Kelly has been staff at Elm St. for almost seven years. She enjoys her relationships with residents and their families.
"I love working here, " she said. "It's not like a normal job. The residents are like family, like my grandmothers. " She enjoys meeting their daily needs as they arise rather than on a set schedule, and she likes getting to know their family members.
- Kelly Manhardt in an interview with the Times Record, 2009.
Jill Wallace has over 25 years of experience in helping people find meaning during significant and sometimes traumatic periods of their lives. She spent 10 years at the helm of the Bath-Brunswick Hospice during the 1980's; and then five years training volunteers at Portland's Center for Grieving Children. Elm St. Assisted Living opened in 2003, and Jill has learned a lot from the residents who have lived with her since then.
Her decision to open her home to the elderly was a very personal one. Her own mother came to Elm St. for the last year of her life, dying in 2008 at 90 years of age. The sort of assisted living facility that is 56 Elm St. is the sort of household Jill would want for her own mother. For Jill, that household goes far beyond what is usually associated with assisted living. It is designed to be a family environment that also offers staffing 24 hours a day, housekeeping services, home cooked meals, assistance with personal care and daily needs, transportation to medical appointments and shopping, and management of medications.
"We give truly personal care, creating activities that are tailored to the interests of each resident, " Wallace said. "In most cases, we can keep people through the end of life, adapting our care plans to their needs. It is long-term care in a non-institutional setting." Wallace embraces the concept of "aging in place" in the full sense of the term.
-Jill Wallace in an interview with the Times Record, 2009.
Elm Street Assisted Living
56 Elm St., Topsham, ME 04086