Welcome to Life at Benchmark. Explore the stories shared by, families, people, innovators and leadership that add a spark that light up our community. 

Benchmark Expanding Into New York and Founder’s Hometown

Benchmark Expanding Into New York and Founder’s Hometown

Welcoming new communities into the Benchmark family is a wonderful thing, but what’s the reason for our growth? Do we simply want to get bigger?

“We grow to be better and reach our full potential, not our maximum size.”
— Tom Grape

“People often focus on growth for growth’s sake,” says Chairman and CEO Tom Grape. “That’s not always the best plan, and it’s certainly not our goal at Benchmark Senior Living. We grow to be better and reach our full potential, not our maximum size. With smart, responsible growth, we give ourselves the resources and freedom to continually invest in our associates, our communities and our services so that the Benchmark experience is the best it can be.”

Here’s a look at the new construction openings and remodeling projects currently underway that are moving us further toward our “full potential.”


Whisper Woods at Smithtown, New York

Executive Director Desiree Krajnyak-Baker and her team are preparing for a June opening of Whisper Woods at Smithtown and are on track with 22 deposits! Located on the north shore of Long Island, Whisper Woods will be Benchmark’s first community in New York. Offering both assisted living and memory care, the community also has an Enhanced Assisted Living Residence (EALR) certification allowing residents to age place. Among the amenities – a beautiful wine bar opening to a rooftop terrace

Sturges Ridge of Fairfield, Connecticut

The town of Fairfield, Conn., has no assisted living and memory care communities. So, our CEO and Chairman Tom Grape is returning to his hometown to fill a need for seniors to remain close to their friends and family within their local community. Thirteen future residents have already made deposits, the first coming from Cecily, who was a friend of Tom’s mother. Terry Hornikel, a senior living veteran, has moved from Ohio to serve as executive director.  

Sturges Ridge will be our first community to boast of underground parking. It also has views overlooking the football field of Tom’s high school! Go Falcons! The community will welcome its first residents in September.

Memory Care Community in Newton Centre, Massachusetts

A yet-to-be-named community in Newton Centre will comprise a 35,000 square-foot addition to a 20,000 square-foot historical building on the former campus of Andover Newton Theological School, known as the oldest graduate seminary in the United States and the nation’s first graduate institution of any kind. The school became part of the Yale Divinity School in 2017.

The addition will offer 50 memory-care apartments built in a circular formation around an enclosed courtyard. Outdoor lighting and large storefront glass walls will allow residents to enjoy the courtyard year-round. A café with a patio will rival any boutique coffee shop!

The existing, historical building will house services such as the laundry, kitchen, mechanical room and a Wellness Suite with fitness center, cognitive brain gym, salon and doctor’s office. The designers also are exploring concepts for an interactive sensory room. This exciting new community will open in winter 2019.

Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Woodbury, New York

The town of Woodbury will be home to our second community in New York state. The 75,000 square-foot building will offer 91 apartments and accommodate 105 residents. The memory care wing will feature a central courtyard. The yet to be named community will open in mid-2019.




New Pond Village, Walpole, Massachusetts

Voted in 2017 as “Best Retirement Residence” by Hometown Weekly Newspapers’ readers,” New Pond Village is getting even better with an $8 million major remodel and new construction.

The main feature of the project is a new 28-bed memory care unit that completes the continuum of care. Tasha Thomas has accepted the position of Harbor Care Director, joining the team with nearly a decade of managerial experience in memory care and health care. The new memory care unit opens in March.

Renovation of the community’s 17 assisted living units is complete. A total renovation of the independent living space is in progress and features a new bistro/casual dining area with a full-service bar and a modernized exercise room.

“This major investment in New Pond Village proves to our residents and the local community that Benchmark is committed to providing superior senior living to the Walpole area,” says Campus Executive Director Susan Cwieka.

Academy Point Residents Inspire Volunteer’s Special Song

Academy Point Residents Inspire Volunteer’s Special Song

Family Expresses Gratitude After Passing of Bea Shopnick at Age 107

Family Expresses Gratitude After Passing of Bea Shopnick at Age 107