No one enjoys moving, and with each passing decade, as the possessions pile up, it grows more challenging. But Marilyn Melhuish’s situation – though not rare – stands out from the crowd’s. After a misstep ended in several broken vertebrae followed by rehab, Marilyn found herself listening to her care team break the news that returning alone to an older house with steep steps and multiple levels was unsafe.
Marilyn knew it was time to take her name off of Springhill’s wait list and begin the process of making it her new home. Still unable to travel, she sent her sister Joyce to Springhill to tour the available apartment.
“I told her, ‘Joyce, if you like the apartment, I’ll like it,’ ” Marilyn recalls.
In the meantime, she needed a place to live while her Laurel apartment was prepared for her arrival. Sales Counselor Sharon Anderson told Marilyn about Springhill’s Respite Room, located in OakView Personal Care. Available for temporary, post-rehabilitative stays, the room offers round-the-clock nursing supervision and on-site physical and occupational therapy.
Yet Marilyn still faced the daunting task of downsizing her possessions and preparing for a move in the midst of serious physical limitations.
Springhill’s Move-In Coordinator contacted Marilyn to get the process underway. Meanwhile, her “wonderful” sisters began scouting area furniture stores for a few smaller-scale pieces.
Over the course of two days, the sisters went room by room, sorting, packing or tossing. Marilyn was little help in the packing department – she was forbidden to lift anything heavier than five pounds.
Although she did not have a large home, there was still plenty to get rid of. In particular, Marilyn wishes she had been better about tossing outdated financial information and old clothing. A former Education professor at Edinboro University, Marilyn also had to part with many books.
“Yes, the task is daunting, but people will be glad they moved to Springhill,” Marilyn says.
Marilyn faced a move complicated by serious physical limitations resulting from a fall that broke several vertebrae. Physically, the move has had great benefits, as well. Springhill’s physical therapist started Marilyn on the NuStep in the community’s new Vitt Fitness Center, which she uses frequently. “When I moved here, I was using a walker,” she says. “Now I use a cane, but not when I’m in my apartment, and my goal is to stop using it altogether. I’m getting stronger every day.”
“Everyone is very friendly, not only the residents but all the people who work here. I have far more day-to-day social interaction here.” She has reconnected with several colleagues and enjoys attending the Great Courses lectures and musical performances at Springhill. She also loves the convenience of the community’s amenities and transportation services, particularly during Erie’s hard winters.