The brand of care we offer at Glenmeadow is very personalized. We see where the needs are, and we reach to meet them. That’s something Andrew Bigda has noticed since he and his sister moved their mother, Frances, into our assisted living community two years ago.
Frances has Alzheimer’s disease. The time came when she would visit her doctor for routine appointments and have difficulty with the follow-up, such as filling prescriptions. Our solution was to have a team members member accompany Frances and offer guidance with the necessary next steps.
We are also careful to be sure Frances is as involved in activities here as she would want to be. We learned she is an accomplished piano player, for instance, and invited her to play for residents in our living room. We make sure to offer gentle reminders about entertainment here; we knock on her door and ask her to come join in.
“My sister and I wanted to be sure our mother was safe and well-provided for,” Andrew says. “With her living at Glenmeadow, we have peace of mind. The team members are responsible and accessible. That’s important to me.”
Andrew lives four hours away in northern Pennsylvania, and his sister, Carolyn Dulchinos, is even farther away in Boulder, Colorado. “I know that she’s safe, that she’s well cared for and that people are attentive to her,” Carolyn says. “They call me to tell me about how she’s doing, and they always start by saying, ‘First of all, it’s not an emergency.’ They are careful and graceful about the way they handle circumstances that, for me, being 2,000 miles away, would make me a much more nervous person otherwise.”
Frances moved here about two years ago from her Longmeadow townhouse less than a quarter-mile away, after Andrew and Carolyn began to worry about whether it was safe for Frances to live alone.
“When she started having problems with her memory, we began talking about a place for her to live,” Carolyn remembers. “Glenmeadow was so close to home and the setting was already familiar to her, which gave her important peace of mind when she moved in.”
Carolyn also had the added benefit of a personal relationship with Linda Edwards, our vice president of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives. “I have such a high regard for Linda’s advice, and I trust her judgement very much,” Carolyn says. “When we toured Glenmeadow, I felt strongly that my mother could be comfortable there.”
Carolyn was particularly grateful that Frances was able to move her cat into her Glenmeadow apartment, helping to create a seamless transition. Glenmeadow even connected the Bigdas to someone who would help care for Frances’ cat. “My mom has a cat tender,” Carolyn says. “I had no idea something like that was available.”
Frances felt a bit uncertain about socializing when she moved in. Our team members—and fellow residents—soon made her feel comfortable. “She was shy and reticent about going to the dining room at first, so I was in close contact with team members to make sure she was getting her meals,” Carolyn remembers. “But everyone ultimately brought her around, not in a pushy way, but in a human way.”
Frances has made friends with similar interests. Many are schoolteachers; Frances was a teacher and administrator herself. She’s well read, like her neighbors. And she loves the arts, including playing the piano. “She’s very much appreciated by the other residents for her nice piano skills,” Carolyn says.
Trips that Glenmeadow arranges to the Springfield Symphony and musical programming and lectures at our Life Plan Community help to keep Frances active. As Carolyn says, “My mother would prefer to still be living on her own, but knowing that this isn’t possible, she’s sure that Glenmeadow is the next best possible option.”