Dear Summerhill Staff: This letter is intended to be shared with the entire staff at Summerhill Assisted Living.
I have never been touched by such a wonderful group of people. Since my mother’s passing, I have felt compelled to reach out and express my deepest, most sincere appreciation and gratitude for the amazing care that my mother received while at your facility. Each and every one of you helped our family in one way or another. From the Administrative Staff to the entire staff of nurses, custodial staff, housekeeping staff, kitchen staff, office personnel, activities director, chaplain, and the wonderful volunteers, and the resident’s themselves, I send to you a warm and heartfelt thank you.
On December 8th, my mom (Alene McLean) left us which also happened to be her 89th birthday. When she first arrived at Summerhill we were unsure how much time we would have left with her. It was apparent right away that Summerhill was a place that not only provided the care my mother needed but also a place where she was considered family. During her 16 months at Summerhill she adjusted well to her surroundings (which can be difficult for someone with her condition) and every time I would visit I could see she was happy.When your mother or loved one is diagnosed with Dementia you walk in never quite knowing what to expect, and then the day comes when she is not sure of whom you are. The staff in Meadows II was so helpful in getting me through those tough times. I would leave after my visit and cry off and on during my 2-hour ride home. But it didn’t take me to many visits to realize that she was being cared for with love and kindness and for that, I am truly grateful.
I will my time there at Summerhill. I always felt so welcomed when I arrived by everyone. I commend you all for the work that you do daily. Sending many thanks and a hug to each and every one of you.
Peace, Health and Happiness to you all in the New Year!
To the wonderful staff at Summerhill: Thank you so much for sending flowers and cards to comfort us after the death of our mother, Priscilla Eldred. She died right when Freddy and I were closing on a house and moving in, so everything kind of happened in a blur for us. It really didn’t seem real to me that she had died until Thanksgiving morning.
Particularly over this past few month, I have been thinking a lot, with deep gratitude, about our experience with Summerhill, and I needed to let you know what a hugely positive part of our lives you have been. Our mother loved you. During these last four years, for probably the only time in her life, people fussed over her, her nails were polished and her hair blown out. The staff would touch her shoulder as they walked by. As she became less able to take care of herself and her caregivers took over her hygiene, she remarked to me, “They are so cheerful and casual about it that I don’t feel embarrassed.” At times, she would be overcome with tears as she talked about how good the staff was to her. When we weren’t able to be there, you loved her for us.
I also have greatly appreciated the conversations and the support that have been a part of my relationship with the Summerhill staff. Some people I have known quite well, some I know your face but not your name. It was a way of being in touch with my mother long after she was able to talk, and it was a talk with a friend. You have found a way to combine professionalism with a very personal touch, something every family badly needs as they experience the gradual disintegration of their parents. It has struck me so forcibly how important your work is, and at the same time how humble and intimate.
You are their last family. The care you give, as they prepare for the great journey into the next world, requires strength and patience and an open heart. I believe every loving action chimes into the universe, and that the residents you care for will carry each tender and gentle and light-hearted thing you do away with them, to wherever it is we go when we die, and it will be a part of their souls forever.
Thank you, all of you, for making this last part of our parents’ lives good for them, and good for us.
The family of Louise Fredericks sincerely thanks the following for their professionalism and expert personalized care:
During Louise’s two and a half years at Summerhill Assisted Living, she was loved and cared for exceptionally well and for that reason truly thought of Summerhill as home. What a gift to spend one’s final years in that type of caring atmosphere, with lovely fellow residents and amazing staff in all departments. Staff too many to name, but who all count and could not be thanked enough. All levels of nursing staff were excellent during Louise’s recent decline and so very much appreciated.
Friendly Folks LLC of Dublin provided additional personalized loving care, namely by Brenda Bourgoine and Sylvie Fox. “Friendly” only begins to describe them. Mom loved welcoming them into her life.
Compassus Hospice of Bedford furnished the proper help for Louise when she and her family needed it most. For that, we are grateful.
Her passing was easier to accept due to all of the above and lastly because of the many friends who visited, sent cards, provided food and so much loving support-both to Louise and her family.
Daughter of Louise Fredericks, Francestown
Just a quick note to let you know how impressed by the Summerhill Staff I have been over this past year regarding my mom’s care and attention.
In particular! The calendars that Jean put together are not only outstanding but such a HUGE project seemingly done by her with ease. Mom and Eleanor were enthralled with theirs. At the Christmas party Jean took the initiative to make sure the less mobile residents had an opportunity to get up on the dance floor. Her many talents certainly do not go unappreciated.
I truly believe that there is goodness in everyone. There are obvious exceptions as we all know. But, for the most part, even if you sometimes have to look long, hard, and deep to find it, most of us have basic goodness within us. That was very obvious when on December 5, 2015, the inner Summerhill family, led by ownership, management and staff, including the incomparable Chef Aylmer, put on a gala holiday celebration to cherish and remember. The Theme was to believe. To witness and participate in it, confirmed our belief that good things happen for good people when a true effort is made to spiritually uplift the spirits of every one present. The evening gave us all a chance to make lasting memories and to share and appreciate the joy of the season. It flowed perfectly because everyone involved knew their part and did it well and with joy through the long wonderful evening.
My mother had a second act to her life. After raising five children she took art classes and became a painter--a pretty good one. She had shows and people bought her paintings.
She and my dad are now living at Summerhill. In the past couple of years they have suffered a series of blows: the death of a beloved sister-in-law, the sale of their longtime home, and most horribly, the death of their youngest daughter. Through it all the wonderful staff at Summerhill has comforted them, encouraged them to get out of bed and eat something, and been there for them in a hundred ways. All of her remaining children live far away, and we visit when we can. We used to worry constantly when they were getting older and living alone. Were they eating? Were they feeling OK? What would they do if one of them fell? Now we know they are surrounded by people who know them well, will notice if anything is wrong, and are cheerful, tender, and very personal with our parents.
To the Staff of Summerhill,
I feel compelled to write a letter to thank all of you for the wonderful care you are giving my father. Every time I visit, he tells me that he is very happy. Of course, there are the times when I arrive unexpectedly to find that he is on a day trip, having fun at a wine tour, visiting Hampton Beach to see the sandcastle competition, out for a festive lunch and ice cream at Kimball's, visiting a miniature horse farm, going for a boat ride, or just enjoying a scenic drive. He's enjoying all this despite the fact that he's 99 years old and uses a walker.
Thoughts about Summerhill.
My Mother has vascular dementia, she lives in the Meadows neighborhood of Summerhill. She can no longer live independently or do any of her daily care tasks without help.
Summerhill is like an extended family. Here are compassionate people who care for my Mother. It's as if I've acquired a bunch of sisters and brothers. They have lightened the burden of caring for Mom. Maybe it's even better than family, because they accept her as she is now. This is sometimes hard to do, especially for those of us who knew her from before dementia.
Dear Mary Pat:
My family and I are so very grateful for the wonderful care that my Mother is receiving at Summerhill Assisted Living. Summerhill came into our lives at exactly the right time! Mom had lived alone for 12 years after Dad passed away. She managed fairly well until 2002 when she suffered a serious stroke. Mom's life (and ours') dramatically changed. With a great deal of physical therapy, continued family support and a strong determination to function normally, Mom returned home.
Dear Mary Pat:
I, as well as the other members of my family, wanted to take the opportunity to tell you how impressed we are with the outstanding care that you are providing for Robert Whitney. The past few years have not been kind to Bob, as his increasing dementia coupled with aphasia left him in an often anxious and confused state with very little left in the way of language to help him relate.
On behalf of the entire Barton family, to the entire staff at Summerhill, please know that we are so grateful for your service to Robert Barton, Sr. You got to know the man that we all admired. He was strong and tough, but quiet and humble. He was a gentleman but capable of great determination. His body was so strong, and that may ultimately have left him wondering how he could hold on so long despite so much physical challenge.
Dear Mary Pat:
On behalf of a very relieved family, I wanted to express my thanks to your exceptional staff. The transition of my mother Bunny Baum was a predictably hard and challenging one. However, you and the team were fantastic. As someone trained in both psychology and divinity I know when I am watching masters in their work. My mom is in the right place with the right people.
My husband and I visited our friend this week for the first time since she has been at Summerhill. Our first impression is that Summerhill is beautiful and the staff is most helpful and gracious.
The staff at Summerhill Assisted Living kept a careful eye on Fathers gradually-declining health. They took care of his medications and his doctors appointments.
The staff at Summerhill Assisted Living made life a lot more fun for Father than he had living home alone. He very much enjoyed attending the frequent live piano recitals and going on the excursions to area restaurants. Dad happily cleaned his plate at the Dining Room three times a day. His only complaint was that the Chef didn't serve French Onion Soup enough. Not bad.
Picking out a place for a parent to spend the last of their days is a hard thing to do on many levels. Gratefully, my father had enough money that my job wasn't a matter of "Who can I find that can take him?", but "What is the best place I can find for him?" The Summerhill facility is beautifully designed and constructed; done by owners with pride not corporations with bottom lines that matter more than doing the right thing. As a business owner, I know that good places attract and keep good help. The caring staff gave me constant peace of mind that I had made the right choice. These women aren't just trained to do the right thing, they do the right thing because that's the kind of people they are. The day my father died several ladies came in on their day off to see him because the word went out that it would be his last day. Wow!
The residents are extremely fortunate to be here. It is a very special place and the staff are such caring and pleasant people that it makes Summerhill outstanding! Thank you for making Summerhill so distinctive in its quality of service.
Amherst, New Hampshire
It's amazing to see the transformation in my Mom since you have been caring for her these past few months. My wife and I have seen my Mom smile more in her short stay with you than in the previous few years.
The move to Summerhill Assisted Living has worked out better than we ever could have imagined. For many years Mom had been very adamant that she would never "go into a home". Therefore, when it became obvious that she needed more care than we could provide, we could not help but feel guilty. However, now that we see how her life has improved, the guilt has been replaced with gratitude and relief. You helped her transition be much easier than we expected. The administrative staff made the move easier by being quite flexible with regards to the moving logistics.
I want to thank your staff for the wonderful care you gave my grandmother in her last months. We are truly grateful to have brought her to Summerhill where your staff was so loving and caring to her and the rest of our family.
Jaffrey, New Hampshire
In April 2010, my mother will turn eighty-eight and begin her fourth year as a Summerhill resident. Looking back on it, no one is more surprised than I am that she has found assisted living to be a source of happiness and well being. I could not have guessed this would happen.
But she is happy now. I know this is true, because she is no longer angry about everything, suspicious of everyone, and pleased about nothing – as she was during the last two years of her life alone in her own home. Her problems then were compounded, of course, by severe weight loss, medication mix-ups, loneliness, poor diet, and a host of other small things that made her miserable. Despite her dismal condition, her rejection of assisted living was steadfast. Extracting her from her solitary life in Cleveland, Ohio, was about as pretty as a hostile takeover -- until we arrived at Summerhill.