"Violette's Crossing" to offer independent living for seniors

Come this spring, Northampton seniors in need of assisted-living housing may not have to choose between living comfortably and living independently.

A new 25-room expansion of Rockridge Retirement Community on Cowles Meadow Road, called "Violette's Crossing," will offer each resident their own full kitchen, parking space, and private entrance, as well as access to a full service laundry - all in an effort to offer more independent living to those who need it. Additional services included in each rental, like weekly trips to the Big Y plaza for shopping, monthly aparment cleaning, on-site salon and fitness rooms, and a daily continental breakfast and hot lunch build community between the residents living as neighbors.

The project, aimed at seniors 62 years and older, was started specifically to fill what Rockridge Executive Director Beth Vettori calls "a gap in aging services."

"There's a broad spectrum of ways that people can afford to live at these types of communities," said Vettori. "Currently we have housing that allows people that have Mass Health; we also have housing that people pay for privately. By adding Violette's Crossing we're going to be able to look at another sector of the population... the affordability component really allows for people of moderate income."

According to Vettori, the ideal candidate for Violette's Crossing has about $40,000 in annual income and assets between $200,000 - $300,000. Rockridge is currently working to secure a fully-refundable $500 Future Resident List deposit from each individual interested in living at Violette's crossing, whether in the near or more distant future.

Violette Young, the namesake for the expansion, co-founded Rockridge with her husband Elmo in 1971. Although Elmo passed away shortly before the building's completion, Violette stayed at Rockridge for many years, first as a nurse and then later as a resident. Since her passing in December, the community has been looking for a way to memorialize their founding mother.

"[Violette] played a very important part in developing not only Rockridge and the namesake of Rockridge, but also holds a special place in our heart," said Catleen McGaffigan, one of Rockridge's two Sales and Marketing executives. "She was our matriarch and we wanted to honor her in a special way."