When we decided to move my mother, Cecily Peters, into One Kenton, we didn’t have much to go on. One Kenton hadn’t opened yet; the building wasn’t even completed when we made the decision.
So why did we decide to move my mother into One Kenton? It was simple; it was because of the two people who were already on the job there: the Executive Director and the Director of Care.
They had a special quality, something none of the other people we interviewed at all the other homes had. My wife, Tammy and my sister, Sari, both felt it too. One Kenton wasn’t going to be just another job for them—it was a calling, one that mattered in a very personal way. It was also clear from the get-go that these two cared about what the families knew about their loved ones; they actually wanted our input. My sister said, “They get it.”
The Executive Director has since moved on, but the woman we met and trusted that first day is still the Head of Care, and she was true to her words of “don’t worry about being the first to move in, that way your mother will get all the attention!” Her name is Esther, and not once in the four years my mother has been at One Kenton has she disappointed us or been anything less than devoted to my mother’s needs.
And I knew that was something my mother wanted and enjoyed. In her life she had been the President of Hadassah Wizo Canada. She had made many trips to Israel. She had loved and married three men and been widowed three times. She had raised three children. Toward the end of her life she had lived well and happily on her own. But she did like attention.
And even as the population has grown at One Kenton Place, whenever I visit I notice that she still gets the same kind of attention she got those first few weeks when she was the only resident there.
But over time I’ve learned that Esther gives my mother and all the residents under her charge even more than attention and care. My mother had once been a strong, powerful woman. Though her memory was gone, who she still is in the core of her being shines brightly. Esther recognizes that. She doesn’t see a body with a disease. Somehow she has the amazing gift, that with God’s help, she recognizes the person within that is always there.
Esther has made sure that everyone there charged with her care, continues to respect and protect the essence of who she is and always will be. And no matter what ravages Alzheimer’s will wreak, that is something we need to know will never change.
This advertorial was submitted by
Mr. Alan Mayer B.A. CWC, son of our first lady