Retirement homes are often perceived as places for older adults to ‘get away,’ but their real value comes in allowing people to stay in the places they love.
PierceCare of Brooklyn, Conn., where I serve as president and CEO, is a perfect example. Because Brooklyn, with a population of 6,000, is a largely rural area, the options for those who require long-term health care or wish to retire and give up the burdens of home ownership are few.
PierceCare, which offes a range of residential living options in addition to skilled nursing and adult day care, allows them to retire in place without leaving their larger community. This is good not just for our residents, but also for their younger neighbors who benefit from their continued presence.
As much as the culture of caring for older adults has changed over the years, keeping our residents connected to their community has always been one of PierceCare’s primary goals. We started out in 1951 as a home for elderly Baptist women, but PierceCare’s evolution began almost immediately. In 1954 we added an infirmary at the original Pierce Memorial Baptist Home to address the health care needs of our residents. In the mid-1970s we added the Roper Wing to serve beneficiaries of the newly instituted Medicare and Medicaid programs, and have since added a second wing. Today we can provide skilled nursing care for 80 residents.
Creamery Brook, our residential community, provides 83 one- and two-bedroom apartments and, when the next phase is complete, will offer 10 two-bedroom residential cottages. We also offer on-site adult day care – known as Caregiver’s Day Off – at our main campus, and will soon offer PierceCare at Home, assistance with health and daily living needs for those who prefer to remain in their homes.
As a result, Brooklyn has retained many of our ‘legacy’ residents who otherwise might have moved away from the area. One of them is Alice Tillinghast, who at the age of 100 threw out the first pitch at a Boston Red Sox game and, at 107, is now our oldest resident – and still living independently.
It’s the spirit of people like Alice that we hope to preserve in our town through providing Christ-centered care in the spirit of ABHCM agencies and communities throughout the country.
Peace and blessings,
President and CEO, PierceCare
ABHCM Board Member
For more information on Pierce Memorial Baptist Home and Creamery Brook, visit us at www.piercecare.org.