A Place for the Whole Family

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Bert and Louise Russell both grew up on farms in St. Mary’s County and have been married for 59 years. After marrying, they moved to Silver Spring, where they raised five children. Bert worked for a major appliance and home delivery company for 35 years-first as a warehouse manager and later as the President. He retired in 1981.

After Bert’s retirement, the couple became more active in their church. As Eucharistic ministers, they frequently visited patients in area nursing centers. In 1995, the couple decided to return to southern Maryland in order to be closer to their son, his family, and other family members.

When Louise’s health began to deteriorate, Bert assumed the caregiver role for her and their Downs Syndrome daughter, Betti. Bert had been caring for his daughter and wife for some time when he began to have medical problems of his own. The Russells knew that Bert would need to undergo a surgical procedure, and they realized that after his operation he would need help taking care of Louise and Betti.

The family began to consider the possibility of a move to a retirement community that could offer them the assistance they needed. When they began talking with their children, one of the first options they thought of was in Leonardtown, MD. Bert recalls, “As long-time county residents, we knew a great deal about Cedar Lane, including the operation of the facility and what the Assisted Living Program had to offer.” They quickly discovered that Cedar Lane was an affordable option that would allow them to remain together: “Cedar Lane also allowed our daughter Betti to have her own place two doors down from us. The help we need is available now and our family is still together,” the couple relates.

In September, the Russells moved into Cedar Lane and are now settled in their new home. Betti, who has been working through the Centers for Life Enrichment since 1995, takes the bus to work on a daily basis and has adjusted very well. Both Bert and Louise now receive the care they need, and the entire family has benefited from the social activities at Cedar Lane. “We go to the evenings of music and dancing at Cedar Lane. We all dance and really enjoy ourselves,” says Bert. For the Russells, the move to Cedar Lane has dramatically changed their lives. They are all still together as a family, but now they have the security of knowing that any assistance they may need is readily available.

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