Dear Linda and all the EPOCH Staff,
My parents' time was too short with you all, but what a remarkable turn around for both Sunny and Peter in your community. They had lived independently not 3 miles from your place, but were dealing with isolation, safety issues, reactivity and lack of "team spirit" when facing the wonders of aging.
For Peter, I believe he crept out of a shell when he appeared on your doorstep. He had more conversations with people at EPOCH than in previous years. You celebrated his unique habits. You allowed him to control his path until the end.
For Sunny, she was able to take on her flow, debilitating condition on her own terms. You gave her renewed energy to play piano while she could and engage friends without having to worry about anything. She didn't have to fret when Peter headed out the door to get his strawberries!
You all helped in some way, and the caring came through with every conversation we had with staff. Thank you for making their last months and years meaningful, stable and memorable. By trusting that decisions under your advisement were thoughtfully done, it allowed us to focus on being their children when we visited.
To the Outstanding Caregivers of Wellness,
Thank you for your kindness and skill in helping Helen in all the ways she can no longer help herself.
Your compassion, understanding, patience, skill and hard work have kept her safe and comfortable in her new home, and have given me great peace of mind every day of the six months she has been at EPOCH.
As I put away the last of my Passover dishes and sweep the last crumbs of Matzah I realized that I hadn't written to thank all of you for the seder that was prepared for the EPOCH residents. Although my Mom wasn't able to stay for the whole seder, we both, in our own way, appreciated having a place where we could sit together and take in the memories of what Passover has meant in our lives.
My mom came from a large family and every year when my grandparents were alive, we would gather the immediate family of some 30 souls. My grandfather would conduct the whole seder in Hebrew while at the very end of a series of tables and cardtables, the children would be laughing and chattering and just having a wonderful time being together...we were all so appreciative of the wonderful meal our grandparents prepared and looking back now it was a miracle in itself...no modern conveniences and in a tiny kitchen all was made from scratch by just the two of them...even down to the wine...but we all helped in the end,. cleaning and putting away. It seems so magical their one bedroom apartment expanded to accomodate all of us.
So this year as I sat with my Mom, I was hoping that she too would remember the love and care. When we walked into the room and saw how the staff took the time and energy to make the gym so festive as well as the way they welcomed the residents, I felt that this too is a place to continue our tradition. Perhaps there were complaints about details overlooked, but the spirit and container for us to reminesce and to sit together was very important and even though my Mom couldn't stay until the end, when we arrrived in Bridges, so did her meal, hot including the Kosher piece of chicken I had brought for her. It’s in those details that are the essence of being really taken care of. For this I want to thank all of you...particular thanks to Karen and Bob for all they did on this Passover Journey of the more challenging part of my Mom's life.
I am a family member and a healthcare professional in this industry. Epoch provides the highest quality of care that I have ever witnessed. Their staff members are educated and trained to provide excellent care to their residents. I sleep well at night knowing my mother is under their care.
We want to thank your staff for taking such good care of our mom since she moved into EPOCH in 2001. We often wondered if we had done the right thing – if we had moved mom into assisted living too soon. So many times along this journey, the wellness staff helped us along, sharing insights, wisdom and comfort through their experiences caring for EPOCH residents. From the truly amazing and inspiring members of your memory club, activities and fitness center, maintenance department, kitchen wizards and front desk staff, to your transportation, housekeeping and of course the extraordinary angels in BRIDGES®, everyone we ever met and befriended at EPOCH treated mom with genuine sensitivity, friendliness and compassion. Your team laughed with mom, encouraged her, stimulated her and offered sympathetic understanding and guidance at our most difficult times. We appreciate everything your team did to make mom’s days and nights as safe, comfortable and pleasant as possible. Mom did not want us to worry about her or fear for her welfare and safety; thanks to all the very special angels at EPOCH, we never did.
I am a geriatric doctor and medical director at Evergreen House Health Center in East Providence. When my mother graduated from 80 days of rehab at my facility after her stroke, we found EPOCH and bless that day... Good food, social stimulation, intellectual programs and chair aerobics have brought mom back to thriving health. Her nursing team has kept track of her every need, medication and many visits to medical specialists and the dentist. I am a doctor, but I can come and just be her son.
For more than six years, my husband and I have had a family member living with EPOCH. My father-in-law was ﬁrst. He was alone after the loss of my mother-in-law. He made friends and was at peace while he was there. Then my mom called and said, “We can’t do it anymore. We need help.” With the support of your staff, we moved them here. In selecting an apartment, I tried to duplicate their lovely, sunny Florida apartment. When my mom ﬁrst saw the EPOCH apartment, she cried. It was bright, sunny and lovely. In May, my dad celebrated his 95th birthday. He is fragile, but always treated with respect and dignity. I work professionally with seniors and have the opportunity to be in many assisted living facilities - EPOCH on the East Side is the best. I am grateful for the love, care and nurturing you have provided for all our family members.
What makes EPOCH special is the staff. They know your name and everything important to us. The dining staff is friendly and prompt — every meal is a pleasure. My nursing assistant gives me attention when I need it and senses when I need to be alone. I signed up for three different theater subscriptions. That’s as good as being in NY and much easier! While I miss my old friends, I am making some new ones.
My father had a subdural hematoma that required two surgeries. He was living in NYC and it became clear that he was having some issues that made living alone a challenge. He also needed some help managing medication and some personal care.
Our lives have changed since he made the move to EPOCH. My father seems to thrive on the routine and familiarity there. The staff at EPOCH is absolutely wonderful – so supportive and loving. Life at EPOCH has relieved him of some of the expectations of his life in NYC. He is free to manage his own time at his own pace. There is no pressure to perform as the businessman he once was.
EPOCH has given us tremendous peace of mind. My father did not want to be a burden to any of his family members (even though I wanted him to come and live with me!) I know that he is safe and well cared for, and I feel secure knowing that. EPOCH made a very difficult transition a pleasant and easy one for us. They supported our whole family – not just my dad.
My dad was a businessman and entrepreneur. While he can’t pursue this path any longer, he is able to find enough things to keep him busy. He also loved to exercise – he continues this at EPOCH quite nicely! My dad also loves crossword puzzles and trivia games and continues to do both at EPOCH.
The EPOCH team is an amazing one. They work with my father and me to come up with the best plan. They are always available to talk with us about anything. It is much easier to spend time together now. I do not have to worry that my father has wandered off or become lost. He takes pride in his living accommodations and I feel like a guest rather than a visitor.
My father has always been outgoing and friendly. Over the past year though, I have seen him withdraw a bit because he does not remember things as well as he once did. One night, he was dancing with the staff as a resident played the piano. He had a wonderful time and I know it made him feel like his old self!
What I like best about living at EPOCH is that all the residents are very friendly. My family doesn’t have to worry about me. Wellness will call them if I’m ill. It’s an attractive place to live. It’s very clean and there are choices of activities. You are well taken care of here if you need any help, but you can still feel independent. You’re free to stay in your room or go to the various activities. It’s up to me.
Everyone says “hello” and is friendly. I knew some of the residents before I moved in, but I play games with different people. I haven’t got a “special” buddy. At night, I eat with the same three women, but at lunch, different people wherever.
The staff is very kind and considerate. Judy, the fitness director, keeps you feeling fit and knows what you can or should not do. The wait staff is very helpful and always tries hard to please you.
My days are full and enjoyable. I typically get out of bed at 7:30 a.m. and have breakfast in my room. My daughter calls me at 8:30 a.m. and I get dressed. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I go to chair exercise. On Thursday morning, I do tai chi and then play Rummikub at 11:00 a.m. After lunch, I go to the 2:00 p.m. program or play Bridge. At night, I like to watch the movie in my room or read.
As far as my favorite activities, Rick Benjamin’s poetry class is the highlight of the week. Also, I try never to miss a program of classical music. I like lectures, such as Gary Hylender, as well.
I don’t have to worry about individual living expenses, bills, food shopping or transportation. There’s a certain routine of knowing what to expect each day.
I think my apartment is the most attractive one in the whole building! I have seven windows and a beautiful view of the Seekonk River! I have 14 plants (Three hang up at the windows). I like the shape of the room; even though it’s only one room, it seems like two. It’s very comfortable and I can adjust the temperature the way I want it to feel. It is bright and usually very sunny.
We have many dining choices at EPOCH. I am used to a low-salt diet. Sometimes if I can’t eat what I’ve chosen, I ask for something else. I’d like to see more choices of fresh vegetables.
A complete different life is available for me at my age. I wanted to stay on the East Side of Providence. I had friends who were here and I visited as a guest at EPOCH many times. I wanted to rent and not buy, but after two weeks, I wanted to remain.
When I needed to go to the hospital, they sent me immediately and made sure I had transportation back to EPOCH. My blood pressure is taken whenever I ask them. When I have been sick (rarely), a nurse checks on me to see how I am feeling. My family is very pleased with the care that I get at EPOCH and the programs that are available for me here.
One evening a waiter, John, from the dining room met me at the door holding out his hand. In it were two rings of mine. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t realize they were not on my finger. I had a guard on the finger, so they wouldn’t slip off. John had found them on the floor. He had asked several people until I was the only one left from the table I was sitting at. One was a very valuable diamond ring. Honesty and integrity! I appreciate that!
My husband Joseph and I lived here about three years and now I am here alone at EPOCH with all the loving help I need at age 92. All the staff is very attentive to my needs (hopefully not too many!). EPOCH is a clean and pretty place to be. I am well adjusted and comfortable here.
I have formed good relationships with most of the residents, especially in the various activities that we participate in together. Karen, the activities director, sees to it that we keep busy all the time! The administrator and her staff are very concerned about our well-being. The wait staff is unbelievingly aware of what each person likes to eat. Nurses are always there when needed. The receptionists and maintenance people are very helpful.
After I get up and have breakfast, I like to go to exercise class (three times a week), read the paper or play Rummikub. I teach a Yiddish class once a week and participate in current events. At night, I like to go to scheduled entertainment or watch a movie or television. My favorite activities are armchair aerobics, drama group, music, movie review class and even poetry class. There are too many enjoyable activities to mention.
EPOCH’s services and amenities have made my life easier. I truly enjoy not having to shop for groceries, cook and clean my house. The driver takes me to my temple, physician or for purchases I need to make.
My apartment has a living room, bedroom, two bathrooms, three closets and it is very sunny and bright. It has my flowers and I love it! Also, the food here is good and nutritious. I really like breakfast. There are so many choices. I usually skip lunch and just have some yogurt and crackers, followed by a full dinner at about 5:15 p.m.
My family, who comes to see me very frequently, lives in VA and Maryland and likes the EPOCH community very much. They know that I am comfortable here. In fact, my daughter has a chat with many residents that know her well by now. For 46 years, we lived in Greenville, RI. We built our home there. It was a quiet neighborhood – just six houses on Whispering Pine Street. We had lots of trees and our son and daughter grew up in this rural community.
Because of our age, we had to make a decision to move. We wanted to be near a synagogue, our many physicians and friends at EPOCH that my husband and I had visited. So we decided to join this good community!
I never really worried about not being taken care of. All I have to do is push a button or call and help is on the way. The caring nurses here help us through our episodes of illness and, even after recovery, make sure we would be able to be active members of this community again. Though I am living among many other people now, I can still be independent and not isolated in the winter.
On my 92nd birthday, our poetry professor and teacher presented me with a scrapbook with 18 poems which my husband Joseph had written, illustrated by a family friend who is a famous artist. I was so touched by their kindness and thoughtfulness.
I like a lot of things about EPOCH – especially not having to cook! It has relieved me of all chores that previously were a burden. We have good meals served with courtesy and some “kidding.” I can speak to anyone on staff at any time I want and all members of the staff are courteous. Then there are some who have become close friends. If someone is ever rude here – out they go.
My favorite activity is bingo. I also like the musical programs, certain lectures and history speakers. I have more than a few friends and I enjoy dining with them. I have also met some new and interesting people.
My family lives in this community – East Side. They checked this residence out first. I enjoy the proximity to my children and a great reputation. Luckily, I have no need for care. I am independent. However, it is a very good feeling to know additional care is available if needed.
For a year or longer, my mother had slowed down on her community activities and time with friends. Her hearing was becoming worse and was isolating. By the summer of 2010, she was angry, confused, raging at imagined sights or insults and simply not herself. We brought her to Providence to stay with us during a large snowstorm in January 2011. Her breathing became labored, she was pale and nauseous and so at night we rushed her to the hospital. She needed immediate pacemaker surgery. That finalized the decision that my mother should move to EPOCH after a stay in rehab. We took advantage of the respite care program and after three months, mother expressed a desire to live at EPOCH Assisted Living on the East Side near us. We talked together and she was ready for the move.
Life is calmer for all of us now. Fears for mother’s safety and well-being have lessened. When we visit, we can enjoy one another and live in the moment knowing that the daily little worries are shouldered by EPOCH.
Mother once again has a social and intellectual life. Her world had been closing in when she lived alone. Her poor hearing limited her participation in social committees. Mother was always the one who drove her friends to lunch, but she began to worry in winter and stopped going out. Now, when I drop by EPOCH, mother may be off to her gym class, lunching with friends, attending a lecture or at one of the many activities. I am delighted that she is sometimes too busy to visit with me.
Our family is small; a line of only-child daughters. My husband and I are the only relatives that mother has in New England. But EPOCH has become our family. Our friends love to drop in to visit my mother and always mention feeling welcomed by the EPOCH staff. EPOCH sits conveniently by the grocery store, drug store and cleaners. It is so easy to drop by for a few minutes during my shopping trips to see mother and be treated as family by the EPOCH staff.
We have already recommended EPOCH to people who have gone on to become residents. Their families talk of the great relief to have a place like EPOCH where the staff is so loving and attentive. The location is ideal, being near the shops for residents who like to walk out on their own or with family. The main advantage of EPOCH Assisted Living on the East Side is the ability for residents to pay monthly, particularly in the beginning during a time of transition and lifestyle changes. It seems less of a grand, end-of-life decision and more of a smooth move into an adult apartment setting.
Mother always worked when she lived in Washington, DC; first in law and later in banking. Her passion was her work. When she moved to Rhode Island 20 years ago to be near us, she settled in Wickford and became involved in the North Kingstown Senior Center, finally as its vice president for many years. But she is in her 90s now and doesn’t want to run committees and plan events. She is delighted to be at EPOCH and take part in all the festivities without having to lift a finger!
Mother isn’t a hobby person. Books are her interest and sadly her reading has slowed in recent months. She does enjoy the lectures, especially history, and special events at EPOCH because they are like bringing a book to life.
Mother is pretty independent, but relies on the Wellness Center for her medications. Having never been on any medications until two years ago, it was all confusing and beyond her capability to figure out doses and times. Just the casual chats with staff in the halls mean a lot to mother. The staff always knows what she is interested in, what activities or trips our family is planning or friends who have come to lunch recently. The sense that she is safe and surrounded by her EPOCH family is calming to my mother.
All the small day-to-day hassles and worries mother may have are whisked away rapidly by someone on the EPOCH staff – maybe with just a quick hug or a simple explanation. So her time with us can be loving, relaxing and playful.
My proper and restrained mother loves Halloween! She loves the tiny children parading through the EPOCH lobby visiting grandparents. And my mother loves dressing up in costumes! Her first year at EPOCH, she dressed as a witch with a scraggly gray wig, black clothing, scarves tied all around her waist, and crazy, mismatched socks. With mother being a normally reserved person, it took staff members some time to figure out it was Lorraine. This past Halloween, mother asked me to make her into a geisha. Luckily I am an artist with friends in the theater. I had a kimono and a fan; my friend had a Mikado wig. The screams and peals of laughter up and down the halls as person after person saw my mother as a geisha were priceless.
My mom became septic following pneumonia and was on life support in the ICU. The after effects left her with memory deficits and loss of independence. She moved into EPOCH assisted living for years until repeated falls and cognition deficits made it necessary for a higher level of care for safety reasons. The care at EPOCH has been excellent! No complaints! All doctor appointments, etc. are coordinated, including her transportation.
The help she has received here has been indescribable – all of her needs are met. She is no longer isolated in her room, as was occurring before. She transferred from the assisted living program upstairs. What a wonderful program! Caring, attentive staff are there 24/7. There is great daily programming to keep our mom busy and using her brain. I don’t know what we would have done without the program!
Mom’s passion was always gardening – I hope she will enjoy the beautiful courtyard and gardens as the weather warms. She also enjoys Bingo, sing-alongs and family visits. The manicures weekly at no cost are also a favorite! We loved having family holiday dinners at EPOCH when our mom had energy for them. We also love our Sundays sitting in the garden, having coffee and our weekly breakfasts in EPOCH’s beautiful dining room.