk” series where we invite many community organizations, non-profits, Council on Aging directors, veterans officers, and those in the senior living field to come and enjoy wine and cheese in our dining room and relax in our front parlor for lectures and discussion. Our history, location and unique community keep us involved, then as now, in our evolving role as a model for senior living.