I can tell you that this is the grandest thing that has happened to us. I can’t put a dollar amount on what it means to us.
After many years of hard work and dedication, Mary Allen retired from the U.S. Postal Service in her 60’s. While retirement may be viewed as an end to a chapter of life, Mary Allen saw retirement as an opportunity to continue living life to its fullest.
Soon after Ashe Services for Aging relocated to our current location on ChattyRob Lane in the 90’s, Mary Allen and her sister Jo were regular Senior Center participants. Mary’s daughter Martha recalls that “she and Jo went every day for lunch out there [Senior Center]. They went for Bingo and they went for card games. It was such a routine for her. I remember calling her to tell her I was coming up for a visit and NOT to go to the Senior Center. When I would get to her house, she wasn’t there….she had gone anyway because she loved it so much.”
As Mary entered her late 70’s, her daughter explained, “we started noticing things….changes.” When Mary was around 80 years old, she and her family received the disheartening diagnosis of dementia. Regardless of the diagnosis, Mary’s family was determined to give her as much support as needed to continue her routine as normal and to keep her in her own home for as long as possible. At that point, her family enlisted the support of our In-Home Aide (IHA) Services. Martha remembers, “it [IHA services] started with the aide coming after 1:00pm so that Mama could continue going to the Senior Center with Jo. We were able to keep her at home for a long time with an In-Home Aide and they were so wonderful.”
Mary’s progression of dementia would present yet another challenge for her and her family when it became evident that she could no longer stay safely in her home. She would now need 24/7 care, and the natural option was for Mary to transition to our Assisted Living program. Mary joined the Assisted Living family in the fall of 2015. Martha shared her fears and hopes of the transition, stating “Mama never liked to sit still, so I worried that she would want to be on the go all the time, but there is always something for her to do. She loves to do activities and still does but on a different level now. She is so comfortable there. She has always been comfortable there.”
In relaying exactly what Ashe Services means to her and her family she states, “I can tell you that this is the grandest thing that has happened to us. I can’t put a dollar amount on what it means to us. I haven’t been able to be there as much for Mama these last few years, but I know that she gets love up there. I know that she gets a hug or a kiss, many times a day.”
We are honored to be a part of Mary’s life, from her beginning time at the Senior Center and through how she touched our In-Home Aides’ lives. Now 95 years old, she continually blesses the staff and other residents at the Assisted Living. We are incredibly thankful that she has crossed our paths. Every day with Mary is a gift.