“Our aunt spent the last three years of her life – 2009-2012 – at Rogerson House and we could not have been more pleased with the care she received there. The Director is a warm and engaging person who made the difficult transition to assisted living about as smooth as it could be. Staff members treated our aunt with great kindness and provided her with excellent care. We delighted in watching our aunt enjoy the many activities provided to residents each day; in watching her sing, play the piano, enjoy good music, paint, listen to news stories, watch documentaries, and participate in exercise routines. We loved spending time with her on the beautiful grounds that surround Rogerson, looking at the flowers and vegetables, and listening to and feeding the birds. We enjoyed watching videos with her on the house computer. We enjoyed seeing her excitement when children and animals came to visit, something that was a frequent occurrence. And it made us feel good to see how many staff members knew our aunt by name and interacted with her when she walked, and later rolled down the hall in her wheel chair. We never went two feet without someone greeting her and making her and us feel welcome. We were pleased by how well she ate and how good the food was. We almost always found her bathed and well groomed and that wasn’t easy to accomplish given her resistance to being helped. Our aunt, though delightful, was not the easiest person to care for and we were amazed by the patience, persistence, and kindness with which the staff approached her and their success in getting her up and going each day. The hard work and generosity of the staff make Rogerson a very special place. We would strongly recommend it to anyone looking for an assisted living facility for an elderly relative with dementia.”
– Joan L., Brookline, MA
My stepfather lived at Rogerson House from late in 2008 until his death there, with hospice care for his final illness, early in 2011. He was comfortable there, and soon considered it “home” after moving in. The staff worked hard to help him participate in activities on the Ground Floor where he lived, which was hard because he was shy and a loner for much of his life. He did connect well with the staff running the exercise program, and also went out on some of the excursions.
I did have to hire male personal aides during the last 6 months of his life because he refused to let the regular female aides help him with hygiene needs once he stopped being able to do these chores himself.
Watching a beloved parent change with dementia is always a very sad business, and it’s hard to deal with. This is especially true regarding unpleasant behavior changes that often accompany the loss of higher cognitive function. Rogerson House personnel weren’t perfect, but they were always caring and trying to do the right thing.
– Sarah W., Mercer Island, WA 6/4/2012
Getting to know the staff and the patients at the Rogerson House has been a life-changing experience. My neighbor Bill was placed in the Rogerson four years ago. As his health was deteriorating, his memory getting increasingly worse, I had plenty of opportunity to observe the staff’s extraordinarily way of helping him adapt to his new and painful situation. Their care and love for him was genuine. Many cried at the Memorial Service arranged for him. I would visit Bill without ever giving advance notice: every single time, Bill would be engaged in one of the many activities provided–music, French lessons, bingo, poetry reading, gardening. While the patients had seemed a blur when I first arrived, the staff made sure to introduce us and to ease the relationship between patients, families, and visitors. I feel extremely fortunate to have gotten to know some remarkable people–Gertrude, a historian who wrote many books, Joan the minister’s widow who loved dogs and many others. The selflessness of the helpers and administrators is beyond anything I could have imagined. Bill was made to feel very special at the Rogerson. Granted, he was one of the most charming people on earth (I am biased), but he was treated according to his great gifts, his wit, and sense of style. The staff would always make a great fuss over his outfits, they would make sure his television was tuned to the Animal Channel, and they treated him with great respect. But even if Bill hadn’t had his charming ways, he would have been cared for with the same devotion. Toward the end of his life, when he became incontinent, they did their best to help him without embarrassing him. I was disconsolate when Bill was asked to move to the second floor (for advanced Alzheimer patients). I protested at first, finding it dehumanizing to uproot him from his friends and helpers. But the reasons they gave me were compelling: what they said was that when a patient stops making sense, becomes fully incontinent, the other patients begin ostracizing him or her. They explained that Bill should remain the star. The moment he would start noticing that he was being shunned, he would begin avoiding his fellow residents. This is actually what happened. Before he moved upstairs, he started eating alone, becoming less and less talkative. They were right. Rather than losing his status, he had preferred to isolate himself. At first, it was quite a shock for me to see him upstairs, with patients who seemed significantly more advanced in their disease. But it really was better for him. He didn’t seem as ashamed or confused. One of the most wonderful aspects of this move upstairs is that the staff reconstituted his room with absolute precision. Same pictures on the wall, same everything. This helped Bill make the transition without feeling displaced in the least. I would give 5 stars to the Rogerson for their great humanity, their resources, the tremendous personal attention they pay to each resident. At any event, Bill stayed to the very end. He was comforted by remarkable people from Hospice and must have felt, despite the tragic situation he found himself in, that he had gained a second home. I will always be grateful to the remarkable people at the Rogerson. They taught me how to look beyond a condition that often makes us forget its victims deep intelligence and sensibility. Now that Bill is no more, I miss his friends and those who cared for him so beautifully throughout his illness. The genius behind the Rogerson House is the philosophy that nobody should be allowed to feel disoriented or displaced. Everything is designed to rekindle a sense of safety. Even if the residents’ short-term memory has eroded, the Rogerson House is there to rekindle long-term experiences and joys. Their garden is truly idyllic. Looking at two women walking arm in arm, I realized that Alzheimer’s or not, the Rogerson stresses above all else that we are all part of one humanity. I thank them for all they did for Bill and his friends.
– Marina A., Red Hook, NY 8/22/2011