For the first time in nearly two years, Marcia and her siblings are at peace.
Instead of worrying about whether their mom left the burner on in the kitchen — again — or if she’s fallen — again — they’re joining her for singalongs at The Arbors and stopping by her assisted living apartment for dinner.
“It makes our life wonderful knowing that she’s well cared for,” Marcia says.
After exploring four assisted living communities in the Chicopee area; asking a banker, an elder law attorney, and a cardiologist for recommendations; and going on tours and grilling executive directors, Marcia, her brother and sister chose The Arbors at Chicopee.
Here are five reasons why they chose The Arbors at Chicopee
1. It’s Not a Nursing Home
Marcia’s parents started having serious health problems about a year ago. Due to injuries sustained during falls — the EMTs had been to the house 25 times in the past year, Marcia estimates — they both ended up in a nursing home.
Marcia’s father eventually passed away, and that’s when the nursing home did not feel like the right place for her mother.
“After my father passed, my mom would just sit in her chair and do her word search,” Marcia recalls. “She’s pretty with it, but she was one of the few people there who had cognitive skills. She’d get dressed up every day. She’d have her jewelry on, her hair combed. We wanted her to be in a place where she could socialize. She didn’t need a nursing home at that point.”
2. The Staff Feels Like Family
Marcia and her siblings started exploring nearby assisted living options. At one facility, Marcia asked to speak with the marketing director. The receptionist told Marcia that she was eating lunch and unavailable.
“We don’t want my mother here then,” Marcia recalls thinking. “If you can’t give me time to talk, who is going to take care of my mother.”
At The Arbors at Chicopee, on the other hand, Marketing Director Ryan McGuire was not only available. He also gave the family two separate tours, walked them through their financial options, and helped Mom feel comfortable from the get-go.
“I just had a warm feeling,” Marcia says. “The people working there are friendly. They became like family.”
3. There Is Always Something Going On
When comparing assisted living communities, Marcia had read that it’s a good idea to stop by unannounced — without a scheduled tour — to truly get an idea for what the place is like. When she walked into The Arbors on a Friday afternoon, she saw residents hanging out in the lobby, a group of people playing games, and activity in the pub.
“I sat down and started chatting with a couple ladies there,” Marcia says. “They said my mother was going to love it there.”
And she does. Since Marcia’s mom moved in, she’s met a group of friends she likes to eat dinner with. She loves getting manicures and hand massages in the salon. She goes down when they have the rosary.
“My brother and sister and I each have the calendar of events at home and remind her to go,” Marcia says. “If there’s an event we want her to go to, the staff will go and ask her if she wants to come down.”
4. The Care Is Top Notch
When Marcia’s mom was living at home, she fell a few times getting into or out of the tub. At The Arbors, a staff member is always there to lend a hand.
Shortly after Marcia’s mom moved in, she wandered down to the kitchen looking for a nurse. She later told Marcia that “a very nice young man sat down with me until the nurse came.” That nice young man was McGuire, the Marketing Director.
Last week, the family got together and took Mom out for dinner, so when she didn’t go down to the restaurant for dinner, a staff member came to check on her.
“I think that’s wonderful,” Marcia says.
5. It’s Centrally Located
Marcia lives about 90 miles away from The Arbors at Chicopee, but her brother is just a seven-minute drive away.
“It’s a great location,” Marcia says. “If we want to take my mom out to lunch, there are lots of restaurants nearby. It’s on a road with a Marshalls, a podiatrist. It’s right off the Massachusetts Turnpike. And it looks beautiful.”
“We fell in love with The Arbors right away,” Marcia says. “My brother and I both said, ‘We want to come here!’”
If you’re researching assisted living communities for your loved one and want to find the right place like Marcia and her siblings did, many questions may be running through your head. How quickly can I get my parents help? What type of help is best for my parents? Can we afford this?
For more tips, download our eBook How to Choose the Right Assisted Living Community.