A Reflection

Writer and Photographer / Dorothy Paul

Come along and let me tell you about the best little nursing home around.

Having had a loved one at Miller’s Merry Manor in Culver for about six years, and having been there myself for rehabilitation after breaking my pelvis bone, I have seen it inside and out.

Having to put my husband Robert in a nursing home was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I am in my 80s, and have had ups and downs in life as we all do. I fought to keep Robert home for many years until I needed help, and I know God was guiding me because Miller’s was the only nursing home with an opening when the time came. I called 911 for Robert when he could no longer get up and was too big for me to handle, and he went from the hospital to Miller’s, which made it easier. 

From that day on, I went every day to spend time with him. Robert had Alzheimer’s, and he had been diagnosed years before moving to Miller’s. I knew it is a slow disease and what we were headed for. I soon realized the people at Miller’s knew how to handle Alzheimer’s patients. They were so kind and loving, and they understood how hard the disease is on family. I also realized everyone there was helping each patient and their families, often without each family realizing how much they were trying to help. Everyone there was kind and caring, even the registered nurses. This is not always true in other nursing homes.

I also saw how the residents look after each other, care about each other, and treat each other like family. I often think that part of why many people don’t like nursing homes is because they are grieving over a loved one’s illness and want to blame someone. 

I saw how the staff at Miller’s is often one step ahead of certain problems that arise for residents. I soon saw how Robert’s needs were beyond my capabilities, and all I could do was visit every day so that he wasn’t alone during his illness. I went at his lunchtime and helped feed him, and went back to his room afterwords and stayed with him. We visited when he could still talk, and even after he no longer could, I could do all the talking easily.  

Robert was a walker, and would walk as long as he could. I could not walk for as long as he could, and would typically have to go home when I just couldn’t keep up. 

When I broke my pelvis bone, I did my rehab at Miller’s with my husband. What a blessing that while we were both in wheelchairs, the Miller’s staff members were kind enough to seat us at the same table for breakfast, lunch and supper. I cherish those weeks I had with Robert. When I recovered enough to be on a walker, I continued to go back every day to be with him.

Miller’s has the best activity department too, run by Courtney Artist. She is the best, and never forgets anyone. Robert wouldn’t take part in any activities, but she never forgot him, and always came to his room and asked him if he wanted to participate. She always makes holidays special for the residents, taking them shopping, out to eat, or to see Christmas lights. 

Of course Robert’s disease got worse, and when we could see that God was calling him home, the Miller’s staff came in his room with a CD and played gospel music softly. What a nice way to leave and meet Jesus. Miller’s did so many little things to make Robert’s passing easy and peaceful, and they were thoughtful of his family too. 

I will never forget their kindness at Robert’s passing. I know I did the best I could for Robert, and Miller’s did too. I met some very special people there.

Miller’s Merry Manor in Culver is a blessing to our community. The staff helps us care for our loved one when we no longer can, and they do it with grace and kindness. What more could we ask for?

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