In January of 2010, I had to make a heartbreaking decision. My Mom, Dorothy M. could no longer live with my husband and I as she had for the last five years. It was unsafe for her to live in our three-story home. Her recent illness had left her confused and unsteady. Yet due to her years of healthy living and exercise she was still strong, agile and very active. I had visited four facilities before I saw a notice in our church bulletin about Belmont Village. From our first calls and visits, we were welcomed and made to feel cared for, comforted, and at home. I can’t express my gratitude enough to the PALs whose obvious patience, concern, and constant vigilance for their residents must send them home exhausted after each shift. Our first day was eased by the PAL Dorothy, who took the new Dorothy under her wing—they were bonded, it seemed, by their names. Bless you, Dorothy.

I visited Mom at different times of day, but most often at the noon time meal. The residents were seated, served, and assisted to eat if necessary, with bathroom breaks as needed. Few residents spoke at meals in the Neighborhood, but the PALs kept the conversation going constantly by encouraging residents to eat and talking about their days and plans. It was a family in the dining room. Although I didn’t get to know them personally, I want to acknowledge the PALs on the evening and night shifts. Thanks for helping and caring for Mom. I know her laundry got done, linens changed, room cleaned, her constant wandering was monitored and she was probably tucked in bed more than once nightly.

I guess I want to say that I feel that the administration and staff at Belmont Village act as a family, caring for and protecting their own; laughing in the good times, and crying together in the sad times. Thank you all for being here for Mom and me.