FAMILY STORIES

Words from our resident families.    

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Families Stories from Dodge Park

“In November 2011, my Dad was age 91 with some dementia and COPD. He had been living independently in a senior citizen’s apartment complex. Some breathing difficulties led to a hospitalization. The hospital doctors determined that it would not be safe for Dad to return to his apartment. They recommended 24-hour supervision for his dementia. His COPD was still at a level that could be managed without skilled nursing.

I toured MANY assisted living facilities with “memory units” over a large area of Massachusetts. I mean really … I considered places from Chelmsford to Leominster and out to Springfield. Even left a deposit at one place. I was still uneasy with the decision, and talked to a social worker at the hospital. She mentioned Dodge Park Rest Home and Day Club in Worcester.

I didn’t even know what a Rest Home was or how it differed from other levels of care. Yet, once I got there … to Dodge Park Rest Home … and found out everything about it, I knew it was PERFECT. It’s that feeling that comes from the gut. This is the one, I looked no further.

My very first experience, when I inspected the property, was totally different from the other places I’d seen. There was no “Sales” or “Marketing” person. There was a NURSE. Yes, an actual nurse named Carrie, with loads of credentials and experience. Carrie is the Director of Nursing at Dodge Park Rest Home. Yet, she is not one to sit in her office. It was Carrie that walked me around the building and explained how things operate. She knows every resident and what is going on with them, she knows family members of residents, and she is hands-on involved in every situation that arises. That’s not to say the the other nurses at Dodge Park aren’t capable. Every one is professional, compassionate, highly qualified and committed to excellence. It’s just that there is constant communication at every level of care-giving. This goes from the behind-the-scenes people all the way up to the owners. I don’t mean the corporate conglomerates that own some facilities, I mean the actual 2 guys that own Dodge Park Rest Home and Day Club.

This part still amazes me. Ben and Micah are the 2 owners of Dodge Park. The have been business partners in the health care industry for maybe 20 years. It seems that at least one of them is on-site just about all the time. And, like Carrie, they know about everything that is going on. That’s because Ben and Micah are both health care professionals in their own right. They are trained and experienced in elder care. They know about dementia. They know about COPD. They have life experiences of caring for elderly members in their own families. They’ve walked in my shoes. When Ben and Micah see the residents at Dodge Park, they see people like their own parents. They step right in and help with whatever needs doing. It is a sense of having a common purpose that is the cement bonding all the workers at Dodge Park.

With folks like these in charge, it would make little difference to me what the building looked like. Yet the building itself at Dodge Park Rest Home is exceptionally clean and home-like. There is no “nursing home odor” whatsoever. There is no mass-produced shopping mall feeling. Instead, the resident’s rooms are cozy and comfortable. The lounging areas have wide screen TV’s and leather-like chairs and couches. The dining room is spacious and modern. There are large windows in every possible area. Every holiday brings decorations worth photographing. Art projects done by the residents are on display. And, for a patient with dementia this is very important: the residents are not confined to a “memory unit” . They can roam the entire building safely, because ALL doors are secured and monitored.

In my research I discovered that Dodge Park Rest Home and Day Club is one of the few facilities that was “deficiency free” in a recent inspection by the state of Massachusetts. In other words, they scored 100 %. Bravo!

Micha, Ben and Renee,

My family and I write to you, to offer our sincerest thanks and gratitude for the care, love and thoughtfulness the staff at Oasis at Dodge Park has shown our mother, Carol Moore. Your staff are some of the friendliest, most qualified people I have encountered.

Their jobs are no doubt very challenging at times and not everyone is cut out for that line of work, so we would like to commend your organization for putting together a staff to be very proud of! Our mother has been blessed to have received such excellent care from the staff at Oasis, and we would like to give special thanks to Anthony, Natasha and Treasure . T

hey are a credit to their profession and show such a high level of professionalism, warmth and devotion. Again, thank you for providing first class care and for taking such wonderful care of our mother.

With Sincerest thanks and admiration,
Susan Wilder Best Regards, Susan

See our Testimonial Archive here.

Award Winning Rest Home & Memory Care Program

Memory care is assistance provided to individuals suffering from some form of memory deficiency or loss. This can be for any of the many forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Dodge Park Rest Home is a leading facility for memory care. From rest home care to adult day care programs, Dodge Park offers several memory care program options for providing safe, secure, and nurturing environments for adults with memory impairments.

Dodge Park is #1 in Massachusetts from Caring.com in Rest Home and Memory Care for the past 5 years. Nationwide, there are only 67 Caring Super Stars in 2017, so Dodge Park Rest Home truly stands out as among the top senior living communities in the country.

Family Stories from Dodge Park

“My Dad is still living at Dodge Park Rest Home. He has been there for 16 months. I’m grateful that I didn’t opt for an assisted living facility. Dementia and COPD are progressive diseases. I have friends that put a parent in an assisted living situation only to have to move them 6 months later to skilled nursing. When Dodge Park accepts a patient into their care, it is their intention to provide care until end of life, if that’s what you wish. They can provide whatever is needed for that resident.

I’m going to share as many details as I can, while still being respectful of my Dad’s privacy. There have been times right from the beginning when Dad’s behavior has gone well beyond what would be tolerated at any other place. Yet, at Dodge Park he is seen as no trouble whatsoever. When his dementia causes him to lash out either verbally or physically, they try new ways to approach him without agitating him. When his breathing troubles flare up, they provide instant treatment and monitor his response. When his legs get weak they provide him with a walker, then a wheelchair. All of these things are done under the supervision of their team of professionals. They have a primary care doctor, a nurse practitioner, a psychiatrist, a podiatrist and a social worker. All of these experts make regular visits to Dodge Park, and can also be summoned on an emergency basis. In addition, they have a pharmacy that sends over medicines, an x-ray technician with portable equipment to take x-rays right in the patient’s bed, a physical therapist for fitting walking aids, and I can’t leave out Lucy the hairdresser! One time my Dad broke his eyeglasses, they escorted him to Lenscrafters that same day and stayed with him for an eye exam and for new glasses to be made up. I would say that was out of the ordinary, but I’m so grateful to Dodge Park for helping to this extreme.

One thing I find amazing about Dodge Park, and the psychiatrist they work with, is their philosophy of avoiding the use of psychiatric medications. I’m certain that Dad would be much easier to deal with if he had some major tranquilizers in his system! But they have ways of resolving the most difficult situations through human interactions. It’s not that psych meds are prohibited, just they don’t go that route unless it is very clearly necessary. If Dad puts up a fight about taking a shower, they start by visiting him an hour beforehand, talking with him in a friendly manner about other things, and then approaching the shower issue. If I hadn’t witnessed this with my own eyes, I would have said it wasn’t possible. I suspect other places might say “we can’t use up a worker’s valuable time when there is a pill that will get the same result”. Yet, my Dad and I both benefit from the Dodge Park philosophy. When I visit him he is “himself”. He’s not groggy from drugs. He’s not at risk of falling because a pill made him drowsy. They follow this principle even if it means that a resident needs one-on-one attention during every waking hour. I’m not joking! They have an army of compassionate caregivers that work as a team to accomplish this mission.

These are the real folks that deserve my applause. I’m talking about the caregivers that help Dad throughout the day and night. They are extraordinary professional people that love their work. They provide “routine” tasks, like helping him select what to wear and getting him dressed. Or accompanying him to the bathroom. Or searching for his lost hearing aid. Or changing his soiled bedding during the night. They also do things like trim his fingernails, “fix” his electric shaver, coax him into attending whatever party is about to start, offer him beverages and snacks, and sit with him for a while. They do all of these things with a smile, sometimes while being verbally assaulted. And they do it with total respect for Dad’s own personality and dignity. Dad does have a favorite. It’s Patty. She’s the floor manager. He goes to her with some pretty wild stories and she listens to every one. She has a way of knowing just what to say, assuring him that she will take care of it. Patty is the secret weapon that the others call in when Dad refuses to cooperate. If Patty tells him it’s okay, then he’ll go along with anything. These are the kinds of skills that only come with patience and experience. Dodge Park has an atmosphere of nurturing these skills in all of their people. Even the ones that handle the laundry and clean the floors. They know my Dad by name and greet him with a smile. They greet me with a smile.

And for me, I am at Dodge Park regularly. My visits with Dad are relaxed and friendly. I can take him out to Wendy’s for lunch or just sit and look at old photographs with him. We enjoy each other’s company in a way that could never happen if I had to coordinate his care. Perhaps this is what makes me the most grateful of all.”

Deborah Martin
SPRINGFIELD, MA

See our Testimonial Archive here.

Each of us travels our own life journey and though we can’t always control life, we can strive to live life to the fullest. At Dodge Park, we respect our residents’ past, as well as their present. We focus on creating the very best experience for every resident and family member.

When confusion and frustration cause anxiety, we redirect rather than correct. We learn all we can about the individual’s likes and dislikes and then help them continue the activities they know and love. Each resident has a personalized plan and often find new interests that bring them joy and happiness.

Find the peace of mind you’ve been looking for with the memory program at Dodge Park.