The 2,000 Mile Move That Changed My life

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Marie Munger and her husband, Bob, spent 64 years together going on adventures, moving from Rhode Island to Texas for work — he a financial manager, she a med tech — and raising their daughter, Michelle.

When Bob passed in June 2018, Marie moved from Texas to The Reflections at The Ivy at Ellington to be closer to her daughter and son-in-law, Ken, who live nearby.

“I felt right at home right away,” Marie says. “I love my room. It’s a little apartment all my own.”

A Nice, Homey Place

In Marie’s apartment, there are pictures of Bob on the walls and other keepsakes from the home they shared together, and Michelle and Ken helped hang curtains and decorate. “It’s a nice homey place,” Marie says.

But she hardly spends any time in her room. In the month since Marie moved to The Ivy at Ellington, she’s become close with the other residents and staff members.

“The companionship is wonderful,” she says. “I made friends, and we do a lot of things together. Compared to some facilities I’ve been in, it’s more companionable. We have more to do with each other. At other places, there were cliques. Here, it’s been very friendly. It’s really a lovely place.”

A Typical Day at the Ivy at Ellington

On a typical day, Marie wakes up, eats breakfast in the dining room, and then participates in a fitness activity — one of her favorite things to do. “I was in rehab for a long time, so I taught a lot of the exercises.” Some days the fitness activity might be walking in the courtyard. Other days it could be exercises designed with the specific aim of improving fitness.

Next, it’s lunchtime. Marie often eats in the dining room, but she loves it when the community goes outside for a picnic.

In the afternoon, she participates in activities planned by Carrie Wilson, program director for The Reflections Memory Care at Ivy at Ellington. “We don’t just sit around,” Marie says. “We always find something to do. Carrie is very good at that.

“Actually, I think she has as much fun as we do,” Marie says with a laugh. “We play cards or listen to music. Mostly, we have fun all together. I think we all enjoy it here better than in other facilities where they put you in and they put you out. Here, we try as a group to do everything together.”

In the evenings, there’s usually something playing in The Ivy at Ellington’s movie theater. When Marie isn’t participating in community activities and entertainment, she’s probably enjoying a delicious meal at Michelle and Ken’s house.

A Place to Come Home to

The other day, Marie had a doctor appointment, and when she returned to The Ivy at Ellington, she found something waiting for her.

“When I came home, they had made a ‘Welcome Home’ plaque for me,” she says. “I feel at home here.”

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