Over the next few issues of Harbor Light, The Continuum will feature an article that discusses the full Continuum process here at Plymouth Harbor, through the eyes of a resident’s family member. Please note that this article series is fictional, and is designed to provide a closer, more detailed look at our continuing care philosophy.
Four years after my father passed, my mother, Jane, who was 76 at the time, decided it was time to start thinking about downsizing. It didn’t happen overnight, but after several talks with my brother and me, she became more comfortable with the idea of giving up her three-bedroom home and living in a place with people closer to her age, a place that offered activities, both intellectual and physical, that promoted social gatherings and friendships, and was there to help her, should the need arise.
She and my father moved from New York to Longboat Key almost 20 years ago when they retired. My brother and I quickly followed suit with our families, wanting to be closer to them when raising our children. Having lived here for some
time, we’d heard of Plymouth Harbor, but it wasn’t until after our tour that we knew it was the perfect place for her. My mother, who is strikingly independent, loved that same quality about Plymouth Harbor – she would have her own apartment, could participate in the activities that she wanted, and could come and go as she pleased. After a few months on the wait list, she got a call about an available apartment in the Tower. Three months later, after selling her home and packing up 20 years worth of furniture and memories, she moved in.
Once settled, she jumped into a number of activities. She also took time to travel – sometimes visiting friends up North in the summers, other times exploring new places with my brother and me and our families. The kids loved coming to visit her apartment on the 17th floor, always admiring her view of the bay. Even though I had no real reason to worry about my mother, I took comfort in the fact that she no longer lived in a big home by herself. The decision to move into a retirement community is a big one, but it is one of the greatest gifts my mother gave to our family. Plymouth Harbor inspired new hobbies, fostered new friendships, and gave us peace of mind.
Five years went by, and after Christmas that year, she became extremely ill from a bacterial infection. We took her to the hospital, where she was treated and released after a few days. Because her case had been so severe, her doctor recommended that she be admitted to Plymouth Harbor’s Smith Care Center for a short time, where someone could be there 24/7, administer the medication she needed, and monitor her progress.
We were so thankful that the Smith Care Center was available to her for that time to recover. After two weeks, she was back in her apartment recuperating. Smith Care Center coordinated with Home Care, and for another two weeks, a nurse came up to her apartment daily to make sure she was eating the right foods and taking the right medication at the right times.
It took her some time to bounce back, but after a month, she made it back to her full self. She was again in good health, and eased back into all of the activities she was a part of before.
Stay tuned to hear more of our fictional Jane’s story in September.