Making the Move: Daughter is Happy Her Mother Feels at Home at Pickersgill

As Virginia Modjesky approached her 90s, she was beginning to think about moving out of her Dundalk, Md., townhouse into an affordable retirement community, and shared the news with her daughter, Virginia McCurdy, who was happy to help her mother search for the best place to suit her needs.

McCurdy began her search online, working off of stories she had heard about communities in the Baltimore, Md., area, and looking specifically for communities that her mother could afford. She narrowed her search to two places. After visiting Pickersgill and the other community, Virginia Modjesky chose Pickersgill, and placed her name on the list for an apartment.

Modjesky—who experiences bouts of vertigo, but is otherwise very independent—is now the happy resident of an independent assisted living apartment, where she does not require any help from the nursing team, and is otherwise free to go about her business like a resident of an independent living apartment.

The move brings great peace of mind to her daughter, and their family.

“I’m extremely pleased with it. I would highly recommend people checking it out. It’s bright, it’s clean, the people are friendly—I don’t know what else you could ask for. The meals are good—she’s probably eating more now than what she was at home, which is good. When we had the snow, I didn’t have to worry if she had food in the house, or if the power went off. We just don’t have to worry anymore,” McCurdy said.

McCurdy said that her mother moved into the community about a week before the worst winter storm of the season, which was perfect timing. She and her husband don’t dig out for major storms, and were relieved that they didn’t have to spend the rest of the relentless winter season worrying whether her mother had heat, enough food, or was doing well.

As a daughter who has always been close with her mother, McCurdy said that she paid attention to the many details of the communities they researched. She liked that the nursing staff answered any questions she had about services, that they suggested activities her mother might like, and were friendly. McCurdy attended a fair and a luncheon at the community over the time period in which they were on the wait list, and making their decision. She credited the vendors with helping the family to make the move, downsize and prepare for the transition.

Modjesky, who had been living on her own since 1995, did not have difficulty making the move, McCurdy said.

“She is very realistic and she sees ahead. She’s always been the one to say that she would never move in with either my brother or I; if she had to go someplace she would go someplace,” McCurdy said.

That independence, however, meant that much of Modjesky’s time was spent alone outside of church. It is also a great comfort to her children that their mother now seems to be making friends since moving to the community in January.

“Mom is beginning to think more of it as home. When she moved, she didn’t expect that she would be happy; she expected she would be contented. She hasn’t been happy since my father passed away 30 years ago; she’s been contented. But now she is more outgoing. Each time I go there, she introduces me to someone new, and is getting involved in activities,” McCurdy said. “Before, her only outlet was church, so she didn’t have a lot of contact with people otherwise. She seems to be adjusting very well to it. My brother says just the way she talks is very upbeat.”