Living to be 100 years old is quite the accomplishment and certainly calls for a celebration. So imagine how big the party needs to be when there are five people who have hit the century mark living under one roof.
That’s the story at our Mountlake Terrace community just outside of Seattle where we have five centenarians. That is a whole lot of life experience in one place. It’s certainly a first for Merrill Gardens!
Eleanor Kurtzweg is the ‘youngest’ – she just turned 100. The other four centenarians are 100-year-olds Josephine Johnson, Dorine Overton, Mildred Schmidt, and 104-year-old Theresa Pfennig.
This impressive accomplishment caught the attention of KING5 TV News recently and the ladies got their chance to take center stage and share their wisdom.
These women have such rich life experiences and we are so lucky they are willing to share them with us. Here is the story from KING TV. Enjoy!
The team at our beautiful new community in Madison, Alabama threw a joyous grand opening celebration to officially welcome residents to their new home.
Close to 400 people attended the grand opening, to tour the community and enjoy an afternoon filled with delicious treats prepared by the dining team at the community.
Merrill Gardens at Madison has 175 private apartments, with independent living, assisted living services as needed and a separate memory care building. The community sits on six acres with a walking path throughout the grounds and a landscaped courtyard. Inside you will find numerous common areas for residents including a modern bistro and theater room. The apartments have full kitchens and washer and dryers. And everybody loves the big front porch that invites you to sit and rock the day away.
Residents at the community were the guests of honor at the celebration.
Searching for a retirement community can sometimes remind you of the children’s story about Goldilocks and the three bears. While you search, you may find some communities that are too big and some that are too small until you ultimately find the one that feels just right.
When you look for a community, you want to make sure to take the time to find the one that offers a lifestyle that truly matches your expectations. It’s more than just the size or location of the community that matters. Putting in the work during the search process will ensure that you find a new home that meets all of your needs.
Bill Pettit has led Merrill Gardens since the family company purchased its first retirement community in 1993. He knows how challenging the search for the right home can be for seniors and their adult children.
“We recommend that you tour at least three different communities to get a good sense of how you would enjoy living there,” says Pettit. “Ask lots of questions and talk to the current residents about their experiences. It’s a big decision and it’s important to get all the information you need to make the right choice.”
The following list of touring tips will help you focus your search.
• Were you greeted promptly by front desk staff and offered assistance?
• As you tour the building, observe staff and resident interactions. Is the staff patient and kind? Were you greeted by residents and staff as you toured?
• Did you observe residents socializing with each other and/or attending activities? Ask residents about their community experiences.
• Was there an activity calendar posted or is there one in the tour packet? If so, do any of the planned activities meet your or your family member’s needs?
• Is the building clean and odor free?
• Are the hallways, doorways and common areas conducive for safe walking?
• Take the time to have a meal. Is the service friendly and attentive? Are the dining hours and food choices flexible? Did the staff meet your food handling expectations?
• Meet the General Manager and other key staff. How many staff members are scheduled throughout the day? Check on evening availability and a system for obtaining assistance 24-hours a day.
• Ask about staff training and credentials. Is there a licensed nurse on staff? If so, how many hours per day or per week is the nurse in the building?
• Is the most recent state survey available for review?
• Does the community feel like a place you could call home?
Pettit also urges families to begin the process of looking for a community before there is an urgent need.
“Often we will see families who are in a panic situation because they need to make a decision in a hurry. That is not the ideal way to find the community that will be right for you. It is much less stressful to take the time you need, before there is an issue that could lead you to make a rash decision,” says Pettit.
Using this list as your guide, you will be able to narrow down your search and focus on what is most important. And hopefully find, just like Goldilocks did, what is just right for you!
It is so exciting to watch a new community come together and once the construction is complete and the team is in place – its time to celebrate! The team at The Pines, A Merrill Gardens Community in Rocklin, CA threw a Grand Opening Celebration for the ages recently as they finally had a chance to show off the beautiful new community.
Our dining team came together to put on an impressive feast. Merrill Gardens chefs from neighboring communities joined the festivities to produce a mouth watering array of treats.
Current and future residents were on hand for the celebration and General Manager Sondra Roberts and her team made sure that everyone was treated like royalty.
Click here to watch the video from our big day!
We are so pleased to welcome The Pines to the Merrill Gardens family. For more information about the community give us a call at 916-365-9267 or visit our website HERE.
Our residents always amaze and impress us with their willingness to try new and exciting things. Recently a hardy group from two of our communities in the Seattle area (Northgate Plaza and Mountlake Terrace) took to the water on a raft trip in order to see the bald eagles.
The Skagit river in Washington State is in the thick of one of the two largest seasonal congregations of bald eagles in the contiguous United States. The birds from as far north as Alaska, come every winter to feed on the Skagit River’s abundant run of chum salmon. January and February are the months to see the birds so our group bundled up to hit the water. It was actually not too cold out and luckily the sun was shining during the entire trip.
With the help of the excellent guides at Pacific NW Float Trips, residents and our accompanying team members took to their rafts on a beautiful Northwest winter day.
The raft trip took the group in search of bald eagles and they were not disappointed! As they enjoyed their trip down the river in their inflatable rafts they saw about 18 of the majestic birds. The group said they felt like there were eagles everywhere!
As you can see, everyone loved the trip and the rafts were the perfect way to enjoy the eagles. They were actually really comfortable too, with high-back seats and heaters.
The eight mile float trip was over far too quickly but what an experience! You can check out more photos from the day in this video.
We wanted to find a way to share some holiday cheer this season and what better way than to let our residents take center stage?
We sent our video team to our Tacoma, Washington community and they spent time chatting with residents about what really matters during the holiday season. We think our residents nailed it and we are so pleased to present our holiday video card!
We hope your holidays are just like this video – fun, silly and sweet – and you make lots of wonderful connections all year long!
Our beautiful new community in Madison, Alabama is now open and residents are settling into their new home. The architectural expression of the community strives to emulate classic southern style blended with modern hospitality. This allows residents to feel at home with the design while engaged in a vibrant lifestyle.
The porch invites you to sit for a bit and enjoy some tea and conversation!
The restaurant style dining room is open from 7am – 7pm with our exclusive Anytime Dining program. There are no set meal hours for residents and all meals are freshly prepared.
The community is so warm and welcoming with lots of amenity spaces for residents to relax.
Our team was thrilled to welcome residents to the community!
We call him Big Daddy V because he has a huge heart and he shares his love of life with everyone he meets. Vladimir Naturin is the Maintenance Supervisor at our community in Renton, WA but he is so much more than that to the people who live there.
Vladimir is always focused on the needs of residents and making sure the entire community is operating smoothly. He is always focused on making sure that residents are happy in their homes. He loves what he does and he shows that in so many ways.
This video showcases all the reasons we love having Vladimir on our team!
Vladimir was recently chosen to speak at a company wide meeting, sharing his ideas with all of our general managers. Vladimir says he was honored to speak with the group but we hope he knows that the honor was all ours!
Vladimir explaining what he does at the company meeting
The Seattle office team invited residents from Merrill Gardens at The University to show off their baseball skills at the company’s 2nd Annual Dunk Tank to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. Team members paid for residents to dunk the executive team and we raised almost $500 on our lunch hour! Trust us, these residents have very good aim! And if they could not hit the mark they took matters into their own hands and gave the button a big whack. That meant gallons of really cold water raining down on the heads of the volunteers!
Our Seattle office team members liked dunking each other too.
The Seattle Office folks are very good sports and it was all worth it as we raised funds for a very worthy organization. But man, was that water cold!
Residents from The University with General Manager Michael after his dunking!
R.D. Merrill President Bill Pettit taking the dunking like a man!
Our Senior VP of Administration Morei Lingle really loved that cold water!
That was fun and by next year we will forget how cold the water was and do it all over again!