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It was for my wife, Susan, and me a great pleasure to meet you at Parker Ridge recently, on June 30th / 2017. Furthermore, the contents of the folder, which you so kindly provided to us, we found to be most helpful and informative. As inveterate itinerants, Susan and I have for some ten years been wondering in what place -- and indeed which country -- we should "officially" retire. We have finally decided that our retirement location should be in Maine. But precisely "where within the state should we settle permanently?" we have, until now asked ourselves.
The Great Outdoors beckoned us and our search led us to the inviting region of DownEast Maine/Acadia National Park. Then, serendipitously, we found our way to nearby Parker Ridge on the beautiful Blue Hill Peninsula
I want to be as sure as I can that Susan will be well-situated, safe, and in pleasant surroundings with nice neighbors. Being assured that she will already be comfortably settled in such an environment -- and one where there exists the opportunity of a continuum of care and aging in place -- will greatly ease my mind. After her many decades of providing professional and empathetic nursing care to others -- in a variety of settings in the U.S. and abroad -- Susan (a retired Registered Nurse and former Director of Nursing) deserves the option of the wonderful services and amenities such as are available at Parker Ridge. We both appreciate that there are several care options available (i.e., respite care, assisted living, hospice services) if and when residents might need such services. That arrangements can be made for temporary -- or permanent services, if need be -- through the Personal Care Service Program, was also most reassuring to learn.
We thank you for the copy of your well-written article from Maine Seniors Magazine. We'd already been most impressed with Parker Ridge as a result of your thorough and informative tour this past Friday. Now, after reading your article, we're much more knowledgeable about the Blue Hill Peninsula and the vibrant township of Blue Hill. The area has, indeed, so much to offer! In addition, many services, such the Trade Winds (super-center) grocery store, a Rite Aid Pharmacy, and a gasoline station are just down the road from Parker Ridge. The nearness of the hospital is a real bonus. Likewise, the post office, town bookstore, the renowned Inn, and what appears to be a wonderful library! The Blue Hill Heritage Trust -- with its many scenic acres and hiking ?? trails -- plus the existence of the Co-Op & Cafe and the numerous area farms combine to make the Peninsula a truly special place.
Thank you for so graciously sharing with us many helpful details, both about the Blue Hill area and concerning the Parker Ridge Community. You escorted us with patience and cordiality to the key areas within The Inn. Susan particularly enjoyed the tour of the Assisted Living wing. We appreciated your walking us over to see one of the cottages. It was most kind of you to arrange that at short notice. (Susan was happy, too, of the opportunity to briefly speak French, after being introduced to the personable lady from Switzerland. She wanted me to ask you to tell Marianne: "Bonjour!".)
With Kind Regards,
Expressing our deep appreciation and gratitude
I am writing to express our deep appreciation, and gratitude to your institution and wonderful staff for the impact they had on my late father, Alton "Tone" Downer, a resident at Parker Ridge for 2 3/4 years.
I'm sure like most, Tone arrived when the option to live independently was not possible, so it's not easy for a resident to accept. It did not take long for Dad to appreciate how well one could live there, with the care he knew he needed.
Though you have lovely surroundings, a clean, well-kept facility, and outstanding food and dining, the most influential aspect on the quality of Dad's last chapter was the staff. Dad got to have an individual relationship with each CNA and nurse. He was a lifelong educator, who loved connecting with other in a unique way. Parker Ridge staff allowed him to continue his love of that connection. To a person, everyone was warm, genuine, caring. As a broader observation, the staff appears to clearly recognize and prize each residents' personality and at least to me, seem to celebrate each resident for it. It makes for a positive, happy place to live, to work and to visit!
As Dad's awareness and abilities waned in his last year, the staff always treated Dad with respect. We so cherish that. The facilities and housekeeping staff were also personal and compassionate. They see themselves part of the care team, and were always kind with their support.
Your Assisted Living operation and people are outstanding, and we are so blessed to have been with you. Thank you to all who were part of making Tone's last chapter in life one with dignity and joy!
Thank you for your loving kindness
I owe the staff at Parker Ridge a thank you for all you have kindly and thoughtfully done for Betty over the last two plus years. She has thrived at Parker Ridge and it was the best possible living arrangement in her elderly years. Thank you for everything - I am deeply grateful to you and will never, ever forget your kind way - Thank you for your loving kindness to Betty.
Moving from our comfortable home of 54 years brought an anxiety that was quickly calmed as I became part of a vibrant and welcoming community. My pretty cottage has all the features for a comfortable life. I am happy being involved in the many social activities and being surrounded by the beauty of coastal Maine.
Cherie's mother lived at Parker Ridge from 1994 until she died in 2006 at the age of 102. Here is a statement she made during an interview with Jim Straub of The Ellsworth American:
I don't want this to be the typical paragraph you read about retirement communities with their "warm atmosphere, many amenities, breathtaking views, great dining and interesting activities". They all say that. What you cannot know until you live at Parker Ridge is what your life will be like. For some reason, probably "the breathtaking view," my mom and dad moved in here several years ago. They both are gone now, which makes me an authority on this place and how it works. When you first move in you will have "fabulous food" in a dining room with a "breathtaking view" but it is the interesting people around you that make it what it is. For me over the years when I visited, it got to the point where I didn't care whose table I was at for dinner. Every single person at Parker Ridge had an intriguing story to tell. I just listened to them.
Parker Ridge is just what it appears to be when you first drive up the road. What you may not realize until you live here is that it is small enough to know everyone and large enough to be fulfilling every day. When friends back home asked where mom and dad were, I liked to say, "They are living on a cruise ship with a concrete foundation on top of a mountain in Maine. Like the Egyptians did, they live with a staff of housekeepers, waiters, chefs and gardeners. They eat every night in fancy dining room with white tablecloths and wake up in a room with a view."
That brings me to the other thing you cannot know about this particular place until you live here. I know it will sound sappy when you read this but tears still well up in my eyes when I remember all the people here who did so much for my parents. Like the people who live here, the people who work here are a varied crew of different personalities with all kinds of stories. I can tell you they are altogether a loving group with good leadership. Unlike other retirement communities, this one is small enough to care for each other, big enough to be interesting every day and old enough to have the experience to deal with whatever happens in life.
That's it, I can't think of anything else I'd want.
One of the most difficult things my siblings and I ever had to do was move our mother from her home of 50 years in Ellsworth, Maine, to an assisted living facility. The thought of placing my mother in a small cramped room in a place where her movement would be restricted was very depressing. And then we found Parker Ridge, a wonderful community located nearby in Blue Hill. Not only were the facilities bright and sunny, but each apartment was large enough to make it seem like a home. The Parker Court staff worked closely with us to make my mother's transition as easy as possible. Together we worked out a plan that allowed my mother the freedom to walk the beautiful grounds where the staff and residents alike always kept a keen eye on her. My mother loved the sunny dining room. She had her own chair by the window where she could watch the birds come to the feeders, and on warm days she would sit outside in the sun and talk with the other residents and staff.
As her Alzheimer's progressed, over the seven years she lived at Parker Court, the staff took steps to help her better cope with her illness. The chefs and wait staff paid close attention to her dietary needs and the CNAs provided her with extra cues to help reduce her confusion.
When my mother became ill and required hospice care, we were so happy and relieved to learn that we could keep her at Parker Ridge in her own apartment. The staff took wonderful care of her and us. She died peacefully, surrounded by people who loved her.
We (Marjory Chesney's children) have been so happy with the considerate loving care our mother and our dad (before he passed away) have received over their many years at Parker Ridge. The beautiful physical surroundings, caring professional staff, and delicious, healthy meals all lend themselves to a high degree of satisfaction and comfort for our mother. Parker Ridge does a great job of keeping the residents connected to greater Blue Hill community activities, further adding to her total happiness and satisfaction. It is also apparent that she shares with great pleasure her participation the "in house" programs provided.
She continues to have a very happy life at Parker Ridge as she approaches her 105th birthday next month!
For every individual or couple there is a right time to make that move, but to recognize and accept it often is anything but easy. Each case is unique, with many different factors shaping the decision. There is, however, one general rule which, though flexible, if accepted and followed, has in most cases proved valid, and it is this:
Make your move earlier rather than later.
Of course there are factors such as the loss of one's life partner that can precipitate a quick decision. However, for single persons or couples who have entered their 70's and are still active and in good health, entering a retirement community may be thought of as something for consideration in the future. "Goodness, I'm not ready for that yet!" is often the reaction. The trouble is, when the time comes you realize, unpleasantly, that you really need the support provided by a retirement community, it is already too late to enjoy the pleasures that such a community can offer when you are still able to enjoy them.
My wife and I had an ideal life in a home in Brooksville. We were, we thought, still young, at 69 and 73, and certainly very active physically in the care of our home and acres, but "perhaps a little less so than the year before" So, on an imaginary sheet of graph paper we drew a curve, projected over the next 10 years, representing our estimated energy level. The curve was of course a downward one and getting steeper year by year. With a bit of a shock we looked at where that curve of realistic expectations would land us 10 years later. Other considerations began to pop up in our thinking. The house would need some foreseen maintenance work. That we could plan for. But what about the unforeseen unbudgeted repairs that had hit us occasionally in the past? There might, and probably would be, more during the next 10 years and would we be able to handle these, as well as the rising town taxes and costs of live-in help as our own physical strength diminished?
So we started looking into retirement communities, and when Parker Ridge took shape on the drawing board just next door in Blue Hill, we decided that prudence dictated a move to it as soon as it was ready, which was 2 years later.
Moving is always stressful, and more so as we age. We were able to do the job ourselves with help from our nearby sons. We settled in and had a great sigh of relief and said: "Thank God we did it now and not later!"
We feel that we made the right decision. The cares of home-ownership were lifted from our shoulders. The financial uncertainties of home-ownership were left behind us, and instead we had the predictable monthly maintenance fee, which we could budget for, factoring in the certain yearly increases for rising cost of operation. Best of all, we found ourselves among congenial and friendly fellow members and engaged in new activities. It was like starting a new life, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Now 14 years later, having moved down that imaginary curve to a point where our energy and physical strength have significantly declined, we realize that making the move today would be a bit less rewarding and certainly much more stressful and emotionally dislocating.
Retirement in a community such as ours can be truly delightful if the move is made in good time!
-Dick & Mary Chase
The sense of community here convinced me to choose Parker Ridge. It was apparent not only in the kindness people showed me during my temporary stay last winter, but in the caring and consideration they show to one another.
For many of us, Parker Ridge represents the safety and security of a good anchorage after the daily cares and concerns of active life-styles in more populated locales. This is particularly true for those who also own vacation camps or summer homes on this lovely peninsula, but are in need of a good "winter harbor" and alternate lodging throughout the year.
When Patty and I joined the Parker Ridge clan in 1998, we were already in love with the area, having spent twenty-five summers with youngsters in the camp business in Brooksville, and then thirty more vacationing from school-mastering at our family retreat on Eggemoggin Reach. We knew we'd appreciate the winter-time convenience and collegiality in the carefree atmosphere of Parker Ridge, in addition to the gourmet enticement of dinners so readily available. Shoveling, plowing, mowing, and maintenance needs would now all be covered, and we have retained a longer-range mooring for the later stages of our "voyage", in a most pleasant, well designed community in beautiful Blue Hill.
We have not been disappointed with our winter lives at Parker Ridge and find ourselves back with friends frequently for meals, activities, and meetings throughout the remainder of the year.
We all share in a sense of confidence that a great amount of careful attention is being spent in charting the course for our future "life on the Ridge."
Come join us for Sunday Brunch sometime soon, and enjoy the camaraderie. It's a friendly place, and the folks are as warm as the meals.
I traded worry for happy at Parker Ridge It takes courage or calamity or both to move on from the familiar to a new Environment. Parker Ridge has challenged me to stretch my limits. It's an amazing, welcoming community offering physical support and friendship.