What makes Silver Maples unique is our heart
Personal insight from our residents, families and staff
What makes Silver Maples so unique has nothing to do with our wonderful building, fabulous programming, or convenient amenities and services. What really makes us unique is our heart and how our staff, residents and families interact daily and the things we do to enjoy all that life has to offer. Below is some insight from those who have either known us for years or are brand new friends and fans of our unique retirement neighborhood. We hope you enjoy the personal insight.
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Every time I visit my parents at Silver Maples I get the sense that my folks are in college and having the time of their lives. The only thing missing is the studying and exams. They have so many friends, we can’t walk down the hall without stopping to chat with someone. They go to exercise class and laugh with their friends and then over to the coffee hour where they chat some more. They love going to lunch and dinner and socializing with their friends. My mother loves to pronounce proudly that “I never have to cook again!” Even going to get their mail is an excuse to check in with their neighbors and hear all the latest news.
I can say with absolute certainty that my parents’ time at Silver Maples has been one big party. Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about their grades!
Jean Magee knew that life would be taking a new turn when she moved to Silver Maples in January 2009. But little did she know what direction that turn would be.
After living with her daughter for several years, Magee, a long-time Clinton, Michigan, resident, had stored much of her furniture and belongings. When she started readying for her apartment at Silver Maples, she started going through her personal items, including her jewelry.
“I had all this jewelry. I used to wear bracelets up my wrist. I decided to let the girls take what they wanted,” Magee remembered.
But once she settled in, she found that she hadn’t moved to a slow-paced retirement community. She’d moved to a community bustling with activities, including lots of social occasions.
“When I got here, I found they had all these parties,” she laughed. “Everyone gets dressed up and I found I needed my jewelry.”
She’s located some of the jewelry she had given away and is slowly re-collecting all of her antiques, which has been a life-time interest.
A member of three antique groups, Magee owned antique businesses in both Northville and Clinton. Though her children have quite a few of her pieces, Magee’s apartment is decorated with vintage pieces.
“I like the casualness and comfort of a room filled with antiques,” she said.
She and her husband bought and operated the Clinton Inn, then known as The Clintonian, for 10 years. She was a member of the community group that started Clinton Fall Fest. Having spent so many years in small towns, she’s really taken to life in Chelsea, particularly is charming downtown and active arts and theater offerings.
“I’ve adopted Chelsea. I like to keep tabs on what’s going on here.”
A member of the Chelsea Wellness Center, a perk provided by Silver Maples, Magee stays active and fit. She credits it to her genes, but her curiosity and desire to learn new things keeps her on the go. She’s also a member of the Activity Committee and the Dining Room Expansion Committee.
Shawn Personke, director of activities and PR for Silver Maples, said that Jean is an amazing person and contributes to the vibrancy of Silver Maples. “As soon as Jean moved in, it was like she’d lived her forever,” Personke said. “She’s such a positive person, always ready to lend a helping hand. I remember when she first moved in, she told she was coming to morning coffee everyday so she could get to know everyone. And she did.”
Magee’s advice for someone thinking about moving to Silver Maples: “I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to come here. It’s wonderful!”
Every time my dad and I talked on the phone or I came for a visit, we both would comment on how great the staff is at Silver Maples. Dad will always end our conversation or time together by saying, “This is a really great place” and he is right!
When my dad first moved into Silver Maples, it took us some time to get all his medical issues under control and every once in a while, and just to add to the excitement, he would fall and have to be taken to emergency. Every time I brought him back to Silver Maples, a group of the RCAs would gather ‘round to hear how he was doing and express how happy they were that he was okay. On one such occasion Dottie talked about how she had looked up information on the Internet about a certain medical condition my dad was diagnosed with so that she would know more about it. Wow!
On a couple of other occasions, when I brought Dad back later in the evening after a trip to the hospital, Bert would be there ready to get him a sandwich or something else to eat. And, since my dad moved apartments, she (along with everyone else) steers him in the right direction.
There was another time when I brought Dad back from my home a bit late in the evening and we needed to use the phone to ask to be let in. When one of the RCAs came to let us in, she said to my dad, “Come on in Blue Eyes. We’ve been wondering where you were!” He felt right at home with that comment!
But the best story is how Maija made the discovery that Dad has three recliners in his apartment. Yes, three. He has “his chair” and then the other two chairs are also recliners. One day someone was walking by my dad’s apartment and the door was open. When she looked in my dad, Maija and another RCA were all kicked back in the recliners with their feet up talking away! My dad and I were talking about this later and he mentioned how nice it was to have people care enough to take time to relax and have a conversation with him!
Each time I visit my dad at Silver Maples, I am greeted with a friendly smile by all. When I happen to see the RCA who is working with my dad that day, she always stops to give me an update on Dad. The sincerity and caring is so real! I appreciate that so much. Prior to Dad moving to Silver Maples, I traveled about 1 ½ hours to his home just outside Kalamazoo to take care of him and his needs. It took me a while to let go when he moved to Silver Maples. You see, I always thought that no one could take care of my dad better than me. Well, I now know that the RCAs here at Silver Maples do just that!
Though I couldn’t mention each of you by name, please know that you have a very special place in my heart.
I would like to express my appreciation to the Silver Maples staff and especially the Maples Club. This program allowed me to keep my husband home with me for at least an extra year before I couldn’t take care of him alone any more. The caring staff and the socialization he got from going to the many activities offered throughout the day enriched his life and saved mine. Thank you for helping us through this emotional rollercoaster. I will be forever thankful for the Maples Club.
An eighteen year resident of Florida, upon the death of my wife, I decided to return to Michigan where my two sons lived. I asked them to find a place I could move to. They spent some time comparing various future homes and finally suggested Silver Maples. It pays to have good sons – they were so right! The facility, the staff, the food and the atmosphere are all excellent! I am more than satisfied – I am happy here!
Our family is so thankful that Mom was able to get an apartment at Silver Maples. The past year has given her some medical challenges and the staff is so supportive. You all have become extended family to us, keeping Mom safe and independent. Thanks for your dedication to the residents and families to keep the community pleasant and positive.
Serving on this board of directors is a pleasure. Steve Rolston and his Department Directors work hard to make the Silver Maples’ mission a reality for everyone who makes their home here. It’s not just the department directors, everyone takes care of everyone with skill, compassion and good cheer.
Quite simply… this place is very special! All residents, family members and staff contribute to its uniqueness. No place or person is perfect, what I’ve found is that everyone’s heart is in the right place. It’s truly a great place to work!
There’s just something special about being a part of this community. Maybe it’s the water! But there’s a sense of family…community, between residents and staff. We care for each other. We’re each part of what we do here. Opinions and feedback are shared. Projects and programs, friendships and family, move forward together. But my favorite part about being a member of Silver Maples? The residents. They are all so cool. So funny. So serious. So well-traveled. So insightful. So fun to be with. So interesting. Everyone is different and everyone has something to share!
I started at Silver Maples a while ago, it was supposed to be a “temporary” position. I enjoy the residents and staff here so much, I’ve now been here 13 years, its home away from home. Silver Maples is a neighborhood where new friends are made and we get to share our great families!