“They’re kind enough to deliver a very special level of personal care.”
—John Van Horne, nephew of a Pickersgill resident
Karen Merrey, daughter of a Pickersgill resident
“My parents moved into the Pickersgill retirement apartments in 1993,” says Karen Merrey. “In fact, they were among the first residents of what was then a brand-new building. Mom passed away in 2002, and Dad—who’s now 91—lives in one of the community’s assisted living residences.”
Karen’s mom had experienced an early onset of Parkinson’s disease, so her parents knew they needed to move into a community where maintenance would be handled by the staff. At that time her parents had investigated other communities in the area.
“Many of the communities we looked at were too large and impersonal,” notes Karen, “or they were too far removed from the area where they lived, which was pretty close to Pickersgill. Some of the other communities also required an entrance fee, but they preferred Pickersgill’s month-to-month contract.”
“After they moved in, we quickly realized that Pickersgill feels like a large family,” says Karen. “My parents soon got to know everyone, and Dad even became very active in the residents’ Food Committee. It was a very nice transition for them from their home.”
“Through the years, we’ve gotten to know a lot of the people there. Even many of the employees feel like family. I believe this can only happen in a smaller community like Pickersgill.”
“When Mom was in Decker Center receiving care, one of the nurses used some of her handkerchiefs that she had collected over the years, and made them into a quilt. She gave the quilt to Dad when Mom passed away. We treasure that quilt.”
Karen’s dad is a great example of the Pickersgill continuum of care at its best. Three years ago he had a stroke, and needed to make the transition from independent to assisted living. Now, at 91, he still does his own laundry and manages his own medications. Regular assessments determine how much help he really needs, with the goal always being to help him maintain his independence.
“Dad is very independent,” says Karen, “and he’s also cognizant of not wanting to be a burden to anyone. As his needs have increased, Pickersgill has been able to meet those needs in a way that keeps him as self-sufficient as possible. That gives me great peace of mind.”
“A lot of things changed three years ago. Dad moved from his apartment into assisted living, had to give up driving and went into a rehab facility for several weeks. He was able to return to Pickersgill, complete his rehab at Decker Center and transition into assisted living.”
“Mom and Dad’s move to Pickersgill many years ago was a gift to the whole family, as much as it was a relief to them. They realized that dealing with maintaining their home would be a burden, not only to themselves, but also to family members who would need to step in to help. Dad never goes a day without thanking me, and he’s a joy to be around.”
“This experience has been eye opening for me and my husband, as well. We have purchased long-term care insurance so we’ll be able to more easily make the same transition Mom and Dad did 21 years ago.”
John Van Horne, nephew of a Pickersgill resident
“My aunt had lived in her home for more than 50 years when her husband passed,” says John Van Horne. “When she took a fall down the steps while living alone, we decided together that a retirement community would be the best move.”
“Our first and only consideration was Pickersgill, because it was in her neighborhood, in familiar surroundings. So she moved into assisted living there. Since she’s been there she has experienced a few hospitalizations, transitioning each time from the hospital back to the Pickersgill health center, and then back to her assisted living residence.”
“The coordination of her care over time, and responding to all her needs, has just been incredible. They’ve managed all the facets of her care—from the hospital to the doctor to the social worker—in a way that has led to very positive health outcomes for her.”
John’s aunt enjoys the weekly religious service at Pickersgill, and had spoken highly of the variety of activities that are available. Declines in her vision and hearing have since prevented her from participating in many activities.
John recalls, “I distinctly remember a tea party they had at the community. It was truly like an English high tea. The coordinator even brought in different sets of china. This event really resonated with my aunt, and I couldn’t believe her excitement for that day. This went way beyond just having an activity—it was very personal and touching.”
Peace of mind is another important factor for John and his family. His aunt had left a home that she really wasn’t prepared to leave, but after just a few months at Pickersgill, she remarked that she was finally at a place where she could call the community her home. John remembers her saying, “This is my place now.”
“She said this on a day when we had visited her childhood home, and the home where she and her husband had lived in for 50 years,” says John. “As we were eating lunch, she said it had been a very special experience, having been at three of her homes that day.”
“There are a lot of choices around for care, but for me Pickersgill is just about the perfect size. It’s large enough to provide the services and amenities that you need, but small enough to deliver very personal care.”
“My aunt has pretty much fallen in love with the nurse who cares for her, and I believe she has fallen in love with my aunt. I just can’t say enough about it, especially given all the pressures today in healthcare, with insurance and Medicare. Their kindness means they deliver a special level of personal care.”