My name is Roxanne J., and I am writing today to share with you how happy I am to have found Brightview White Marsh - Assisted Living in Baltimore! This amazing place has been nothing short of a small miracle to our family! You see, these past few years have been difficult for me as I have watched my 94-year-old mom deteriorate before my eyes. After several serious hospital stays combined with three lengthy stays in rehabilitation, she came home to live with me. She was in my home for a little less than two years now, and I have been her only caregiver. My home is not the best for senior living and has many challenges, such as stairs, a very steep hill outside, and offers little in the way of social stimulation besides a TV. It was apparent to me that, while my mom seemed content with the way things were, she truly needed another alternative to keep her connected, happy, and healthy. In fact, I knew that we both needed a change as the current situation was sort of killing me slowly as well.
And then I found Brightview White Marsh. After looking over reviews on the web, I made the call to speak with someone at Brightview. A sweet lady named Lainey Goss was my initial contact by phone, and it was evident to me that this dear lady knew the struggles that both my mom and I were going through. Her compassion and insight touched me. We made the appointment right away so that my husband and I could come and see the facility. After being completely overwhelmed by the cheery appointments and cleanliness of the facility, Lainey Goss came out to welcome us and, even behind that mask, it was easy to see the big smile that she had on her face. When we all sat down at the table to discuss things and how Brightview works, I looked down to see a birthday badge and button for my mom. Lainey thought my mom may join us, and she remembered that it was just her 94th birthday. All I could do is cry! What a thoughtful gesture that was, and it is one that I will not soon forget. Little things like that are what I have come to realize is just part of the fabric of care and compassion that is the Brightview way.
Anyway, Lainey was so fundamentally aware of everything our family was thinking and feeling and was also abundantly aware of what it is like to be a sole caregiver to an elderly family member. More so, she understood how much of an emotional struggle it is to make a decision for someone you love. May I say, this has been one of the worst things I’ve ever had to decide, but I told Lainey that if “today’s Roxanne” could tell myself everything was going to be alright, I would have signed the papers that very day. Well, we didn’t sign, rather, we just collected the information. I had to let the dust settle and start the process of what we could afford and think about if Mom would be okay in this adorable place.
What probably impressed me most is how willing Lainey was to answer questions (that I constantly kept asking), and she was at the ready if I needed to chat about things. She never made me feel like an imposition or that what I was asking was anything out of the norm. Frankly, I was scared to death about the whole thing, and Lainey was always there with a hug, a compassionate and thoughtful reply to my e-mails, or just a friendly voice that really did understand what I was feeling, and how difficult it all was.
Time to sign the papers! After about three good weeks of thinking, I came to the decision that Brightview WAS the place for my mom, and it was time to start the process. As I was driving over to Brightview, this wave of doom befell me. It was the worst feeling in the world, and my confident decision making had been replaced by a scared sort of feeling. When I sat down with Lainey, I shared this with her. This terrible sinking feeling had me in its grip, and it was Lainey’s dear manner that made me feel like it was “okay” to be human. What I admired most is that she didn’t pressure me about anything; rather, she told me if I wasn’t ready to sign papers that specific time it was okay. I pushed back from the table, collected myself, and I listened to her as she told me the same difficulties that brought me to Brightview would still be there when I got home. It made a lot of sense in what she was saying, and I realized that the decision wasn’t anything about whether to choose Brightview. It was about being so responsible for someone you love so dearly. Lainey’s compassionate help was just what I needed to get me over the line—so to speak.
With each visit, I became more and more aware of what a special place Brightview White Marsh is. Long before ink was placed on the paper, I noticed how people actually knew my name. Mary and Cecelia called me by my first name each time I visited, and they were so lovely and encouraging. It’s amazing what a kind word can do when you need it most.
The day I brought my mom to the community, which was prior to signing the paperwork, the staff came out to say hello. Heather Wojcik, Lillian, Nurse Ginger, and Lainey were just adorable with my mom. You can see that these ladies truly love what they do, and it is their mission to make sure their residents are cared for in a manner that they would treat their own families. My mom, who doesn’t necessarily take to people right away, had nothing but positive things to say on the car ride home that day.
Visit after visit I saw the nicest things happen. A resident was sitting outside in the courtyard, enjoying the sunshine. A tech went out to give her some medicine instead of making her return to her room in order to receive it. Another sweet moment was on Frozen Friday, where three little ladies in wheelchairs were following along behind the drink cart as they made their way to the Community Room. And the lady that was pushing the cart was enjoying these ladies as much as the ladies were enjoying her. Her disposition was so sweet, and it made all the difference in the world. So often, we get used to doing our jobs satisfactorily, but it is a beautiful thing to see someone go over and above what is expected of them. Again, it is the overall tone of everyone I’ve seen at Brightview White Marsh, and after two and a half weeks of my mom being a resident, I have yet to see anyone go below this very high bar that has been set.
Heather Wojcik is a breath of fresh air! I shared this with her the day I signed papers with her—and I will share it with you too. She has the “third eye” with regards to employing their staff. She obviously sees beyond the resume as it is evident these people all have the commitment to excellence and, more importantly, compassion that it takes to make every day of these residents’ lives a happy one. She is so respectful of her staff AND to the residents, and it really impresses me that she is at the ready if she hears someone need something and jumps right to it. That “roll up your sleeves” attitude is why everything is so perfect in this dear little village.
I would be remiss if I didn’t share how kind and thoughtful everyone has been to my mom. Nurse Ginger Saunders is so committed to making sure her residents are taken care of. I wish you could have seen how sweet she was when she did my mom’s evaluations. There is a person on my mom’s floor that should have about 17 arms and 26 feet, because she answers calls from all the residents that press their buttons, and she does it with a smile on her face and you don’t have to wait for hours before she shows up! She must have one of the most difficult jobs in that facility, but you’d never know it by the way she carries herself. Tracey is an amazing asset to Brightview, and she has become a favorite of my mom’s as well.
Sade and Andrea are two sweet ladies that are always in and out of my mom’s room, too. They greet me with a smile, and they bring happiness to my mom when they come by. They work so hard to keep their residents happy. From the very first day, the Dining Room staff addressed my mom by her first name, and they have been so accommodating to her and all the residents they serve. They are kind and patient and so eager to help in any way they can. The staff is always around and visible, and they treat their residents with such kindness. It is such a good feeling to know your loved one will be greeted with a smile and a caring hand. There are NO deficits in this village. It truly is better than I could have ever hoped it to be.
When I think about who I was one month ago, I was a very scared person who was overwhelmed by taking care of my mom. I had to make a very large decision and seemed almost hopeless. It was clearly one of the worst times of my life. And then I came through the doors of Brightview White Marsh and my life, as well as my mom’s, began to change almost immediately. My mom and I are communicating as mother and daughter once again instead of caregiver and mother; she is content and happy, and she has made a sweet little friend who happens to live right next door to her. And again, Heather was intuitive enough to put the two of them together, and they bonded beautifully. They both participate in activities together, and they eat meals and enjoy each other’s company. Just this past Sunday, I told my mom I was coming to visit, and she sort of politely let me know her day was going to be pretty full, but I could come if I wanted too. Yep, it looks like the tether line has been severed! AMEN!
There are numerous little anecdotes I could have put into this note, but it would have gone on forever. What I do hope is that you make these wonderful people aware that people DO pay attention to what they do, and even more so, people do CARE and APPRECIATE the work they do every day. Sometimes we go through our days feeling very unappreciated and often don’t realize that people ARE watching what they do. So, for them—you ARE seen, and you ARE appreciated!!!
Someone had a tremendous vision when they started this assisted living community, and it is obvious that they saw far past the brick and beams it took to create it. Their most important parts are the things that can’t be felt or touched—- it’s the special way that all these wonderful people take care of this precious little village, and they care deeply about what happens. There are no true words to express how deeply grateful I am for a place like Brightview, but I can tell you that it changes peoples’ lives and my mom and I are living testament to that!
With the kindest regards and deepest gratefulness, Roxanne J.
Brightview Senior Living builds, owns, and operates award-winning vibrant senior living communities in eight states along the East Coast: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. We offer senior Independent Living, Assisted Living, Enhanced Care, and Wellspring Village®, a specialized neighborhood for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Schedule a personal visit to experience one of our assisted living in Baltimore communities firsthand.