The team at Spring Arbor of Severna Park wants their residents, and their residents’ families, to feel at home from the moment they enter the building.
Spring Arbor of Severna Park executive director Maresa Henry said guests often say it isn’t what they were expecting when entering.
“It really is like a hotel, but we care,” Henry said.
The assisted living and memory care facility has 88 resident apartments — 14 dedicated to memory care in a wing called “the cottage,” with the other 74 for the general assisted living population. Most of the residents are in their late 80s and early 90s.
“It really is another home away from home. It’s just a smaller, more manageable space for them,” said Henry, an original staff member of the facility, which opened in June 2015.
A typical day in the life of a Spring Arbor resident starts with breakfast and then rolls right into activities, of which there are many: arts and crafts, games, spiritual-based activities, exercise, live music and outings are just a few. Henry explained that Spring Arbor tries to have five or six options daily so that all residents can find something that suits their interests.
According to Henry, medication management is one of the initial driving factors for many families who seek assisted living for their loved ones. In addition to this service, Spring Arbor residents have access to around-the-clock nursing as well as in-house medical care, as many providers come to the facility. Henry is especially grateful for their partnership with Bayada Home Health Care, who provides residents with physical therapy.
Spring Arbor of Severna Park’s sales and marketing manager, Nikia Thomas, equated Spring Arbor to a one-stop shop.
“It’s a beautiful feeling to not have that worry in the back of your mind, and it gives the family some peace,” Thomas said.
Thomas explained that choosing a senior living facility can be a bit like shopping for a car — you want the bells and whistles, but at the end of the day, you need it to run like a well-oiled machine.
“It’s going to run in here,” she said.
One of the highlights of life at Spring Arbor is a Yorkie-Bichon dog named Maizy, which sometimes accompanies her owner to work, according to seven-year resident Dorothy Johnson.
“Everybody smiles when they see Maizy,” Johnson said. “She brings great joy to the residents.”
With or without Maizy, Andrea Phillips, the community program director, is on a mission to make the residents happy. She explained that she fell into this career by chance, and it became her calling.
“I fell in love with them,” Phillips said. “I fell in love with my residents. It means something to see them smile every day.”
Henry’s path to senior care started earlier, and it was influenced by her own family. She experienced the toll Alzheimer’s and dementia takes on families when they take on the role of caregiver for their loved ones, both as a child and as an adult, as she watched these diseases befall her own grandparents.
“My reward at the end of the day is helping a family be able to release that guilt and know that their mom or dad are here in a safe place getting loved on and cared for and everything they would want for them,” Henry said.
Henry reminisced on one of her team’s favorite resident stories. A resident with middle to late-stage dementia, who had trouble conversing at this point in his life, was given his old accordion.
“He played it and it was beautiful, and at the end as he’s playing that last note, the smile on his face, he was beaming,” Henry said. “That moment of joy that we got to see with him, it gives me chills. When those things happen, that’s why we’re here.”
Spring Arbor of Severna Park is located at 345 Ritchie Highway. For more information, call 410-544-7774 or visit www.springarborliving.com.
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