My Personal Evaluation on The Haven at Springwood, by Rick Julius

Allow me to start this is one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make in my life.   I can totally relate to any of you who has a loved one who you really care about and now needs to make this necessary change in their life.  Yes, I also know it won’t make you the most favorable relative, son or daughter for quite some time.  But I assure you time has a way of healing all things we think might be the wrong decision; but find out it was one of the best decisions you could make at this time in your life and the one you love and care about.

That said, allow me to tell you about my own personal experience with my aunt who is now 91, but entered The Haven at Springwood in May of 2016.  First, you need to know I am the only living blood relative she has, and she helped raise me when I was little.  So, I am almost like the son she never had. In fact she never had any children at all.  My uncle had died from a major hardtack in 1993, at the age of 60. My aunt has lived totally by herself all this time up until 2016.  So, I know what it means when you say you have a relative who is very independent and bullheaded!  I assume we all would be that way if we had to live on our own. 

After numerous falls and brakes since 2009; I had to make a major decision for her since she appointed me POA, of her health and estate.  Believe me there will be times you will wish your loved one would have picked someone else!   Since the distance was too far for me to travel every time she had an accident.   I had to make a decision, because I had my own family I was dealing with which many of us can relate too.  Finding the right assisted living facility was not easy.  I took it upon myself to choose this facility and tried to keep her out of it until the moment it came time to take her there.   This for me was the right choice because no matter where you choose, your love- one will not be satisfied.  And it’s only because of their past independence and freedom, which we all cherish.

I  made up the following list for myself of requirements I wanted to see and know.

  1. Facility had to be close to where I lived.
  2. Where all levels of care licensed by the State of Pennsylvania.
  3. How was she going to be assessed and how was this going to reflect my monthly cost.
  4. Did they have Physical Therapy so she could continue improving her physical condition.
  5. Was there 24/7 nursing care?
  6. Who gave medication to her. (this was very important to me because she would not take prescriptions that past doctors would recommend for her)
  7. What kind of assistance was there for her, in helping to eat, dress, go to bathroom during the night and to take a bath?
  8. What about emergency call systems was it available and who paid for it?
  9. Care service can it be down-graded or upgraded and who determines this and how?
  10.  What are the staffing levels?
  11.  Most important to me at the beginning.  What is the overall environment like and what kind of activities are offered. 
  12.  And how do the nurses and aids treat the individuals?

Well after three personal interviews with three different local facilities I picked The Haven at Springwood.  You know I said earlier how this will be one of the most hardest and important decisions you may make in your life.   I can honestly and truthfully say right now this was and has been the best correct decision I have ever made in my life for someone I care a great deal for.

Once your love one lets go of the bitterness of your decision and starts to make friends with all the people who are there.  They become like family and everyone cares about each other.  They form a bond of friendship that is wonderful and is unbelievable in today’s world.  I use to take my aunt out in the beginning almost every week to super or bring her to my house just to give her a change.  But this last year, she no longer wanted to go out for super or even come to my house for the holidays.  She wanted to stay with her friends.  This was 180 degree change from when we first entered.  And it all is because of great nurses like: (Sharon, Maggie, Melisa, Tanya, Ashley, Tiffney, Nicole, Charity, Julie, Britney, Alyssa, Darlene, Brenda, Shelia, Louis, Jennifer, Katelyn, Beth, and Stacey).  This wonderful group showed not just their professionalism but outstanding compassion and concern for my aunt’s wellbeing.

Because of their constant closeness to her they automatically knew when something was wrong or bothering her.  Special thanks to Tanya and Nicole for helping to recognize a change in mood and health behavior; we got her to a hospital in time to prevent a major hart-a-tack and a major bladder infection.  They both called me immediately and told me something is wrong and she is not herself, so they both recommended sending her to the hospital.  This was the correct decision that could have been made at that moment and prevented worse situations for her and for others within this facility.

My aunt Gordy, has said to me and my wife more than once this past year; if anything should ever happen to you like her situation.  Make sure you come here, because they are wonderful to you.  That is the most gratifying complement anyone could hear. 

You will notice a very large poster in the hallway showing this place at one time received an A+ rating.  Well as far as my aunt and me are concerned this needs to be upgraded greatly to A+++ place to bring your love one. 

All the people in this facility are loving and caring and once the acceptance sets in, they will be glad you chose The Haven at Springwood.


Rick L. Julius, Nephew