With sincere regret I am unable to attend the Service of Remembrance on March 2. My husband and I are away on a planned trip. I will miss seeing all of you and paying tribute to all the loved ones who passed away this year, including my dear mom Barbara Leader who died peacefully in February at almost 97 years old. For more than five years the staff and caregivers at NWCA gave loving care to our mom. My sister Bev and I will be forever grateful. As the time went by we came to know many of the families who also had mother’s, fathers, sisters, brothers, spouses, sons, daughters at NWCA. We shared stories and experiences with tears and laughter. We were support for each other in the halls, on the patio, in the garden, and at family council meetings. I will never forget all your kindness toward Barbara and our family. I will be with you in spirit at Friday’s service.
My mother spent the last three years and four months of her life at the Newton-Wellesley Alzheimer’s Center. She was suffering from vascular dementia. In her case, it primarily meant that she was delusional because of the location of a stroke. It was also not safe for her to be alone. Up until the last week of her life, I could usually take her out for coffee. She really enjoyed talking to many of the employees. She was very fond of Susan, the activities director, and Nikki, who does such a wonderful job at the reception desk by answering questions and helping with confusing paperwork. Everyone from the Director of Nurses, Maryanne, to the cleaning staff were always cordial and concerned. Susan always strives to keep everyone as involved as possible – no easy task with the dementia population. There are occasional field trips and when the weather is warm, picnics in the fenced-in yard. One winter when there was a noro-virus outbreak that appeared in a number of nursing homes and hospitals, the staff was simply excellent at keeping the situation under control. For me, that was the real test of skill and dedication. It’s one thing to keep a nursing home running well and when there are no emergencies, its’ another when patients are getting sick left and right and need careful handling. The family of one of my mother’s roommates reported how pleased they were that their mother wasn’t constantly getting pneumonia which had been a problem at another facility. Toward the end of her life, my mother developed swallowing difficulties. This can result in aspirating food into the lungs and that can lead to pneumonia. The staff was always on top of it. Because of the relationships I developed with the staff and residents, I am staying on as a volunteer.
My mother has been on this journey, and I with her, since the early 2000s, when she was in her early 70s. At the time, she was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment so, very quickly, we moved her to independent living to try and prolong her cognition. As her illness quickly advanced through the stages of Alzheimer's, she lived for a time in assisted living. Following a hospitalization after a fall that resulted in a broken hip, surgery and delirium, I became aware that it was time for a nursing home placement (after two and a half months of inpatient psychiatric elder care in another facility). The search began, a process I knew well from caring for my dad. Ironically, I'd lived near NWAC for more than 25 years, never giving it a second thought as I drove by it twice a day. This was a depressing time for me, as I remembered Mom as the independent hard-working teacher she had been for most of her life. Mom needed acute care now - and NWAC had what mattered most: kind and attentive caregivers who knew what this illness requires on a daily basis; skilled professionals who followed procedures and protocols that insured my mother's well being in all manner of physical, medical and psychic needs; and the opportunity to accept reality with their guidance and experience. As her disease has progressed over these three and a half years, it has become clear that these patient and compassionate people have a special gift.
NWAC is where all the angels are and is where my Mom lives now!This had to be the hardest thing my brother ,sister and I had to do.We had to take our Mom’s independence away and put her somewhere safe.What we found is so much more than safe…..this is such a wonderful facility filled with the most caring and compassionate people who are making such a difference with all the residents and their families. The moment you come through the doors you are greeted with a smile and a warm welcome from Nikki.Continue upstairs to visit with your loved one and any staff person,nurse or other person you encounter engages you with a smile. I have also sat in on activities with my Mom and the staff tries to draw each and every person into the activity with such gentle encouragement so they will feel special. All these people feel like friends that are just helping us take care of our Mom.One person in particular who always seems to be there for us is Kara. Whether it is a silly question or a day that we are sad and need to know what our Mom is doing. She responds and always makes us feel better and without her we would never have made the transition of letting our Mom go. She has been with us every step of our journey and continues to be our connection to Mom! A most sincere thank you and all of NWAC for all that you do!
My father has been a resident at the Newton Wellesley Center since September, 2012. I am very pleased with the quality of care he receives on many levels, including medical, nutritional, and social care. The staff excels at communicating all of his needs and the nuances of his unique situation, and no development goes unnoticed. The facility staff scores highly both for professional skill and, equally as important, for kindness and compassion. My family enjoys peace of mind knowing that Dad is safe, highly monitored, and living in a clean environment where he can engage in many group activities. Sincerely
My wife and I decided to move my mother to the Newton Wellesley Center for Alzheimer’s Care because we didn’t feel as though the previous facility was giving her the care that she needed for her Alzheimer’s. We felt as though this was the perfect place for my mother from the moment my wife and I met with Kara and the other employees at Newton Wellesley. Everyone is very nice, always takes the time to explain everything in detail, and very understanding. We love how they do daily activities, monthly updates, and most of all treat my mother like she’s family. I really appreciate what they do everyday. Everyone always has a smile on their face and has a great attitude. The facility is very clean and has a great feel to it. My mother loves being here and says how happy she is each time go to visit her.
I want to express my thanks to you and the staff for the courteous and professional manner extended to me during the admission process for my Aunt Claire Berard. The entire experience of admitting my Aunt seemed effortless. I was impressed with the honesty, integrity, and straightforward approach from all the staff. Many thanks to you and the wonderful staff for the kind, courteous and friendly treatment I receive each time I come in to visit my Aunt Claire. It is comforting to know that when I leave I know that Aunt Claire is in good hands and receiving care from staff that know her, respect her and genially care about her. The wonderful and consistent care by your dedicated staff has reassured me that this is the right place for my Aunt. I always appreciated the prompt, professional response to all my questions and concerns. I always receive updates on any changes in her condition. I would highly recommend Newton Wellesley Center for Alzheimer’s Care. Warm Regards
Thank you for looking after Grandma for over five years. Your staff always let us use the conference room if there were no meetings and if we couldn't go out in the nice yard (which reminded me a lot of Grandma's yard) so we could just visit with Grandma. We'll never know whether Grandma ever believed Mom when she told her she was at the "senior" center" but I'm glad you had an activities programme in place that helped that little lie effectively. Can I also say how glad I am that you have very knowledgeable and proactive staff (Marianne) who ordered in the medicine needed and the very end in case something happened on a weekend. The great staff you have cared about the whole family, not just the resident. It take very special people to do what you do there in very trying conditions. It's underpaid and under rated and difficult but so important. We appreciate it.
I am a registered nurse and had the privilege of working as a nurse manager at Newton Wellesley Center for Alzheimer's Care (previously known as Newton Wellesley Alzheimer's Center) for 24 yrs., until I recently retired. I will always remember and respect the devotion of the staff to provide sincere quality of care. Being part of the 'front line' I witnessed it all. From the extra time spent with a resident -just holding their hand to the dignified manner when providing daily care in a way we would want our own mother or father to be treated. I will miss laughing with a resident, hugging a family member, and seeing every department from the leadership down - contributing to making this facility a " Home" for those who live there.
About a year ago, our mother was diagnosed with dementia and we found she would no longer be able to live alone at home. We considered doing in home care but realized that was going to be an option. When we started looking at nursing facilities it was immediately apparent that we should be looking for places that offered dementia care. Most places had dementia units or floors but none specialized in dementia care like Newton Wellesley. We knew immediately after meeting the caring staff that we had found the right place for our mother. This is what Newton specialized in and was exactly what we needed. We felt so comfortable with Kara in Admissions and Mary Ann and Georgianna of the nursing staff. They were so caring and professional right from the start. They kept in close touch with us and would talk to us as much or as little as we wanted. We never once felt like we were burdening anyone by our questions. They communicated to us every step of the way and helped us realize we were not alone. We made several friends not only with the patients but with their visiting families as well. I would highly recommend Newton Wellesley to anyone in our situation. The best place to go for dementia care.
Having to place my husband in an Alzheimer's facility at 64 years old was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but caring for him at home was becoming much too difficult for me to handle alone. After looking at several locked Alzheimer's units at nursing homes, I decided that my husband, being younger due to early onset Alzheimer's, would be a better fit at the Newton Wellesley Center for Alzheimer's. The staff there was so supportive and reassuring during the devastating transition. Although unable to verbalize his feelings, I could tell my husband was very comfortable from the first day with his nurses and aides who are all very caring, respectful and supportive. The staff is very well trained in handling all of the symptoms of this debilitating disease, including agitation. Oddly enough, my husband isn't as agitated here as he was at home, which proves what a good fit it is for him. He has lots of space to wander freely, and we are looking forward to spending a lot of time in the large outdoor courtyard this summer.
It’s such a heart-wrenching decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, but my husband’s nurses care for him, and about him...and he knows that. The staff understands his constant wanderings and intrusions, and they do not become angry or frustrated with him, or with any other patient. They really are a very special group of people who do an amazing job of thankless, exhausting, and heart-crushing work. This is not 'a job' for them...it is a calling. It could not be done so well, otherwise. The administrative staff, from my first contact with Kara onward, provided support for me while they gave care to my sweetheart. I was lost. I was bereft. I felt guilty that I could no longer do the job of ten necessary to keep him home. And I missed (and do, more every day) the man who could gently enfold me in his arms, dance me around the floor, and make me feel as safe as a baby bird in its mother's nest. And the staff at Newton Wellesley did not judge me for my feelings of loss. They held us up, and knew us in our hearts and souls. And they took care of us – both of us. And they did so with kindness and, best of all, humor and tolerance for my weird sense of humor. I can't say enough about this place. If you need to place someone you love, consider Newton Wellesley seriously. We need a placement that allows us the peace of mind to know it's okay to let an army of caring people take over for us when that time has come. The staff may not have been as lucky as we, to have had our loved ones in our lives for as long as we did, but they will treat him or her as if they had. They are not taking over for us...they are joining our fight, supporting us. We're all in this together for the ones we love. Newton Wellesley knows this. They honor it. They live it.
I feel very blessed to have had the help that I received when I needed it the most. Between Mclean Hospital, you and your staff at the Center, our mission was accomplished! Your staff is compassionate, kind and caring, caring for real! I give you and your team a lot of credit for doing the job that you do: you help us, the family members, deal with some of the most difficult decisions in our life and you strive to make it as pleasant as possible. I cannot thank you enough for all your help as we prepared my father for his final destination in Greece. Happy Holidays to you and your entire staff!